Sant Martí is a district of Barcelona which, located to the east of the city, borders the municipality of Sant Adrià de Besòs, the districts of Ciutat Vella, the Eixample, Horta-Guinardó and Sant Andreu and the Mediterranean Sea. He inherited the municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals, added to that of Barcelona in 1897.
The Sant Martí district concentrates most of Barcelona’s beaches in its 2,675 meters of coastline. With 1,038.7 hectares and 238,315 inhabitants (2019), it is the fourth largest district in the city and the second most populous.
The territory of the current district, as established in 1984, includes most of the old municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals, although several historically Martinique territories have been included in neighboring districts: the north-western end, in the ‘ Eixample; the Baix Guinardó, the Guinardó, Can Baró and part of the Carmel, in Horta-Guinardó; and the neighborhoods of La Sagrera, El Clot and Navas, in Sant Andreu.
The name of the district comes from the old municipality of Pla de Barcelona, Sant Martí de Provençals, which was an independent municipality from 1714 to 1897. The etymology of the name comes from the Latin word provincialis, used by the Romans to name the fields located beyond the city walls. On the other hand, the name of Sant Martí is that of the first church built, Sant Martí de Tours.
Sant Martí was a large, almost uninhabited area, located on the outskirts of the walls of Barcelona. It stretched from the north to the river Besos and from the sea to Mount Carmel. In those days, the coastline was more remote, and much of what is now the neighborhoods of Poblenou and Besòs were either unhealthy marshes or wetlands and lagoons, which were a natural extension of the Besòs river delta. Thus, over the centuries, with the retreat of the coastline and human action, its area increased to become one of the largest towns in the plain of Barcelona.
The Romans called ager provincialis the farmland near their colonies, intended to supply food to the city. The construction of a Romanesque chapel dedicated to Sant Martí de Tours ended up forming the name of Sant Martí de Provençals. Around it, a shrine was set up, some farmhouses were built, and a group was formed that for centuries was the only point of reference for the population of Martin.
The old municipal area extended to the east of the city of Barcelona, from the walls to the banks of the river Besòs and from the sea to the Carmel mountain. There were mainly three population centers in the municipality and they were isolated from each other: El Clot, Poblenou and Sant Martí de Provençals. The latter is what gave the municipality its name and is currently one of the 10 districts of the district.
The start of industry in Sant Martí came as a result of the ban, in 1846, by Barcelona City Council on building more factories inside the walled city. Thus, the textile factories were set up in Clot, La Sagrera and mostly in the Taulat district, taking advantage of the good situation of flat lands rich in groundwater in Poblenou.
There are various opinions about the origin of the population. One of these is that of Josep Moran i Ocerinjauregui who adheres to the theory of the settlement of the Provencal settlers that would have taken place long before the time of Ramon Berenguer III, when the Carolingian king Lluís el Pietós recovered Barcelona from the hands of the Saracens. In the Middle Ages, Sant Martí de Provençals extended to the east of the city of Barcelona, from the walls to the banks of the river Besòs and from the sea to the Carmel mountain.
During the Middle Ages there was a large concentration of isolated lands in the hands of large landowners and wealthy families, such as the community of nuns of the monastery of Sant Pere de les Puel•les, the Vivas de Provençals family and the Mir count. The vast majority of the peasants of the territory of Provençals, however, worked for themselves and had full possession of their lands as aloers. The construction of the canal or irrigation in the tenth century by the Mir account would involve the subsequent construction of many flour mills that took advantage of the waterfalls of the canal (current neighborhoods of Clot and La Sagrera). Meanwhile the areas closest to the sea remained swampy and barren.
This territory developed to the north from the 10th century, thanks to the construction of the Rec Comtal, which brought water from Montcada to Barcelona. On the other hand, the lands further south, full of wetlands, were transformed in the mid – seventeenth century into the territories of greatest industrial activity in Spain.
