Vallcarca i Els Penitents

From Gràcia up to Collserola

Vallcarca i Els Penitents is a long narrow neighbourhood that stretches up the hill from Plaça de Lesseps the edge of Vila de Gràcia right up to the Collserola ridge.

Vallcarca, the section closest to town, is trapped between the hills of El Putget and El Coll and began as a series of scattered houses - Hostel La
Farigola, Can Falcó, Can Mas and Can Gomis.

The gardens of Can Gomis were destroyed when the Hospital Militar was built, Hostal La Farigola was demolished to build a school and the grounds of Mas Falcó are now occupied by a small housing development.

Vallcarca was originally part of Horta and like many other parts of Collserola the slopes above the valley became popular as a summer residence in the late 19th century.

The valley often flooded until the aqueduct of Vallcarca was built and following the course of the seasonal river Avinguda del Hospital Militar was built and developed.

One of the most interesting buildings in this part of the neighbourhood is Casa Comas d'Argemir built by the Modernista architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas on Avinguda de la Republica Argentina in 1904.

Casa Comas d'Argemir

The upper part of Vallcarca i Els Penitents above Avinguda de la Vall d'Hebron on the of Collserola is known as Els Penitents and dates back to 1902, when the grounds of Can Gomis were first urbanised.

The name Penitents comes from religious meetings held in the convent and caves in the area in medieval times.

The great Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer bought the convent but ended up selling it due to financial problems and it was finally demolished by the Ajuntament d'Horta.

In the twentieth century, a small neighbourhood grew up here, which following the construction of the Ronda de Dalt extended up the hill along Carrer de Collserola.

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