Barcelona Districts: City Centre: Eixample and Sagrada Família
The city centre district in Barcelona is called l’Eixample, which also includes the Sagrada Família neighbourhood. Famous for the cosmopolitan and upmarket street Passeig de Gràcia and the tree-lined Rambla de Catalunya with its open-air cafés, l’Eixample provides a showcase of all that is ‘upmarket’ in Barcelona.
One peculiarity of this district is the organisation of streets in a grid shape, based on a design by the engineer Ildefons Cerdà in 1860, who envisaged his plans to be a design for the future.
This district is residential, but also blends seamlessly with office buildings and retail premises. Shops in l'Eixample range from good to grand selling some of the most luxurious products.
What is most impressive about l’Eixample is the way it encapsulates artistic design and functionality. The two notions have always complimented one another here and the area is among the best in Barcelona for Art Nouveau (known here as Modernisme) in abundance.
You can recognise some of the buildings of the architect Antoni Gaudí like the Casa Batlló and La Pedrera on Passeig de Gràcia, as well as the breath-taking Sagrada Familia Basilica, located to the east of l’Eixample.