Fort Pienc

Centred on Estació del Nord

The name Fort Pienc comes from the catalanisation of Fort Pius, a Spanish fortified outpost of the hated citadel built to keep the rebellious Barcelonans under control after the seige of Barcelona in 1714.

Both the citadel - now the Parc de la Ciutadella - and Fort Pius were demolished in 1859 and the area was included in Ildefons Cerdà's plan to extend Barcelona known as the Eixample.

Given its proximity to Plaça de les Glòries, projected to be Barcelona's main square, there were high hopes for the neighbourhood and in 1861 Estació del Nord, one of the city's main railway stations, was built on the site of the old fort.

There are some fine early Eixample buildings along Carrer Ausias Marc and Carrer Ali Bei but Barcelona's city centre never shifted from Plaça de Catalunya and Fort Pienc's neighbourhood life became centred on the station and the transport industry.

The closing of the railway station and the hiving off of much of the original barri to Sant Martí in 1980 meant that the area seemed quite run down when I arrived in Barcelona in 1988.


However, it is much improved in recent years and Estació del Nord is now Barcelona's main bus station and the nearby Parc del Nord, built in time for the 1992 Olympic Games, give the neighbourhood a very pleasant centre.

On the other side of the bus station, you will find the new centre of Fort Pienc, which includes a market, library, community centre, nursery school and old people's centre and was the pioneering result of local community associations' pressure to give the neighbourhood modern facilities.

However, what is attractive about the barri for me are the quiet tree-lined streets such as Roger de Flor, Napols and Sicilia that run up from the station to Gran Via and are all comfortably close to Arc de Triomf and Passeig de Sant Joan.

Fort Pienc has a couple of older buildings that are worth mentioning, such as the modernista General Catalana de Electricidad building on Roger de Flor just down from Arc de Triomf.

However, it is the magnificent Monumental bull ring that really grabs your attention as you drive up Carrer de la Marina on your way to Diagonal.

Opened in 1914 but inactive since the ban on bullfighting in Catalonia in 2012, La Monumental is a modernista adaption of the byzantine and mudéjar styles and is currently used for concerts and shows.

Teatre Nacional de Catalunya Barcelona

Modern buildings include the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Auditori and the Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó all located in the Glòries area.

Public Transport

Obviously, with Estació del Nord the neighbourhood has excellent transport connections.

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