The union in Barcelona
Until 1716, Sant Martí de Provençals was a parish under the jurisdiction of Santa Maria del Mar. From that date and as a result of the Decree of New Plant it became an independent municipality until 1897, in which it was added to the city of Barcelona.
The industrial era
In the eighteenth century, an industrial process began in the lower part of Sant Martí, Poblenou, with the settlement first of the Indian meadows and later of the factory buildings. The main reasons that led the industrialists to set up their factories in Sant Martí de Provençals were the low price of land, the abundance of water, the proximity to the port of Barcelona and the payment of very low taxes.. These factors caused the number of factories to increase; in 1885 there were 60 factories, and in 1888 there were already 243. The first factories to be set up in Clot and Camp de l’Arpathey were the flour mills, followed by the textile industries, the tanneries, the bòbiles, those of chemicals and many others.
The strong demographic growth of the city of Barcelona during the 19th century allowed the incorporation of Martinique agriculture, until then basically subsistence, into the commercial circuits, from the introduction of new agricultural techniques and crops, and the desiccation of marshy lands. of the maritime strip. Many immigrants arrived in Sant Martí attracted by the labor supply generated by agriculture and textile manufacturing, which made the territory of Sant Martí the second industrial center of Catalonia. The start of industry in Sant Martí came as a result of the ban, in 1846, by Barcelona City Council on building more factories inside the walled city. Thus, the textile factories were set up in El Clot (due to the presence of the Rec Comtal),
By the end of the nineteenth century the neighborhood had become an industrial and workers’ settlement, consolidated urbanistically with the installation of factories and housing. This fact led to a very significant increase in population, which often came from the rest of Catalonia and Aragon. This whole industrial process implies a change in the social condition of the population, which becomes predominantly working, and which the press of those years reflected in its pages (see external links).
Industrialization led to the urbanization of the rural environment and accelerated the process of population growth in Sant Martí, with the consequent construction of new housing for workers near the factories. Farmers, fishermen, hunters and ranchers were being replaced by the working class that grew with workers who came from Barcelona and surroundings first, and later from the rest of Catalonia and Spain. In 1897 (decree of 20 April), Sant Martí de Provençals lost its administrative autonomy as a municipality when it was annexed to Barcelona.
The Civil War
In 1936, part of the Spanish army, following General Francisco Franco and others, attacked the Second Republic. In the neighborhood of Sant Martí, where Jupiter is now the current football field, Sant Martí declared war on Franco’s troops; As Poblenou was one of the most important neighborhoods in Barcelona, as a result of these events the revolution began with great force. Xavier Benguerel was an important writer who suffered the war in this scenario.
Republicans took border crossings to prevent Francoist spies from infiltrating the neighborhood and the city. Every day people gathered in a square where the generals of the Republic gave the information of how the war was going. As the Republican army increasingly required more weapons, the old metallurgical factories began to manufacture weapons. Soon food became scarce, and a black market flourished that lasted beyond the end of the war.
The current location of the Forum was known as the Boot Camp. In the Camp de la Bota Castle, the insurgent Francoist military was initially shot and later thousands of Republicans were shot until it was abandoned in the 1950s.
The current Sant Martí district was created in 1984 from the process of political and administrative decentralization that the City Council began in 1979 with the first democratic elections. This fact originated the current territorial division of the city into ten districts, which correspond, in broad strokes, with the old historical municipalities of the plan of Barcelona and the historical Barcelona: Ciutat Vella, the Eixample, Sants-Montjuic, les Corts, Sarrià – Sant Gervasi, Gràcia, Horta-Guinardó, Nou Barris, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí. This division meant managing the city’s municipal services more effectively, from a double point of view, bringing citizens closer to political decision-making and strengthening the territory’s neighborhoods as the backbone of associative life and citizen participation.
Clot Harp Field
The northern part of the territory to which the nucleus of Clot extended was known as “the neighborhood of the Mountain”, and included the current Camp de l’Arpa and Guinardó. It maintained its agricultural weight until the middle of the 19th century, when it began to be urbanized. The place name of Camp de l’Arpa probably comes from a dolmen that existed in this area. Figure quoted in a document from the year 1037 of the Cartulary of Sant Cugat, with the form ad ipsa archa, on the occasion of a confrontation of limits. The current name would be a distortion of the original.
