Passeig de Gràcia
The Passeig de Gràcia is one of the most luxurious streets in the city, where the elite of the bourgeoisie in the golden age of Catalan Art Nouveau lived, what got this famous street to become an Art Nouveau architectural showcase of incredible magnitude.
The architectural heritage left by the Catalan bourgeoisie to the city of Barcelona is therefore one of the main attractions of Passeig de Gràcia.
Accompanying the bourgeois residences and being part of the luxury wealthy, the Passeig de Gràcia is in turn one of the showcases of top luxury brands in the city, compared to only a stretch from Diagonal Avenue, possibly the street which more competition can make to it in this regard.
A wide sidewalk on each side of this wonderful avenue of Barcelona, invites you to stroll through the kilometer and a half long enjoying much commerce and the best architecture.
Architecture in Passeig de Gràcia
As mentioned above, this avenue of Barcelona is rich in Nouveau buildings, as coincided commissions from the wealthiest bourgeoisie with the great architects of Catalan Art Nouveau.
Below you have a small summary of the buildings you'll find if you take a stroll through this luxurious avenue.
The Block of Discord
To mention the buildings you'll find on Passeig de Gràcia we will start by the so-called Block of Discord. It is a city block, in which three of the leading architects of that time competed to see which of their buildings was the most beautiful.
The Block of Discord is comprised between the Aragó and Consell de Cent streets and although the Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi, Casa Lleó Morera by Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, are best known, this block located approximately halfway up Passeig de Gràcia also includes Casa Mulleras by Enric Sagnier and Casa Bonet by Marcel.lià Coquillat.
The Casa Batlló
It is one of the highlights of the Passeig de Gràcia and one of the most photographed buildings in Barcelona.
Beautiful during the day but even more impressive when illuminated at dusk, the Casa Batlló is a must see if you come to Barcelona.
If you're not particularly enthusiastic about architecture, it is also worth to pass in front of it as the facade of the Casa Batlló is really spectacular.
If you are a fan of Art Nouveau or of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, you should consider seriously purchase tickets to visit it inside, since being in Barcelona becomes a golden opportunity to visit this building of the internationally admired Antoni Gaudí.
Adjacent to the work of Gaudí, but rival architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch rises the Amatller House belonging to the family of the industrialist Antoni Amatller.
If you want, you can visit the ground floor of this beautiful building that combines Catalan Gothic with flemish architecture.
Casa Lleó Morera
On the corner of the block facing the Consell de Cent street, is located the Lleó Morera House, another jewel of the Block of Discord, designed by the Art Nouveau architect Lluís Domenech i Montaner.
The Casa Lleó Morera opened its doors to the public for visiting its interiors.
Former Casa Torroella, this building was designed by the architect Jaume Brossa although the facade was restored by Coquillat i Llofriu commissioned by Josefina Bonet in 1915.
The Union and the Phoenix building
At the height of the Diputació street, you'll find a building from the architect Eusebi Bona i Puig, concretely the building of the Union and the Phoenix.
This building highlights are, its fabulous sculptures and its dome with the Phoenix at the top.
The Casa Malagrida offers a mixture of Catalan and Argentine details like the Andean condor and the Pyrenean eagle on his front door, because the tobacco industrialist Manuel Malagrida commissioned this building in Passeig de Gràcia after making a fortune in Argentina and returning back to Catalonia in 1913.
La Pedrera, Casa Milà
Casa Milà, also called La Pedrera is a singular building designed by the Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí. It is undoubtedly another gem of Passeig de Gràcia.
Declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, now houses an important cultural reference in Barcelona, providing spaces for exhibitions and cultural activities.
It is a bit above from the Block of Discord and Gaudí or architecture enthusiasts should not overlook it under any circumstances.
You can also visit this wonderful building inside.
Benches and lampposts on Passeig de Gràcia
The benches which you see in this wonderful avenue of Barcelona are built using the characteristic Catalan Art Nouveau mosaic. The technique, called Trencadís lies in using ceramic fragments to cover a surface and has been widely used in the Catalan Art Nouveau. A clear example of Trencadís can be seen in the Park Güell.
