Up until the end of the 19th century, the neighborhood of Gracia was an independent village, lying outside the city walls. While those days are long gone, the area’s small buildings and rich cultural and artistic life still show signs of its authentic small-town legacy.
From one end to end to another, Modernism is ever-present in Gràcia, bearing the inimitable print of Antoni Gaudí, who left his mark on the northern end of the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, with the Casa Fuster, to the splendid Casa Vicens, the Llibertat Market, and of course, Park Güell, which watches over the neighborhood from its highest point.
The Rambla del Prat is the principal Modernist thoroughfare, with impressive residential palaces and many thrilling details to discover, like the faces sculpted by Pau Gargallo on the façade of the Bosc Theatre, depicting masters of Catalan drama, like Picasso and Nonell.
The Plaça del Diamant, which lent its name to one of the most popular works in Catalan literature, written by Mercè Rodoreda, sums up the spirit of the residents of Gràcia, who each year pull off one of Spain’s oldest, funnest, and most creative festivals; every August, the streets are decked out in fantastical decorations designed and installed by the residents themselves.
In a sense, Gràcia is a collection of interspersed public plazas. There’s the Plaça de Vila de Gracia, with its magnificent bell tower, decorated in signs from the Zodiac; the Plaça del Sol, brimming with lively cafés and restaurants; or Plaça de la Revolució, which leads right into Carrer Verdi, one of the district’s most exciting shopping streets, and winding up in the central Plaça de la Virreina.
If there’s one thing that sets Gràcia apart from other zones in the city, it’s that its nightlife is on par with the exciting cultural things going on all day.
Vallcarca i els Penitents, El Coll, La Salut, Vila de Gràcia, El Camp d’en Grassot & Gràcia Nova.