Plaza Catalonia Barcelona

Plaza de Catalonia (Placa de Catalunya in Catalan) is the largest and most central open space in Barcelona, recently refurbished, the Plaza de las Glories Catalanes square is Europe’s largest and has an area of about 5 hectares. The tile in the center of the plaza was repaired during the remodelling of the Centro Comercial El Triangle in 2008.

Until they broke down the walls, the space currently occupied by the plaza was an esplanade on the outskirts of the city, located just opposite one of the main gates, where the roads left the city and went to the surrounding villages. This became the ideal place for open air markets, and it quickly became a focus of city life.

Subsequently, the walls toppled and the planners began to build the Ensanche Ildefons designed by Cerda. Cerda’s urban plan did not include any place where the Plaza de Catalonia is now, according to his plan for the Gothic Quarter.  Just as other cores of ancient people of Barcelona were relegated to peripheral areas, the new centre should be a central location with good transport links, such as Plaza de las Glories Catalanes.

Cerda designed this with the desire to be the new centre, right at the junction of the main roads of the city, Avenida Diagonal, Gran Via de las Cortes Catalanes and Meridiana Avenue. Unlike the Cerda plan, Plan Rovira 1859, was preferred by the City and the bourgeoisie of the city provided a great forum.

The inertia of the use that was given to this area, combined with the fact that it had become the Plaza de las Glories Catalanes and was only a field away from construction, occupied the site of the Plaza de Catalonia with cafes, theatres and fairground stalls.

In 1862 the City Council requested that they began to urbanize the square, but official permission was not granted until 1889, after the Universal Exhibition of 1888, when it won a contest called Pere Falques. In 1892 the land was expropriated, houses and other buildings were built in the middle of the space that had been formed by the demolition of the walls in 1858, a space that was already known as the Plaza de Catalonia.

The first stage of development (two-way shaped blade and a circular plaza at its point of intersection) was launched in 1902. The second phase was initiated during the International Exhibition of 1929.  The first draft in 1923, was by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and finally the establishment of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, was replaced by Francesc Nebot.

A project almost identical to Puig was established and replaced obelisco.  It was built by the modernist architect and consisted of a temple with columns, but it was never completed, for which Nebot resigned, being replaced by Llansó Joaquim, Josep Maria Nicolau and Cabestany Rubió i Tudurí. The square was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII on November 2, 1927.

The plaza is a shopping and service area of the highest order. Its buildings are hotels, banks, telephone office, bars and restaurants (such as Zurich, recently renovated) and various shops and malls such as the Triangle and El Corte Inglés, with FNAC. There are also consular offices of Canada.

In the large central area of the square, concerts, public celebrations, exhibitions, competitions and events take place such as the Catalan Book Week. In 2008, some works were done by the company Rubatec refurbishment involving the pavement around the plaza.  The plaza houses the mosaic in the centre and is improving access by adding ramps.

The Goddess of Josep Clara in Catalonia Square and the monument to Macia Subirachs of the Rambla and the background. The square is also notable for the numerous sculptures of artists exposed along its perimeter, among which are the Goddess of Josep Clara Pastor Pablo Gargallo, Josep Llimona, Enrique Casanovas etc.

The underground works comprised of the shopping avenue de la Luz (now underground Triangle). Until the civil war of 1936-1939, its cafes and restaurants (the Maison Doree, the Columbus, the Lluna the suis) have been the centre of many literary and political citizens. It’s also the center of theater, with the likes of Bon Remove (1876-1885), Circo Equestre Alegria (1879-1895), Eldorado Concert (1887) or the Teatre Barcelona (1923).