Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona is one of the most popular and tourist places in the city, and a meeting point in the center easy to reach because of the amount of public transport that has stopped. This attraction of Barcelona connects the old town with the Eixample neighborhood, and it is also the point of origin of many important avenues of the city such as La Rambla, Passeig de Gracia or Portal del Angel.
Plaça Catalunya: from outside to inside
When the walls of Barcelona still surrounded the city, Plaça Catalunya was nothing more than an esplanade on the outskirts, in front of one of the main doors. From there, paths leading to the surrounding villages began. That is why it quickly became a place of open air markets and, therefore, a very busy place. Although not yet called Plaça Catalunya, that esplanade already predicted a promising future as a meeting place. Once the walls were demolished, it became part of the city definitively. In 1889, after the Universal Exposition of the previous year, the building permit was granted to the square, and was finely opened in 1927 by King Alfons XIII.
When the city was preparing for the International Exhibition of 1929, some of the most luxurious cafés, hotels and theaters in the city were located in this attraction of Barcelona. Over time they have been changing, but locals in Plaça Catalunya have always been a meeting place and literary and political gatherings.
Art and culture in Plaça Catalunya
Plaça Catalunya of Barcelona as well as being a meeting point for tourists and locals, is a good place to take a walk and contemplate the sculptures that are distributed throughout the square. You can find sculptures such as La Deessa, by Josep Clarà, a monument to Francesc Macià by Josep Maria Subirachs, the sculpture Els pastors of Pau Gargallo and other important sculptors such as Josep Llimona and Enric Casanova. There are also six sculptural groups surrounding the square that represent wisdom, work and the four Catalan capitals.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Plaça Catalunya was also a theater center with venues such as Bon Retir, Cercle Eqüestre Alegria or Teatre Barcelona. Now, the commercial activity is one of the great attractions of the square, and the commercial center El Triangle or the legendary Café Zurich are almost obligatory places of visit.
Plaça Catalunya, today
At the moment, Plaça Catalunya is much more than a meeting place. It is an attraction of Barcelona where there are all kinds of public events, concerts, citizen events, fairs, shows... It is a multipurpose space that welcomes activities for all tastes and for all ages. One of the most media manifestations was that of May 2011, when a large group of citizens camped there to protest against the passivity of the political class. There were also celebrations when Barça won the Spanish Football League. And now that we leave behind Christmas, there was a Fair of responsible Consumption and social and solidarity Economy, recreational and sports activities for children and a show of puppets for the whole family. If you want to discover this and other attractions in Barcelona, reserve one of our e-bike tours right now!