From the urban point of view, the Camp de l’Arpa resisted the Plan d’Eixample of Ildefons Cerdà approved in 1859. The interests of the owners and the opposition of the members of the council made most of the the openings of the new streets would narrow when they reached the neighborhood. For this reason, Carrer de Còrsega, Carrer del Roselló and Carrer de Provença die at the level of Carrer de Rogent. This fact has made it possible to maintain some passages from the 19th century, such as those of the Sigh, the Trench, the Piston, etc., which provide an unusual image at the beginning of the 21st century. Another testimony of the agricultural past is the farmhouse of Can Miralletes, at the upper end of the neighborhood. The recently renovated Plaça de Can Robacols, and especially Carrer de Rogent, for pedestrians, are key elements in bringing together the life of the neighborhood.
El Clot is one of the oldest nuclei of Sant Martí. It already existed in medieval times, with the name of Clotum Melis (Honey Clot). The name of the neighborhood derives from the word cros, which means ‘bottom’, and refers to farmland located in the depths. Very rich thanks to the orchards and mills around the Rec Comtal, it provided food for the city of Barcelona and, among other products, high quality honey. The rural character of this area remained until the 19th century. Some farmhouses and stately towers have survived to the present day, such as the Torre del Fang or the Torre de Sant Joan. The rest have disappeared over time, but some of its streets or corners evoke the agricultural past.
During the 19th century, the first flour mills were set up there, followed by the textile industries, tanneries, bakeries, and so on. By the end of the 19th century, the neighborhood had become an industrial and working-class settlement, with a very significant increase in population, most of them from the rest of Catalonia and Aragon. In 1854 the railway line to France began to run, and in 1861 to Zaragoza. The subsequent burying or disappearance of the train tracks, already in the twentieth century, did not mean the disappearance of urban barriers, being replaced by highways for cars such as the Meridiana, inaugurated in 1964 or, later, Aragon and Gran Via. This fact, which is currently being tried to correct by facilitating pedestrian permeability through these large arteries, has been one of the causes of the consolidation of differentiated urban dynamics in Clot and Camp de l’Arpa.
El Clot has gradually lost its industrial character, with the displacement or disappearance of old factories and workshops. This has made it possible to recover some large spaces for public use, such as Clot Park. Other areas, such as Clot de la Mel, have been the scene of new residential developments.
Sant Martí de Provençals
Until the fifties of the twentieth century, in this territory there were fields, a few farmhouses (Can Planas, Ca l’Arnó, Can Riera, Can Cadena) and the church. At the end of the 19th century, painters such as Nonell, Mir, Pichot and others went there to paint the surrounding fields and lands. The neighborhood, like so many others in the district and throughout Barcelona, originated in response to the waves of immigration that began in the fifties. The first two groups of houses, on both sides of Guipúzcoa Street, were promoted by the Pension Fund and the Obra Sindical del Hogar. The approval of a partial plan of the sector, in 1958, accelerated the urbanization of the streets and caused the filling of the building, with the multiplication of large blocks of flats. The result was a neighborhood with a high population density and a total lack of facilities and services.
Thanks to the perseverance of the neighborhood vindication and the democratization of public authorities, the neighborhood has covered those serious deficits. The arrival of the metro and the urbanization of the Rambla de Guipúzcoa are very palpable, among other important improvements in the neighborhood.
La Verneda and La Pau
The name La Verneda refers to one of the trees that grow along rivers, the alders. The neighborhood is closely related to the neighboring Sant Martí de Provençals, with which it forms an urban and social continuum. The first group of houses was promoted by the Municipal Housing Board, in the fifties, in the area of via Trajana. The most important housing complex is La Pau, located between the Rambla de Guipúzcoa and Gran Via. Companion of struggles with the districts of Besòs and Maresme, this third district of the Prim axis was built by the Obra Sindical del Hogar. It was inaugurated by Franco in 1966 during the events of the “25 años de paz” campaign since the end of the Civil War, from which the name derives. A name that, despite this origin, is today identified with the positive connotations of the concept of ‘peace’.
