What to visit / Day itineraries / A day in Barcelona / Plaça de Catalunya

Plaça de Catalunya

This lively square is the heart of Barcelona and it's beating strongly. A favourite meeting point, it's also the geographical space that separates the districts of Ciutat Vella and the Eixample. Steeped in history, the Plaça de Catalunya is the nerve centre of the Catalan capital.

The Plaça Catalunya, with its large shopping centres and department stores, is constantly teeming with people. It is Barcelona's most central area and a favourite meeting place for locals and visitors. It also connects the Eixample and the old town.

The plaza was opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1927 and covers an area of 5 hectares. The site was formerly an open piece of land located in front of the gates to the walled city. The architects Pere Falqués, Puig i Cadafalch and Francesc de Paula Nebot were involved in its planning, and it also features sculptures by such well-known artists as Clarà and Llimona. There are six sculptural groups around the plaza: they represent the four Catalan capital cities, wisdom and labour. On one corner of the plaza you can see Josep Maria Subirachs' monument to the president of the Catalan Government, Francesc Macià. When the city was preparing for the 1929 International Exhibition, some of new Barcelona's most luxurious hotels, bars and theatres were built around the plaza. Almost none of them survive, except for the memory of names such as the Maison Dorée, the Colón and the Suís.

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