Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Barcelona: Plaça de Catalunya Area

Plaça de Catalunya is considered the centre of Barcelona 
and is where the old centre meets the new. 
It is the starting point for 
Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla and Portal de l'Àngel, 
streets always crowded with residents and visitors. 
Around the square you have some large department stores 
including El Corte Inglés, FNAC and Habitat, other shops, cafés, bars and banks.

The square's large central space holds one-off concerts, 
public celebrations and a variety of activities. 
The square is notable for its sculptures, which were created by important artists, 
such as Josep Clarà's Goddess; the Francesc Macià monument by Josep Maria Subirachs; Pau Gargallo's Shepherds, 
and other works by Josep Llimona and Enrique Casanovas.

The origin of Plaça de Catalunya was the 1859 Pla Rovira, 
although the city council did not get permission to build it until the end of 1889, 
after Pere Falqués won the competition for its construction, 
at the Universal Exhibition of 1888. 
The foundations, considered of great urban value, 
extended to the shopping galleries on Avinguda de la Llum, 
today the basement of the El Triangle shopping centre. 

Until the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), 
its cafés and restaurants (Maison Dorée, Colón, Lluna, Suís) 
were centres of literary and political discussion. 
It was also an area of theatres such as the Bon Retir, Circ Eqüestre Alegria, Eldorado Concert and Teatre Barcelona.

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