Trinitat Vella

Barcelona's Own Spaghetti Junction

Before becoming a neighbourhood in its own right, La Trinitat Vella was an area on the edge of Sant Andreu de Palomar on the banks of the Besós River known as Coll de Finestrelles.

The name comes from the chapel of the Trinitat, which was built in 1413 and dominated the area until the Guerra del Francès against Napoleon in the early 19th century when it was burnt down. 

The Trinitat was a scarcely populated rural area until the middle of the 20th century, when the vineyards were bulldozed to build cheap protected housing for newly arrived Spanish immigrants.

The area had been the location of one of the main Barcelona gallows from the 15th century onwards so it wasn't surprising that Trinitat was where the new prison was built also in the 1950s.

In the 1960s, the construction of La Meridiana divided the Trinitat into two parts - Trinitat Vella and Trinitat Nova.

The most recent change was the building of the Nus de la Trinitat in 1992, which connects all Barcelona's major ring roads in a massive spaguetti roundabout and flyover construction.


Trinitat Vella has always had something of a bad reputation locally because it was home to a prison for young offenders - El Centre Penitenciari de Joves de Barcelona.

At the time of writing the prison is in the process of being demolished and closed and what little remains of it only accepts day prisoners.

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