Metro: Passeig de Gracia, Diagonal
Essential: Sunset from the Pedrera’s roof terrace
Famous for: the Sagrada Familia
In three words: graceful, elegant, extensive
Barcelona’s most extensive and most populated area. A geometric grid which goes from the Gothic Quarter until Gracia. It lies on both sides of Passeig de Gracia. To make it easier, the Catalans divded the Eixample into the ‘Esquerra’ and ‘Dreta’ (meaning literally the left and right). It is an elegant residential and business centre by day and a quiet, calm place at night. The apartments Eixample Barcelona are traditionally decorated in Catalan bourgeoisie style and situated in characteristic elegant buildings. In the Eixample, the only imperative is to walk looking up to for the surprises offered by modernist architecture on every street & corner.
HISTORY: The Eixample area appeared in the XIX century as a consequence of the industrial expansion and demographic boom which created a need for more residential areas beyond the medieval walls of the city. Eixample in Catalan literally means expansion. Ildefonso Cerdá was in charge of the design of the area, although the final result does not completely reflect the original plan. At the beginning of the 1900s the area became the Catalan modernist centre with its most outstanding examples in an area known as the Golden Quarter (‘Quadrat d’or’).
ATMOSPHERE: The Eixample is certainly an elegant part of town. Its buildings are beautiful, there are luxury boutiques and exclusive restaurants. During the day the area is buzzing with activity; people, offices and shops, whereas by night it is a calm place.
PLACES: With its large surface, Eixample comprises an impressive list of main sights. It all starts with Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, perhaps the most striking architectural feature of Barcelona. Mysterious for its own history, inconclusive and asymmetrical, leaving much to the imagination. It is the perfect place to feel and breathe Gaudí. In the Passeig de Gracia there are Battló and Mila houses (better known as La Pedrera): the first one, at No. 35, was designed with a zoomorphic idea of fantastic shapes. The facades mixed sandstone, ceramic, leaving sinuous edges, through colors and lines. La Pedrera owes its nickname to the rough stone facade. It is located at No. 92 of Paseig: its structural forms and interiors are a celebration of the curved line and clearly remind of waves. This part of the Eixample is known as the Apple of Discord, because in the same block are concentrated, besides the Gaudi houses, other important works of Catalan modernism: the House Lleo Morera by Domenech i Montaner and Amatller House by Puig i Cadafalch. And also the Egyptian Museum and the Park Foundation Joan Miró and Antoni Tapies: a cultural center and museum in honor of the artist. In conclusion, there is an incredible world to see, the only problem is that time won’t ever be enough!
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