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Go on a route around the squares

Plaza Catalunya

Plaza Catalunya is the most central spot in Barcelona. Surrounded by the large buildings of the shopping centres, it is the main meeting point for citizens and visitors to the city.

It was inaugurated in 1927 by King Alfonso XII and occupies an area of 5 hectares.

The plaza is surrounded by six sculptures representing the four Catalan capitals, labour and wisdom. At one end of the plaza, is a monument to former Catalan president, Francesc Macià, and is the work of Subirachs.

  • Address: Plaza Catalunya

  • Buses: 9, 16, 17, 24, 41, 42, 55, 58, 66, 67, 68, 141

  • Metro: Catalunya (L1 and L3)

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Plaza Real

The plaza is situated on the former site of a Capuchin monastery which was destroyed in 1835. Barcelona City Council initially allocated the space to build a theatre, which operated from 1842 to 1848. It closed following the construction of the Liceu Theatre in 1847 and it was decided to create a plaza on the site, designed by the architect Francesc Daniel Molina i Casamajó in 1848, with the aim of exalting the monarchy.

Today it is one of Barcelona’s most distinctive plazas, it being the only arcaded one in the city. In the middle of the plaza is the ‘Three Graces’ fountain, designed by Antoni Rovira i Trias. The fountains’ two source street lamps are the work of Antoni Gaudí. The royal palm trees around the plaza give it an exotic feel, and the plaza is enclosed by a number of arcaded and uniform stately buildings that were once home to important families in Barcelona.

The plaza was completely renovated in 1982.

These days it has a more bohemian atmosphere and is a meeting point for all kinds of people; as under its arcades you will find bars, restaurants and some of the city’s most popular night spots.

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  • Address: Off the Ramblas, going down on the left, just after Ferran street.

  • Buses: 14, 59, 91

  • Metro: Liceu (L3)

Plaza Sant Jaume

In 1823, the site was redeveloped and named Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Square), giving the plaza its current appearance. Today it is known as Plaza Sant Jaume. On opposite sides of the square stand two of the most important buildings in the city – the Palau de la Generalitat (the seat of the Catalan government) and the Ayuntamiento de Barcelona (Barcelona City Hall).

The plaza occupies the site of the city’s old Roman forum, intersected by the streets of Cardo (now the streets Llibreteria and Call) and Decumanus (now Bisbe, Ciutat and Regomir).

From the Cathedral, the plaza can be accessed via Bisbe Street, flanked by two Roman towers. Right above the middle of the street, is a false, Gothic-style bridge that connects the Palau de la Generalitat with the Casa dels Canonges (official residence of the Catalan President). The bridge was built in 1928 by the architect Joan Rubió i Bellver.

  • Address: Behind the Cathedral, in the Gótico neighbourhood.

  • Buses: 14, 17, 19, 38, 40, 45, 59

  • Metro: Jaume I (L4), Liceu (L3)

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Plaça Universitat

Many important streets meet at this plaza, namely Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Ronda Universitat, Tallers and Pelai.

The plaza owes its name to the Central University of Barcelona, designed by the architect Elies Rogent and built in the Catalan Romanesque style.

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  • Address: At the intersection of Ronda Universitat, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Tallers and Pelai.

  • Buses: 14, 16, 17, 21, 24, 38, 41, 55, 59, 67, 68, 100

  • Metro: Universitat (L1)

Plaza España

This new plaza was created for the 1929 Universal Exhibition in order to develop the space. It was designed by Puig i Cadafalch, who opted for a classic style with Baroque influences, with the intention of impressing visitors coming for the Exhibition.

The plaza became a gateway to the city’s trade fair ground (Fira de Barcelona) and architect Jujol built a fountain filled with sculptures in the centre of it.

The square contains the former bullring, Las Arenas, now converted into a shopping centre. From its viewpoint we have magnificent views of the Fira de Mostres (trade fair ground), which holds some of the biggest fairs in the city; the two Venetian towers, an imitation of those in the Piazza San Marco in Venice; and, at the end of Maria Cristina Avenue, we have the National Palace with the Magic Fountain at its feet.

  • Address: Intersection of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Av. Paral·lel, Creu Coberta, and Av. Reina Maria Cristina.

  • Buses: D20, H12, H16, V7, 13, 23, 27, 37, 46, 50, 65, 79, 91, 109, 150, 165

  • Buses: D20, H12, H16, V7, 13, 23, 27, 37, 46, 50, 65, 79, 91, 109, 150, 165

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