Passeig de Gràcia is a boulevard in Barcelona's Eixample district, running from Plaça Catalunya to Avinguda Diagonal and the edge of Gràcia. The boulevard boasts over 150 protected buildings, including some of the city's greatest modernist architecture. This has led to the area centred on Passeig de Gràcia becoming known as the Quadrat d'Or, or 'golden square mile'.
The beauty of the avenue is also enhanced by its plane trees and Art Nouveau street lamps, as well as pedestrian strips laid with ornate hexagonal paving stones.
History of Passeig de Gràcia
There was a path here on Passeig de Gràcia as long ago as Roman times. It led to Via Augusta, the main Roman road, then outside the city walls. It continued to remain outside the walls of the city throughout the medieval period, until the eixample or 'expansion' of Barcelona beyond its medieval limits in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the late 19th century, the bourgeoisie, rich from Barcelona's emerging wool and textile industries, bankrolled ambitious architectural projects to furnish the new area, which led to the extraordinary variety of modernist architecture today visible in Eixample. Nowhere is there a greater accumulation of this architecture than along Passeig de Gràcia.
La Mançana de la Discòrdia
Meaning the 'apple of discord', a reference to a momentous showdown between the fairest beauties in ancient Greek legend, this nickname furnishes one block - block is also 'mançana' in Catalan - of artistic genius perhaps unrivalled anywhere else in the city, where Barcelona's most celebrated trio of modernist architects do battle directly with each other.
The buildings are Josep Puig i Cadafelch's Casa Amatller, Lluís Domènech i Montaner's Casa Lleò Morera and Gaudí's Casa Batlló, each within a few steps of the other. Just across the street from Casa Batllò is another Gaudí opus, Casa Mila, commonly referred to as La Pedrera (The Quarry), for reasons obvious in its carved-out appearance.
If you want to find out more about the area's modernist architecture head to the tourist information office on Plaça Catalunya.
Passeig de Gràcia's immense style and elegance means it's a magnet for the top fashion stores. Zara, Loewe, Chanel, Adolfo Dominguez, Yves Saint Laurent, Escada and Hermès all have addresses here.
How to Get there: Passeig de Gràcia is served by Passeig de Gràcia Metro station (yellow, purple and green lines).
Getting To Barcelona: Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport, and Renfe trains connect from all other major Spanish cities to Sants Estaciò.