The Piramidón building, a seventeen-storey-tall skyscraper, was built in 1971. After a time without any specific destination, it is currently home to various cultural, neighborhood and social entities and associations, such as the La Pau Adult School, the civic center and a contemporary art center. In addition to the La Pau complex, the neighborhood includes those around La Palmera, La Verneda Alta and La Verneda Baixa. In the latter, in recent years, the buildings of the old industrial estate, which are very deficient and affected by structural pathologies, have been replaced by new blocks. Plaça de la Palmera —with the chimney of the old factory there, and with the large linear sculpture by Richard Serra— was one of the first spaces gained for the city at the beginning of municipal democracy.
The intersection of the Ramblas de Prim and Guipúzcoa, which have been renovated, and the neighboring metro station, make up a point of centrality and commercial and civic dynamism, which perfectly exemplifies the great improvement in urban quality that has been experienced. the neighborhood in recent years.
Besòs and the Maresme
Located at the far end of Barcelona closest to Sant Adrià de Besòs, the neighborhood is the result of the urgent and massive construction of housing to respond to the large deficit that existed in the fifties and sixties. Previously, the land had been irrigated by the Madriguera and Verneda ditches — the remains of an old arm of the Besòs that flowed into the Camp de la Bota — and was predominantly agricultural. In 1959, the Municipal Housing Board began building the estate. The urbanism of this area reflects the last half century of urban, social and political transformation. The neighborhood extends along the Rambla de Prim, on the east side, while to the west of this large civic axis is the Maresme housing group. This group, which occupies a narrow strip of an island seven meters wide, was born between 1954 and 1964, the result of private initiative. The first blocks began to be built in the middle of the fields, without any urbanization or provision of services or public facilities, which had to be won with long and hard neighborhood struggles.
Today, the Besòs and Maresme neighborhoods are awaiting new transformations, resulting from the revitalization of the entire surroundings of the Forum of Cultures 2004 and the neighborhood of one of the two major sectors of 22 @. This area will be the scene, in the coming years, of new residential settlements and facilities, including the location of a campus of the Polytechnic University, which is already planned, and will provide an important daily vitality.
The initial nucleus of Poblenou corresponds to the old district of El Taulat (a word that means ‘piece of farmland’) and occupies the lower part closest to the sea of the current district and the old municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals. For many centuries it was a wetland area, with lagoons surrounded by reeds, a landscape that still evokes the names of the streets of La Llacuna and El Joncar. The abundance of water, the great extensions and the low price favored, throughout century XVII, the installation of the first meadows of Indians. Then came the steam, later displaced by electricity, with industries of all kinds: oils, wines, textiles, metal, gas, machinery, mosaics, graphic arts, paintings, plastics, food… At the end of the nineteenth century the Poblenou was the territory with the highest industrial concentration in the country, to the point that it was described as the “Catalan Manchester”.
The first town center was built around Plaça de Prim and the second, also known as the La Plata district, in the Wad-Ras area (now Ramon Turró). Throughout the twentieth century Poblenou was consolidated as a residential, working and industrial district, with a significant increase in population and the emergence of important barracks such as Somorrostro, Beijing and Transcementiri, some of which did not disappear until after the second half of the twentieth century. From the sixties there was a process of intense deindustrialization and the consequent release of large plots, which soon occupied, again, transport companies, workshops and warehouses. With the 1992 Olympic Games, the great transformation of the neighborhood began, which today takes on a new impetus with the 22 @ project, which is being developed on both sides of the traditional town of Poblenou.
