If the Old Town is the heart of Barcelona and the green mountains of Tibidabo and Montjuïc the lungs, the Eixample is the city’s nervous system – its economic and commercial core. The area began to take shape in 1860 when the city was permitted to expand beyond the medieval walls (see 19th Century: Industry & Prosperity). Its design, based on plans by Catalan engineer Ildefons Cerdà, comprises hundreds of symmetrical grid-like squares. Construction continued into the 20th century at a time when Barcelona’s elite was patronizing the city’s most daring architects. Modernisme was flourishing and the area became home to the cream of Barcelona’s Modernista architecture, with myriad elegant façades and balconies. Today, a wealth of enchanting ...

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