Plaza Catalunya: the heart of the city of Barcelona

What is there to do in Plaza Catalunya? Believe it or not, there are many things
Image courtesy of Martijn Vonk (, all rights reserved.

We know, Plaza Catalunya is usually an unattractive place to stay, and for this reason it is basically a place to pass through. But all is not lost, because in this opportunity we want to tell you about some hidden treasures in its surroundings, do you want to know what they are? We’ll tell you all about it, below!

And we are not going to talk about the most popular attractions such as Gaudi or La Rambla or its tributaries such as Paseo de Gracia or Portal del Angel. These are excellent options to do something different in this area, and we assure you that it is not about shopping in one of the malls that surround it.

Interesting places in Plaza Catalunya (or very close to it)

How about a delicious coffee in Dalston? (Carrer de les Ramelleres, 16)

Yes, it’s a tiny coffee shop, but you don’t have to be disappointed by that. Because here they serve one of the most delicious specialty coffees -roasted by themselves- in the area. Dalston emerged in 2017 and since then has become a benchmark for coffee lovers, even better if you accompany it with any of its options in pastries and sandwiches.

Comedy Cinemas

Surely this option is not new to you, but it is worth reminding you that just a few steps from Plaza Catalunya there is a cinema where you only have to pay 5 euros to enter. In addition, you can find commercial and independent films.

Visit the Gourmet Cafeteria La Plaça

The Cafeteria Gourmet La Plaça is a spectacular place to eat located in the heart of Barcelona’s most emblematic square, Plaza de Catalunya. At Cafeteria Gourmet La Plaça they serve an upscale version of traditional Spanish dishes, such as paella and tapas, as well as international favorites, such as burgers and pasta. The menu offers mouth-watering dishes that are sure to satisfy any appetite.

A coffee at Café Zurich

Café Zurich in Barcelona’s Plaza Catalunya is a charming coffee shop that provides a relaxing getaway for any coffee lover. Nestled in a bustling location, this café is a beautiful and classic space where customers can enjoy unique drinks and a variety of snacks.

Do you know the history of Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona?

Plaza de Cataluña is a central square located in the heart of Barcelona that has become an emblematic place in the city. Its history dates back to the end of the 19th century, when it was inaugurated on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Barcelona. Since then, the square has undergone several transformations and urbanization projects, becoming a bustling center of activity where locals and tourists gather to enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the city. In this article we will delve into the fascinating history of Plaza de Cataluña, exploring its architecture, location and cultural significance. Join us on this journey through time and discover the secrets hidden in one of Barcelona’s most beloved monuments.

Opening of Plaza de Catalunya

On November 2, 1927, King Alfonso XIII ceremoniously inaugurated the newly built and long awaited public square. This event marked the culmination of a long-term urban planning project and attracted numerous high-ranking officials and onlookers.

The grand opening of the plaza ushered in a new and exciting era for the city, as it had been designed to act as a melting pot for locals and tourists alike. Soon after, the area was bustling with activity, and banks, hotels, bars and restaurants sprang up to serve the growing number of visitors. It also became a popular venue for political rallies and demonstrations, due to its central location and convenient accessibility.

The inauguration of the public square was a crucial moment in Barcelona’s history and today remains a prominent landmark of the city. Its wide open spaces, amenities and lively atmosphere make it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Urbanization of Plaza de Catalunya

The modernization of the area in front of the city gates was a remarkable period in Barcelona’s history. In 1902 the transformation process began, and in 1929 new modifications were made on the occasion of the Barcelona International Exposition. The mission was to modernize the region and turn it into an important communications hub and trade center.

The renovation of the area was a remarkable feat of architecture and engineering. The architect Francesc de Paula Nebot was the mastermind behind the changes made in 1929. Among other things, a subway station was built connecting the square to other parts of the city. In addition, fountains, benches and lampposts were added to improve the attractiveness and practicality of the area.

