The Eixample (pronounced ‘aye-sham-play’) is an example of town planning at its very best. Built in the mid-19th Century, this street grid north of Plaça de Catalunya is the city’s main shopping and business district and currently has the highest density of residents, thanks to it being centrally located but away from the main throng of tourists.
The Eixample (literally meaning ‘extension)’ was designed by the Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerdà as part of a revolutionary urban plan to split districts into blocks, all with access to green areas and within a short distance of amenities. The Plan Cerdà, as it was known, was also aimed at giving all residents comfort and equality in their surroundings regardless of whether they were rich or poor. Cerdà initially carried out a study in Barcelona Old Town and discovered that the narrower and darker the street, the more likely you were to die early. So space and light were integral to his plan, which was to extend the city to ten times the size as it was at the time.
The end result was practicality, uniformity and beauty. Vehicles could circulate more easily, all streets were more or less equal in size except for Avinguda Diagonal, Avinguda Meridiana and Gran Via, and architectural innovation could be viewed on every corner, with a key part of the design being where the roads crossed. Within these buildings some of the most majestic apartments can still be found.
“The Eixample is a unique district offering everything a city resident could want,” explains Atipika founder Isabel Osorio “As well as being a source of endless fascination for discerning tourists, it also provides beautiful homes for international families looking for excellent international schools and an enviable quality of life.”
The Eixample is further split into two distinct sections: the Dreta de l’Eixample (Eixample Right) and Esquerra de l’Eixample (Eixample left), which fall either side of the two central parallel avenues, Passeig de Gràcia and Rambla de Catalunya.
It is on and around Passeig de Gràcia that the bulk of the city’s show-stopping Modernista (Catalan Art Nouveau) buildings are found. These include Gaudí’s celebrated Casa Batlló and Casa Milà (popularly known as La Pedrera), along with an array of exclusive galleries and some of the city’s most fashionable shops and upmarket hotels. Passeig de Gràcia is also where the Stock Exchange and many banks’ head offices are located.
Across the other side of Avinguda Diagonal, the boulevard that cuts through the Eixample, sits La Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece and Barcelona’s most famous landmark.
This central neighbourhood is home to numerous restaurants and bars and is very well connected to all parts of the city and surrounding areas, with excellent transport links and easy access to the main roads leading out of the city.
Eixample is a highly sought-after area in the heart of Barcelona where you can find beautifully renovated apartments with original Modernista features as well as properties to renovate, providing excellent capital growth and rental potential.
Here is a selection of some of Atipika’s most exclusive properties in this desirable area:
Designer apartment for sale with a large private garden, close to Passeig de Gràcia