La Plaça del Diamant is a square in Gràcia, Barcelona. Made famous by the book of the same name by Mercè Redoreda i Gurgui, this is one of Gràcia's best-loved public spaces, which has an interesting history.
How to Get There: It's easily accessed from the Fontana Metro Station, served by the Green Line. Read more about the Barcelona Metro.
Plaça del Diamant History
The square was constructed in around 1860. The land belonged to a jewel tycoon called Josep Rossell. In honour of his trade the area was given names related to jewellery, hence the name of the square, 'Plaza of the Diamond'.
During the Spanish Civil War Gràcia was a hive of political subterfuge and anti-state sentiments. An anti-aircraft refuge was constructed here as in many other squares in Gràcia. Unlike the other squares, Plaza del Diamant's is still intact. There are plans to turn the underground base into a museum.
Plaça del Diamant and Literature
On one side of the square is a statue of a woman waving her hands in the air in desperation. This sculpture is by Xavier Medina Campeny and is called La Colometa, or The Little Dove. It's the name of the main character in Mercè Rodoreda's 1962 novel, La Plaça del Diamant.
The novel is about a young lady growing up on the square during the strife of the Spanish Civil War. The English translation of the novel is called The Time of the Doves.
Plaça del Diamant and The Gràcia Festival
If you want to discover the political spirit of rebellious Gràcia right up close then visit the Plaça del Diamant during the Gràcia Festival in mid-august. While the rest of the barrio is festooned in decorations and everyone is having a great time, Plaça del Diamant becomes the unofficial stage for anyone with ideological grievances to declare, from peace activists to squatters, anarchists and Catalan nationalists. The resulting demonstrations often spiral into stand-offs with the police. Especially on the closing night of the Festival.
Getting to Barcelona: Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport, and Renfe trains connect from all other major Spanish cities to Sants Estacio.