The urbanization of the precinct was a turning point in the urban progress of Barcelona. It went from open land to a bustling hub of activity, with banks, hotels, bars and restaurants springing up soon after its completion. Today, the area is one of the most emblematic symbols of the city, representing its long history and dynamic culture.

Architecture of Plaza de Catalunya

This stunning area is famous for its architecture, which has been remodeled over the years to reflect ever-changing trends and styles. An outstanding figure in this regard is Francesc de Paula Nebot, who designed the modifications for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. Their influence can still be seen today, as many of the structures in the area show the characteristics of the popular Art Nouveau and Modernism movements of that era. This has resulted in a striking mix of old and new architecture.

In addition, the city’s past is also reflected in the architecture. A few blocks away is the Gothic Quarter, whose buildings boast a medieval heritage. This influence is obvious in the ornate sculptures and intricate designs that adorn many of the nearby buildings. Early 20th century modernist architecture is also visible, with bold geometric shapes and bright colors embedded in some of the newer structures.

The area is further enhanced by the multitude of sculptures scattered throughout the site. These works of art have been made by some of the most renowned artists of the time, such as Josep Clarà, Frederic Marès and Josep Subirachs. Each sculpture tells its own story, which contributes to the overall appeal of the area. Some notable examples are the monument to Francesc Macià, designed by Josep Maria Jujol, and the fountain of the Three Graces, designed by Jaume Barba.

In addition, the area stands out for its size. With an area of 5 hectares, it is one of the largest open spaces in the city. This considerable expanse of land provides the perfect backdrop for a variety of activities, from concerts and festivals to political rallies and protests. Visitors can also take a break from the busy streets and simply relax and appreciate the beautiful surroundings.

Location and area of Plaza de Catalunya

Located in the epicenter of the city, the emblematic monument of Plaza de Cataluña is a bustling hub for locals and tourists alike. Covering an area of 5 hectares, it houses various elements and landmarks, such as its iconic fountains and sculptures, and extensive gardens and walkways. Its central location provides easy access to a multitude of stores, restaurants and other attractions in the area.

Plaza de Cataluña has a historical past and is steeped in cultural significance. It was inaugurated in 1888 on the occasion of the Universal Exposition of Barcelona, and underwent several modifications over the years, including its urbanization in 1902 and subsequent modifications in 1929. Through these changes, the square has played an important role in the growth of Barcelona as a city.

Today, this vibrant public space is the ideal place to experience all that Barcelona has to offer. Stroll through its gardens, explore its many attractions, or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. Whether you are visiting the city for the first time or you are a seasoned Barcelonian, Plaza de Cataluña will leave a lasting impression.

The First Neighbor of the Plaza de Catalunya

Manuel Gibert i Sans, an influential figure in the culture and economy of the city, was the first to take up residence near the now famous public square. President of the Liceo and the Barcelona-Mataró railroad, he was a symbol of the prestige of the area. His old house is still standing, although renovated, and is a testimony to the history of the square.

Gibert i Sans was not only a prominent businessman, but also a patron of the arts. He was a member of numerous cultural organizations, such as the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi, contributing to the growth of cultural and intellectual activities in the city during its period of transformation. Their presence was a sign of Barcelona’s growing importance on the world stage.

Today, the once grandiose Gibert i Sans building still displays its elegant façade and spacious interior, reminding us of its past. Although it is now surrounded by modern buildings and busy streets, the legacy of its first inhabitant remains. The history of the square is a reminder of Barcelona’s important cultural heritage and its key role in the advancement of Spain and the rest of Europe.

In conclusion, Plaça de Catalunya is not just a central square in Barcelona, it is a historical landmark that has been modified and urbanized to meet the needs of the city and its inhabitants over the years. From its humble beginnings as an open lot to its current status as a bustling hub of activity, the square has always been a key part of Barcelona’s identity. Its sculptures, architecture and location continue to attract visitors and locals alike, reminding us of the rich history and culture that surrounds us. As we move forward, let us not forget the importance of preserving and celebrating the past, while creating a better future for generations to come.

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