Olympic Village of Poblenou
In an old industrial area of Poblenou, called Icaria in memory of the ancient utopian socialists, the Olympic Village was built, as the residence of the athletes who participated in the 1992 Olympic Games. The design of the complex, and its subsequent transformation into a residential neighborhood, was done with the Bohigas-Martorell-Mackay-Puigdomènech team, also incorporating projects from other architects who won FAD awards. The operation involved, at the same time, the recovery of this coastal front for the whole city, with the creation of the large leisure areas of the Olympic Port, the Port and Nova Icària parks and the beach of the same name.
After a few years of slow start, today the Olympic Village is now an area equipped with services and activities that give vitality to a real neighborhood. Among the large facilities located there is the Pompeu Fabra University, located in the renovated facilities of some old quarters. The University library occupies the unique building of the Dipòsit de les Aigües, which formerly fed the fountain in the Ciutadella park, which is next door. One of the latest improvements in the neighborhood is the presence of the tram. The works have been used to put it into operation to remodel Wellington Street, where the line to Sant Adrià begins, and transform it into a very pleasant pedestrian walkway.
Provençals of Poblenou
This neighborhood has not been, until now, an area with a well-defined urban identity. This is even evident in the name of the neighborhood associations in the area, which, in the absence of other better references, adopted those of the streets in their area of influence: Gran Via – Peru – Espronceda and Paraguay-Peru. The name that has now been adopted refers to the place name of the old municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals and, at the same time, to the link of this sector with the historical territory of Poblenou. The neighborhood comprises two large units. On the one hand, practically the entire sea side of the Gran Via between Plaça de les Glòries and the boundary of the municipality, occupied by the high blocks of flats facing the motorway, which is currently being semi-covered. On the other hand, the territory in deep transformation that extends to the Diagonal and that corresponds to one of the two great sectors of development of the 22 @.
The power of the great urban axes that cross the zone in transversal sense (Gran Via, Cristóbal de Moura, Llull), vertical (Bac de Roda, Selva de Mar, Josep Pla) and diagonal (the same Diagonal and Pere IV), give him great accessibility, good structuring and a great ability to attract activities, especially when the openings of streets still pending are completed. The new large park at the Diagonal – Pere IV junction, designed by Jean Nouvel, will be a prominent urban reference. Next to the future park is the old Can Ricard industrial complex. After difficult negotiations between owners, citizen entities and the City Council, it will be possible to maintain a large part of the original structure of the complex, in order to preserve its heritage value and use it for collective uses.
District 22 @
22 @ Barcelona emerged in 2000 as an initiative of the Barcelona City Council to transform 200 hectares of industrial land in the Pueblo Nuevo neighborhood into an innovative productive district with modern spaces for the strategic concentration of knowledge-intensive activities.
To achieve this objective, a new compact city model is created, where the most innovative companies coexist with universities, research, training and technology transfer centers, as well as housing, facilities and green areas. In this way, a new economic model is defined based on the development of five sectoral clusters: Media, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), Energy, Design and Medical Technologies, and on the execution of various strategic projects that facilitate the business growth, creativity, networking, attracting and retaining talent and access to innovation and technology, among others. Since 2001, more than 4,500 new companies have been located, such as Yahoo! R&D, Mediapro, Microsoft, Sanofi-Aventis, Groupalia, T-Systems, Barcelona TV, Tiquetmaster, RBA, CAC Capgemini, Schneider Electric, Vistaprint, EURECAT or Indra, among others, giving rise to more than 56,000 new jobs.
Ca la Vila
Ca la Vila is an eclectic town hall in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona protected as a Cultural Asset of Local Interest. Building located in Plaça de Valentí Almirall originally built as the headquarters of the City of Sant Martí de Provençals in the mid-nineteenth century by the architect Pere Falqués. The building is almost square in plan, with a ground floor and two floors. The side and rear façades have simple lines, while the main façade has a monumental character. This façade is divided into two bodies: the ground floor with three openings and the upper part of the first and second floors presided over by a balcony framed by pilasters and columns. It is presided over by a gray slate tower with a cloister corner dome crowned by a second tower with an iron balcony and a clock.
