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Passeig de Sant Joan

From Arc de Triomf up to Travessera de Gràcia

Passeig de Sant Joan is a major Barcelona boulevard which runs up the hill from the Arc de Triomf on the edge of Ciutat Vella through the Dreta de l'Eixample up to the Camp d'en Grassot neighbourhood of Gràcia at the top. 

The avenue takes its name from an old road that ran outside the walls of the Ciutadella Fortress between 1795 and 1802, which was called Passeig de Sant Joan or Passeig Nou but its various sections have had many different names over the years.

Because I live nearby in L'Eixample, I always see Passeig de Sant Joan as going down the hill but the house numbers actually begin at the bottom just up from the impressive Arc de Triomf.



Arc de Triomf to Plaça Tetuan

The first section of Passeig de Sant Joan begins just above Arc de Triomf and, as you can see in the picture above, is a broad tree-lined avenue which divides the two Eixample neighbourhoods of the Dreta de l'Eixample and Fort Pienc.

There's quite a lot of traffic on this section but Passeig de Sant Joan isn't just lined with trees. One of the nicest things about it is its pavements, which are wide enough to have room for gardens and play areas.

Most of this section comprises shops and the odd restaurant or bar and as far as I know the only interesting building you'll find is at number 26, which houses public library Biblioteca Pública Arús, which originally opened in 1895, as well as the Ateneu Enciclopèdic Popular, which is a cultural association founded in 1902.

Plaça Tetuan to Avinguda Diagonal

A little further up, Plaça Tetuan acts as a roundabout at the crossroads of Passeig de Sant Joan and Gran Via. In the centre is a park space that has a large monument dedicated to Dr Robert, a Catalan nationalist, who was a member of the Spanish Cortes and Mayor of Barcelona in 1899.

In the middle section above Plaça Tetuan, there are quite a few bars with terraces occupying the area that is gardens lower down. These are great places to sit out as they catch the sun all year round and bring life to this section of Passeig de Sant Joan.

The main building in the middle section is at number 90, where you'll find the beautiful early modernista parish church and convent of Sant Francesc de Sales, which was built by Joan Martorell between 1882 and 1885.

At the crossroads with Avinguda Diagonal sits the monument to 19th century Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer, which was built in 1924 by Josep Maria Pericas i Morros.

Above Diagonal to Gràcia

In many respects, the top section above Diagonal is the nicest part of Passeig de Sant Joan because the traffic here is now reduced two just two lanes on either side of a central pedestrianised rambla, which once again has gardens and play areas.

The highlight of this section at number 108 where you'll find the beautiful Palau Macaya built in 1901 by the great Catalan modernista architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and a little further up at the crossroads with Carrer Corsèga is the lovely font d'Hèrcules, which was completed in 1802 and the oldest drinking fountain currently in use in Barcelona.

At number 160 is Roldós Publicitat, the oldest publicity agency in world, and right at the top is the monument to the Catalan musicologist Josep Anselm Clavé, built in 1888 by sculptor Manel Fuxà i Leal and architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.

For the next few years, the Mercat de l'Abaceria Central is temporarily occupying the last hundred metres or so while the permanent market undergoes a complete renovation.

Metro Stops

Metro Arc de Triomf on the Red L1 Line is very close to the bottom of Passeig de Sant Joan and there's an entrance to Metro Verdaguer, which is on the Yellow L4 Line and the Blue L5 Line on the top section.

Hotels close to Passeig de Sant Joan

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