Category Archives: Gracia
The old and the new
As Gràcia was absorbed into the expanding ¨new¨ Barcelona of the latter 1800s, its old town square adopted a rather priapic clock tower, its most striking -pardon the pun- architectural feature, facing the town hall on its southern side.
Vila de Gràcia is very much a local square where residents of all ages and backgrounds sit out on sunny days to chat, play chess, kick footballs around or enjoy a drink at one of the several outdoor cafés. Its character has not changed much in recent years and it has a more tranquil and less bohemian feeling than other parts of the district, as it isn’t in the thick of the cosmopolitan shopping, artistic and gastronomic experience further up across Travessera de Gràcia. It is the ideal place to stop off and relax and let your kids run around while visiting this part of Gràcia.
Plaça Vila de Gràcia is only a ten minute walk from the Diagonal and the upper part of Passeig de Gràcia, and therefor not far from some of the most notable modernista houses such as Casa Fuster, Palau Robert, Palau Baró de Quadras and Casa Terrades, the House of Spikes
Gràcia, once a village outside Barcelona, has been enveloped by the city to become one of the most cosmopolitan and trendy neighbourhoods, like Paris´s Montmartre. With many of its streets pedestrianised and leafy squares dotted around, it maintains the charm of a small town and is the ideal place to enjoy the city´s life away from the noise of the traffic and still explore the delights of the café life, food from around the world and small specialist shops and boutiques, antiquarians and art galleries.
Lying between the Diagonal to the South and Parc Güell to the North, this vibrant residential quarter, home to artists, artisans, designers and architects, has unspoilt old style cafés, small grocer’s shops, boutiques, theatres, galleries, barber’s shops, jazz joints, pubs and restaurants – a veritable feast for the senses. Its markets have a much more authentic feeling than the Boquería on the Ramblas and its squares are teeming with life, young and old, dog owners, groups, cyclists and pedestrians mingling and meeting to share the relaxed atmosphere.
Best known of Gràcia’s attractions is Parc Güell, designed by Gaudí and housing within its grounds a museum – his former home and built in his unique style – dedicated to his life and works and with furniture of his own design. The whole park is a fairytale landscape with caves and grottos, stone colonnades, terraces and benches in bright mosaics and sweeping lines, including the fantastical roofs of the entrance buildings at its lower part and figures of monstrous reptiles. From the upper part of the park you can enjoy views over Barcelona down to the port and the sea beyond.
Parc de la Creueta del Coll
Address: Passeig Mare de Déu del Coll, 77
Located not far from the upper part of Parc Güell, this public park, converted from a former quarry, has a public bathing pool and is popular with Gràcia residents as a place to relax, with picnic and play areas. Pride of place is occupied by the fountain-sculpture In Praise of Water by the internationally renowned Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida.
Address: Carolines 24 – An Oriental extravaganza and one of Gaudí’s first works as an architect, this building’s façade decorated with ceramic tiles and cast iron balcony railings are a feast of colour and form.