Castle of Campo de la Bota
The Campo de la Bota castle, also called the Castle of the Four Towers, was a military building built in 1858 in the Campo de la Bota neighborhood, on the edge of the municipality of Barcelona with San Adrian de Besos (Barcelona). Made by Juan Zapatero, Captain General of Catalonia. It became the headquarters of the Practical Artillery School until the beginning of the Second Spanish Republic. The land had previously been used by Napoleonic troops at the beginning of the 19th century as a shooting practice range, its name therefore seems to come from the French butte (in Spanish: shooting range).
At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, the castle was used as a place of executions of rebellious soldiers. After the victory of Franco’s troops, it was transformed into a prison where, until 1952, some 1,700 people were shot, belonging to the Republican side during the war and opponents of the Franco dictatorship. In the 1950s the army abandoned the castle, which was subsequently occupied by residents of the Pequín and Parapeto neighborhoods and immigrants who had just arrived in Barcelona. Today, on the land where the castle was, there is a monolith in memory of those executed right next to the Forum Building, at the end of Avenida Diagonal.
Can Folch was an industrial complex located in the current barium of the Olympic Village, in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona. Of the industrial complex of Fàbriques Folch, SA, only the chimney has remained. Despite being the most emblematic element of the set as an example of the historical activity of the area that disappeared to give way to the Olympic Village, this type of industrial archeology is controversial. MFC writes: “Keeping pieces isolated and of little significance has happened in the time of 22 @, to preserve pieces of masonry, embedded within modern glass and steel constructions as if they were a surreal ornament. Now in the heritage catalog of the City Council [of Barcelona] there are a hundred protected industrial pieces, but some only have the name D, which means that once documented they can go to the ground. That’s what happened, saving the chimney of Can Folch, in the neighborhood of Icaria.
The origins of the company Folch, Albiñana i Cia on Avinguda Icària date back to 1882. The factory production system was steam and, as such, a chimney was built to extract the fumes produced by the combustion of coal. Despite being designed to install a flour mill, a distillery of industrial alcohols obtained from cereals ended up being built there. The 1893 was built an ice factory and, in 1898, finally housed a flour mill and warehouses.
Torre del Fang is a building originally dedicated to cultivation, the result of many transformations over time, and currently consists of a series of bodies that are enclosed in a courtyard open to the east. Although the current configuration is from the eighteenth century, with the characteristic gallery on the floor forming an attic in the main body, some parts of the building, as well as decorative elements, date back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in particular the numerous windows, both those of the simple lobed profile like those more ornamented with pairs of heads doing of permodules. It is a work protected as a Cultural Asset of Local Interest. Located in the Sant Martí district, the Torre del Fang is located at the southwest junction of Clot and Esponcedra streets. It is the manor house of a disused agricultural estate and detached from the old lands due to the effect of the urbanization process in the area. It consists of a set of volumes attached around a courtyard of an agricultural nature.
The original construction, of medieval origin and square in plan, is absorbed by the current higher central volume. This one has the plant in the form of her and cover to four waters. From this body appear rectangular terraced bodies with independent sloping roofs. The arrangement of these bodies forms a courtyard open to the east currently without a fence due to some works. Access to the building is from the central volume on the south face and very close to the corner.
From the twentieth century onwards, structural consolidation works began as a result of the construction of the LAV, Barcelona-French Border, and some additions without heritage value were demolished. It is in this framework of action where, in 2009, an archaeological excavation was carried out documenting the first square tower from the second half of the fifteenth century. The same intervention showed that later, between the end of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century, the first body was attached to the tower, which has a rectangular plan. From that moment and uninterruptedly until the 19th century, bodies were added to the tower, until it reached its current appearance.
he Rec Comtal de Barcelona was a hydraulic structure of the first magnitude that lasted until the 19th century as one of the main water suppliers in the city, which was used for irrigation and also in its use of force to operate the various mills. built along its layout. It is a work protected as a Cultural Asset of Local Interest.
