Sant Andreu de Palomar is the hub of what was once the largest municipality on the Barcelona plain after the capital itself, which comprised almost all of the modern districts of Sant Andreu and Nou Barris.
Today the neighbourhood includes what was once the old town centre and is jammed between Avinguda Meridiana and Torras i Bages in one direction and Ronda de Dalt and Carrer Dublín/Pare Manyanet in the other.
The first mention of the town dates from 992 and actually refers to a place called Palomar but it wasn't until 1034 that Sant Andreu, the patron saint of the parish, was added to the name.
The area's prosperity originally came from agriculture owing to the water that irrigated the land along the banks of the Rec Comtal as it made its way from Montcada to Barcelona.
Over the years a town grew up around the church of Sant Andreu de Palomar (pictured below) and along an old Roman road on what is now Carrer Gran de Sant Andreu.
Always proud and defiant, Sant Andreu was where the Guerra dels Segadors
- the War of the Reapers - began in 1640 and also where Catalonia's
candidate for the Spanish throne Archduke Charles of Austria set up his
headquarters during the War of Spanish Succession, which ended in defeat
for the Catalans in 1714.
In the 19th century, following the establishment of the textile industry, the centre of Sant Andreu was home to some of the most important factories of the day, including Fabra i Coats, La Maquinista, Fabricació Nacional de Colorants as well as a large number of smaller companies and workshops.
In 1897, Sant Andreu was annexed by Barcelona along with other municipalities on the Barcelona plain but to this day remains the former town with the strongest sense of identity refusing to allow itself to be called a neighbourhood and making frequent calls for independence from Barcelona.
Sant Andreu de Palomar retains a strong sense of community and has important local instiitutions such as its football club UE Sant Andreu or the swimming and tennis clubs as wells numerous theatre groups, residents associations and cultural organisations.
Although the focus along
Passeig Fabra i Puig and Carrer Gran will remain, the arrival of the
high-speed AVE train in neighbouring La Sagrera will bring about
important changes with the creation of an enormous park.
Similarly, the development of the land formerly occupied by military barracks on Torras i Bages is expected to provide 2,000 new homes.
The neighbourhood also has Barcelona Local Train stations at Sant Andreu Comtal and Sant Andreu Arenal.
To give you a slightly better idea of here's a video I made of part of the Casc Antic of Sant Andreu de Palomar ... it covers Carrer Coroleu, Plaça de les Palmeres, Gran de Sant Andreu, Plaça del Comerç and Carrer de Santa Coloma.
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