These benches in Passeig de Gràcia are the work of the Art Nouveau architect Pere Falqués i Urpí, like the lampposts you will find along the street. In fact they’re called benches-lamps (bancs-fanals in Catalan), as the lamp and the bench that supports it, are both part of the same artistic element.
In the decade of the 70’s there were added in the corners of the Passeig de Gràcia, other benches that instead of the lampposts included a gardener at its center. These banks are inspired by the originals from Pere Falqués.
The Antoni Gaudí tiles. The floor of Passeig de Gràcia
The floor tiles in the sidewalks of Passeig de Gràcia are very special.
There were designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and were initially intended to be used in the Casa Batllo floor, although they eventually fill the sidewalks of this beautiful avenue of Barcelona.
Commerce in Passeig de Gràcia
It is one of the crowded streets by tourists and it is located on city center. This makes it, to increase the number of international fashion brands established in this Barcelona avenue.
You'll find headquarters of large chains and brands such as Zara, Mango, Desigual, Massimo Dutti, Levis or Benetton.
You will also find classic luxury brands such as Rolex, Loewe, Louis Vuitton and Chanel to mention a few, as well as some jewelry.
The Passeig de Gràcia is also a reputed place for the so-called world of business, therefore, bank offices, insurance companies, law firms, etc. are quite common in this street and its surroundings.
Museum of Perfume
At number 39 of this street is the Regia Perfumery, in addition to selling perfumes, it houses the Perfume Museum of Barcelona.
This museum opened in order to expose to the public the evolution of perfume bottles and containers through history and geography.
In its showcases they expose bottles from ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Etruscans, Romans, Arabs and from other ancient cultures to modern creations of nowadays.
Egyptian Museum of Barcelona
It is on Valencia Street at the height of Passeig de Gràcia and it is a visit that you should seriously consider if you are keen on archeology or enthusiastic of ancient Egyptian civilization.
In this museum belonging to the Joan Clos Foundation, dedicated to the study and spreading of ancient Egypt, you will see real sarcophagi, mummies of both humans and animals, art, jewelry and many everyday objects of this impressive ancient civilization.
The Palau Robert is an exhibition center of over one thousand square meters. It is housed in a neoclassical building on the top of Passeig de Gracia, adjacent to Diagonal Avenue.
In the building there is also a tourist office where you can get information about Catalonia.
It is a private non-profit organization that provides spaces for exhibitions related to the art of Josep Suñol.
The collection consists of works by Picasso, Dali and Miro among many other international authors.
Bars, restaurants and tapas
As expected, in Passeig de Gràcia there can not lack places to have a coffee, a bite to eat, a lunch or a snack.
Throughout the whole street, you will find many cafes, terraces and tapas restaurants where you can regain strength if you have been long time walking around the city.
Some of these places are of excellent quality, yet many of them are tourist-oriented and especially the terraces may not be the cheapest places to have a beer. But usually, although they are not cheap prices, the value is acceptable.
If you choose to sit on a terrace, watch your belongings as there are just the areas that are frequented by tourists which more risk of theft and jerks may suffer.
How to get to Passeig de Gràcia
You will have it easy to find this wonderful avenue of Barcelona because it is one of the most tourist streets in town.
If you are in Catalonia Square, you just have to locate the Corte Inglés. Passeig de Gràcia is the street that passes in front of these department stores and which leads to the north.
You have a metro station called Passeig de Gràcia where the L3 and L4 subway lines stop and commuter and middle distance trains, including the train line to go to the airport and the one that goes to Figueres where the Dali Museum is.
By the way, one of the exits of this train station is right in front of the Casa Batllo in the Block of Discord. This Metro and train station is about halfway up the street.
Other metro station that can be good for you to go by public transport to Passeig de Gràcia is the one in Catalonia Square with L1 and L3 metro lines, so you can start your tour at the bottom of this Nouveau street, or the one which bears the name Diagonal with L3 and L5 metro lines, so you will start at the higher side as this station is between Rossello street and Diagonal avenue.
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