Let's take a stroll through the Eixample Esquerra....
Parc de Joan Miró
This urban park set just on the edge of the Eixample Esquerra behind the former bullring turned shopping centre Las Arenas, offers a little space of calm in the bustling city. Lined with palm trees this park is home to a 1983 sculpture by Joan Miró called the ‘Woman&Bird’. Ivy lined passageways present a green oasis where you can sit a while, amazed at the quietness or simply admiring the work of one of Barcelona’s greatest artists.
Mercat de Ninot
The Mercat de Ninot is another example of bustling neighbourhood markets housed inside beautiful modernista buildings. Designed by Antoni de Falguera and Joaquim Vilaseca the market opened in 1894 and after being remodeled twice (once in 1933 and again in 2009) it still serves as the local market for the people of the Eixample Esquerra. Housed just next to the impressive buildings of the Hospital Clínic the Mercat de Ninot not only sells a wide variety of the best produce in Catalonia but also has an interesting story to tell. The name ‘El Ninot’ comes from a local tavern of the same name. This tavern owner’s daughter was engaged to a man who lived in La Barceloneta and one day when she went down to see him she saw a ninot (a figurehead) from a sinking ship. She convinced her fiancé and friends to save it and they took it back to the tavern. The tavern eventually passed its name onto the market and this figurehead now resides in the Maritime Museum of Barcelona.
C/Comte d'Urgell 173-215
The Escola Industrial (Industrial School) was founded in 1913 and in 1914 opened to its first pupils. The school is housed in the former textile factory of Can Batlló. The collection of buildings are in the Modernista style designed by Rafael Guastavino and building was completed in 1869. During its time as a textile factory there was much social upheaval and a crisis in the industry due to cotton supplies being cut off by the United States, embroiled in its civil war. The buildings saw protests, riots and long strikes over pay and working conditions and in the 1880s the working week was reduced due to low demand. In 1882 the Director of Spinning was assassinated at the door of the factory and in 1883 a fire was started in the cotton stores. In 1889 the factory finally closed its doors and lay vacant until the buildings were bought by the city of Barcelona and became the new home of the Escola Industrial, aslo known as the Escola de Treball (The School of Work). The school is still housed in these buildings alongside Engineering Schools, a swimming pool and a football pitch. Take a stroll amongst the building and imagine what life was like at the very beginning of the Eixample.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 491
Casa Golferichs is a modernista gem in the Eixample Esquerra. The Golfreich family had made their money from trading with The Americas and this influence can be seen in the design of this unusual house. Joan Rubió i Bellver was the architect commissioned and in 1901, the year it was completed, it won the prize of best building of the year from the City Council of Barcelona. In 1936 it was seized by militants who intended to turn the house into a liberal university. After the war it housed a religious school until in the 1960s a private investor bought it with the intention to knock it down and built flats on the site. Luckily for lovers of architecture across the world the building was saved and converted into a Cultural Centre which can be used by everyone. Well worth a visit. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, Travel, tourism, sightseeing, Eixample, Eixample izquierda, eixample esquerra, history, culture, mercados, gastronomy, architecture