The remains of the Rec Comtal, as it passes through the Sant Andreu district, are on undeveloped land between Fernando Pessoa (formerly Coronel Monasterio) and Andana de l’Estació streets, next to Palomar street. These remains are completely covered by vegetation. The only visible element is a lowered arch bridge over the Rec canal made of irregular stone joined with mortar and brick at the top and arch. Only one side of the bridge is preserved. An archaeological excavation was carried out in 2004 where the remains of a section of a Roman aqueduct and the structures of a medieval mill came to light, but none of this is currently visible due to the construction of a school-workshop on the site where they were located.
Poblenou Center Park
The Poblenou Center Park is located in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona, in the Provençals del Poblenou neighborhood, which gives it its name. It is located in the so-called District 22 @, an area dedicated to the new economic and technological sectors aimed at development and innovation. It was created in 2008 with a project by the French architect Jean Nouvel, also the author of the Torre Agbar skyscraper in Plaça de las Glorias Catalanas, very close to this park.
The park has a triangular shape, in the space formed by Avenida Diagonal and the streets of Bac de Roda and Marroc, within which it is divided into three areas formed by the intersection of the streets of Bilbao and Espronceda -transversely- and that of Cristóbal de Moura – longitudinally. The park area is completely fenced in by high concrete walls covered with climbing plants, which isolate it from the surrounding noise, as Diagonal Avenue has a high traffic density. These walls regularly feature circular-shaped windows decorated with silhouettes of birds, and the access doors to the park are made of openwork grills in the shape of birds. It should be noted that the entrance arch of these doors is inspired by the one he designed Antoni Gaudí for the access to the Finca Miralles, in Sarrià.
Inside, the park is divided into various thematic spaces, created to evoke different sensations, where design and an avant-garde concept of green space planning predominate. The urban furniture stands out for the use of silver-colored metallic materials, generally with a pattern of circular holes drilled in the metal, both in chairs and benches, as well as lamps and other elements of the park. As for vegetation, a thousand trees, five thousand bushes and ten thousand climbing plants were planted, with the intention of providing abundant shade. At the time of its inauguration, Barcelona was going through a serious drought, so the irrigation system had to be conditioned, initially connected to the drinking water network. and drip irrigation pipes were installed connected to groundwater devices. This is how theweeping willows (Salix babylonica) chosen by Nouvel as the predominant species in the park, trees that need a lot of water. In contrast, grass occupies only 5% of the surface of the park.
Diagonal Mar Park
The Diagonal Mar Park is a public park in Barcelona located in the new district of Diagonal Mar i el Front Marítim of the Poblenou, in the district of Sant Martí. It is so named because it is located at the confluence of Avenida Diagonal – which crosses the city diagonally – with the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third largest urban park in the city – not counting the forestry ones – and also one of the most modern. It is the work of the architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, and was built between 1999 and 2002, being inaugurated on September 21 of that last year by the mayor Joan Clos. The land that the park occupies, plus others in the surroundings, in a total of 14 ha, belonged to the MACOSA metallurgical and railway material construction company – also known as Can Girona -, of which the memory of the tower of the waters in which the name “Besós” appears, for having previously belonged to a water company that intended to use the waters of the Besós river, which quickly became contaminated by the residues of the numerous industries in the area.
It is a park of modern design, in which different metallic structures that resemble tubular filigrees of whimsical shapes stand out, which as sculptural pieces dot the entire enclosure, and which at certain points hold large flower boxes made of colored ceramic, the work of the ceramist Antoni Cumella Vendrell. The park is divided into three areas, two smaller ones next to the littoral zone, both with a small pond, and a larger one that houses a larger lake, populated by ducks, geese and aquatic birds. A wooden bridge connects the two shores of the lake. There are several grass hills, one of which, called Magic MountainIt has some slides for children to descend on them. The banks are shaped like waves of the sea, and are called lungomare, an Italian word that means “walking by the sea.” The vegetation is made up of 51 different species of trees, among which a 150-year-old Canarian dragon tree stands out. The park also includes playgrounds for children, soccer and basketball fields, petanque courts and ping-pong tables.