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Pictures Eixample district Barcelona

The word Eixample in Catalan, or Ensanche in Spanish, literally  means “the extension”. The Spanish verb “ensanchar” means to “broaden or widen.” The Eixample district and area of Barcelona got its name from its purpose – to extend the city of Barcelona.

>  About Eixample (Ensanche) area of Barcelona

The Eixample area of Barcelona was created as an extension of the old city of Barcelona to keep pace with the changes that the industrial revolution was starting to bring. By the middle of the 19th century a fast growing and increasingly wealthy middle class of Barcelona wanted new, more modern and grander residences with more space and better living conditions. In the picture below you how Eixample was laid out in a grid pattern. Note the Sagrada Familia church in the top left of the picture.

Barcelena Eixample grid

The Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerdà (1815-1876) designed the "The Project for the Reform and Extension of Barcelona"  in 1859 in a grid pattern with housing blocks and straight lines. Cerda’s love of straight lines shows in his design of this 1300 hectar grid system of blocks of buildings also called 'manzanas'  each measuring 113 x 113 m and covering 14% of the total municipal area at that time. Cerdá saw a steam engine on a visit to France and realized that transportation methods would be changing drastically and that a complete redesign of Barcelona was necessary for this new future.This is the same area as the photo above, but taken by Google Earth. 

Barcelena Eixample grid

The original Cerda plan for Eixample. Open full size image of Cerda plan

Barcelena Eixample cerda plan

Casa Mila -  La Pedrera (the quarry) on Passeig de Gracia is perhaps the most famous modernist building in the Eixample area of Barcelona.  More photos of La Pedrera

Barcelona Casa Mila - La Pedrera

Early morning on the Passeig de Gracis( passage to Gracia.) This was originally a road through the fields to the nearby village of Gracia. If you look at the Cerda plan, you can see that Gracia was still a separate village from the city of Barcelona when the extension was planned.
Pictures Eixample district of Barcelona

Many buildings in the Eixample have cupulas

Turret in Eixample district of Barcelona

Cupula on "Casa Lleó Morera" (only partially open to the public) on Passeig de Gracia

Turrets in Eixample district of Barcelona

Typical corner building in Eixample area of Barcelona

Typical building Eixample district of Barcelona

Eixample area of Barcelona has many top hotels. This is Hotel Pau Claris

Typical building Eixample district of Barcelona

Pictures Eixample district of Barcelona

Doorway of Casa Mila by Gaudi

Door La Pedrera -  Eixample district of Barcelona

Before elevators were common, the best apartments were the on the first floor and were occupied by the owners of the building. 

Typicall gallery -  Eixample district of Barcelona

The first floor apartments often had a viewing gallery.

Typicall gallery - Eixample district of Barcelona

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