Sagrada Familia area
The area known as Poblet was once a neighbourhood of fields and low-rise houses. During the 19th century, factories were set up here, fostering the growth of the area. It was here, in 1881, that building work commenced on the church of atonement for the citizens of this expanding city.
In 1882, the original Sagrada Família Gothic church project, designed by Francesc de Paula Villar, was taken over by the young Antoni Gaudí, who transformed it into the most fascinating church of all time. An architectural bible called the Sagrada Famíliawhich has become a Barcelona icon. The building, which is still under construction, has lent its name to the area and made it world famous. After all, the Sagrada Família is a vibrant neighbourhood with its own unique personality.
The Avinguda Gaudí, a delightful pedestrianised boulevard, links the basilica with the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista, the most representative civil building from the modernista period, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Both these outstanding modernista landmarks have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Eixample Esquerra area
The Avinguda de Roma links two sections of the left side of Barcelona's Eixample. To the south, we find the oldest part of the district, built at the end of the 19th century at the same time as the neo-Romanesque Barcelona University building, in the Plaça de la Universitat. Nearby, is the section known as the Ninot, which takes its name from an old inn which had a carving of a small child (the ninot) outside. The carving now stands above the market entrance. As you walk through the neighbourhood, you'll be surprised by the bustle and activity of the shopping streets, and the ones around the busy Mercat de Sant Antoni. The area between the Ronda Sant Antoni and the Ronda Universitat is known as the "Gaixample", where Barcelona's gay community have opened bars and restaurants.
Further west, the most modern part of the left side of the Eixample consists of buildings in different architectural styles built from the 1930s onwards. However, the landmarks are two older buildings: the old Batlló factory, now the home of the technical college, the Escola Industrial, and the former municipal slaughterhouse, now the site of the modernista style Parc de Joan Miró, with the artist's monumental sculpture Dona i Ocell (Women and Bird) rising up in the centre.