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The Placa de Catalunya is a very popular tourist attraction because of the amazing and unique architecture.  This is a large town square and is considered as the center of Barcelona.

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Barcelona / Passeig de Gracia

Passeig de Gracia is one of the most prestigious and expensive avenues in Barcelona and will definitely be on your list of places to visit while in the city. The avenue is lined with several architectural wonders, great shops and businesses as well as several sophisticated restaurants and exclusive hotels. The exclusive stores on this avenue include Gucci, Prada and Dolce and Gabbana but you'll also find famous brand name stores. The tree lined avenue is alive with activity, cafes and serious shoppers as well as those looking for some of Barcelona's finest architecture. Passeig de Gracia runs from Placa Catunya to Carrer Gran de Gracia.

The avenue used to be called Cami de Jesus (Jesus Road) and connected Barcelona with a smaller rural town of Gracia but as the two centers grew the towns merged (in the 1820s) and Gracia was swallowed up by Barcelona. Then in 1906 the architect Pere Falques i Urpi gave the avenue a complete face-lift adding all the elegant touches which made it a place for the rich and famous to strut their stuff. The new design included ornate benches and street lamps as well as the now famous buildings designed by Spain's top architects.

Passeig de Gracia is the place to go to see a concentration of modernista and Art-Nouveau buildings designed by the likes of Josep Puig I Cadafalch, Lluis Domenech I Montaner, Josep Vilaseca, Enric Sagnier, Pere Falques and of course Barcelona's golden boy – Antoni Gaudi. 

Passeig de Gracia is located in the Eixample district and can be accessed from the Passeig de Gracia railway and metro station, Diagonal station or if you intend walking from one end to the other you can start at the Placa Catalunya station.

Notable buildings on Passeig de Gracia

Placa de Catalunya is where most will begin their exploration of Passeig de Gracia, this is where Barri Gotic, Raval and the Eixample districts meet. In the large square are several statues like the Deessa by Josep Clara and Pastor de Pau by Pablo Gargallo. Placa Catalunya is a transport hub and the location of several hotels, restaurants and stores.

Hotel Majestic has been open since 1918 and has a sophisticated restaurant open to the public.   

La Pedrara is a Gaudi creation with an undulating stone façade and wrought iron balconies, you can see the interior for a fee. Inside there are exquisite tiles and mosaics as well as a stunning spiral staircase. It is possible to go up to the roof and get brilliant views of the city.

Between Carrer del Consell de Cent and Carrer d'Arago is the Block of Discord (Illa de la Discordia) which gets its name from the four contrasting buildings each designed by modernista architects in the early 20th century. Cassa Lieo-Morera designed by Lluis Domenech i Montaner; Casa Mulleras designed by Enric Sagnier; Casa Amatller designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch in 1900 and Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi's masterpieces. The exterior is covered with pastel colored mosaics with fantastical mask shaped balconies. The roof follows the silhouette of a dragon's tail.

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