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Flag of CataloniaBarcelona - Gracia

El Ensanche could not spread out across the entire plain since there already existed some towns there eg. Sant Marti de Provincals to the East, Sarria to the West and the small town of Gracia in the centre. Gracia, which is connected to Barcelona by the Passeig de Gracia, became a district of the city at the end of the last century. It did not, however, lose any of its own characteristics. Gracia is situated between Balmes street and the district of La Sagrada Familia. The section of the Passeig de Gracia above the Diagonal is known as "Els Jardinets" (The small gardens), and is almost completely closed off by the Casa Fuster. This was also the work of Domenech i Montaner and marks the start of the Carrer Gran de Gracia. This street is full of shops and also has some Modernist buildings. In Les Carolines street, at number 24, there is the polychromatic Casa Vicens. This was built by Gaudí in 1889 and takes its inspiration from Arab architecture.

In the Plaça de Lesseps we find the Church ´dels Josepetes which is Catalan-Baroque in style. However, the most interesting thing is to lose oneself in the little back streets where one can find many craftmen´s workshops and small industries as well as very small houses. At the present time, the young people have made this district fashionable and, as a result, the number of bars and restaurants, especially in the many beautiful squares, has increased dramatically. We recommend a visit to the Plaça del Sol and the Plaça de Rius i Taulet where the Tower of El Rellotge (the clock) stands.

In Leopoldo Alas street there is the Lliure Theatre, one of the most innovatory theatres in the country. All its productions are performed in Catalan. Another interesting site is the Market of La Llibertad (1840) which was covered with an iron roof in 1875. The popular festivities of Gracia which are celebrated in the middle of August are yet another interesting aspect.

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