Eixample was developed in the second half of the 19th century in order to cope with the expansion of Barcelona's medieval walls by Ildefons Cerdà. Originally, he planned a grid structure for the streets, where all crossings should turn into little squares where children could play. It should have accomodated people of all kinds of background. This was never realized. The streets are square but the crossings are just spacious crossings, while the neighbourhood developed into a fancy area for the rich. The latter could afford Modernista architects which turned some of the buildings into unique architectural marvels.
Eixample, meaning extension in Catalan, now is not the outskirt of Barcelona but a neighbourhood bordering the city's centre. It is a very pleasant area to walk around in, with spacious streets with trees, and architectural surprised waiting around many corners. The obvious architectural attractions are on the Passeig the Gràcia, and many have turned from private hands into commercial ones, housing banks, offices, and expensive shops. Eixample is world famous for being the first model of urban planning, and has had its share of controversy.
In easy walking distance from the Plaça de Catalunya, the area is almost a must-see for every visitor to Barcelona. It houses some of the prime examples of Gaudi architecture, as well as some of his less famous Modernista colleagues. Apart from that, it is pleasant to walk around in, and once of the Passeig the Gràcia which attracts most visitors, you can spend a nice time walking and exploring the wonders of Eixample.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Eixample (Spain). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Eixample.
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