The rectangular grid of Barcelona´s area known as the “Extention”, or Eixample in Catalan, was the idea of forward-thinking urban planner Ildefonso Cerdá. In the neighbourhoods that make up this area, the city´s iconic modernist buildings, both world-famous and lesser known, can be found. Among the best known homes are Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Batlló and the Pedrera (also known as Casa Mila), authentic gems that will leave you with your mouth open each time you see it. And, of course, there is the Sagrada Familia church as well! The original plan of Cerdá included several ideas that were never brought to fruition. One of these ideas was that each block would only have houses on two of the sides, allowing the open sides of each block to be filled with a public garden. This plan is idea for a city less dense than Barcelona, however, the size and demands of the population caused this idea to be discarded… but not entirely. Some of these gardens were created and are available to visit today in the Eixample, transporting you to earlier times. A great activity for architecture enthusiasts and families!
The Barcelona City Council has spent lots of time restoring these gardens to their former glory to be enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. Let us take you back in time!
Interior patios and gardens of the Eixample
Here we have a list of the 3 gardens we are sure you will enjoy. Even if you are not especially interested in urban planning or design, these are a great place to take a break from sightseeing or have a picnic!
Gardens at the Water Tower (Torre de les Aigües)
This space has an interesting story and is home to a tower that supplied water to the first residences in the area. After the water company that owned the tower experienced several setbacks, the City Council claimed the land as a public space for the city, making it the first re-claimed block interior, in 1987. It is a very quiet area most of the year, but in the summer a kid-friendly wading pool opens up, making it a magenet for families on the hottest days of the year. This park is very centric, located at Roger de Llúria, 56 near the intersection with Consell de Cent.
Gardens of Rector Oliveras
Just two blocks up from the Torre de las Aïgues next to the Church of Conception, you will encounter the Entrance to the Gardins of Rector Oliveras. The façade of the church is not particularly impressive, but it is a nice place to relax and see the church from a different viewpoint. The garden also includes a nice children´s playground. It is located at Calle Aragó, 301 near Calle Bruc. Nearby, we suggest you visit the Barcelona Music Conservatory and pass through the Market of the Concepció and its specialty – some of the city’s best florists!
Gardens of Casa Elizalde
This is another block-island garden, behind the Casa Elizalde. This house is now the CivicCenter and holds activities for all ages and interests. It is found Calle Valencia, 302.
Tags: Actividades familiares en Barcelona, architecture, barcelona secrets, Ensanche, family activities barcelona, garden, hidden garden, modernism, modernismo barcelona, public park, sagrada familia, turismo, urban planning