L’Antiga Esquerra (the old left side) and La Nova Esquerra (the new left side) of Eixample used to form part of one single neighborhood called Esquerra de l’Eixample. But as the population began to grow, the city felt the necessity of dividing the area into two. But what differentiates the two neighborhoods?
For starters, La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample was built more recently than L’Antiga Esquerra de l’Eixample. Closer to the city center, La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample used to be an area occupied by construction workers who lived in shacks and would go into the city every day to work on the infrastructures for the 1929 Universal Exposition and also, the Metro system. Today, this neighborhood is populated by people of different classes and it offers areas for recreation and a variety of services that make it a nice place to live and to visit.
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Points of interest
Joan Miró Park
Also known as Parc l’Escorxador, Parc de Joan Miró is composed of a variety of areas meant to be used for different activities like exercising, practicing sports, relaxing and even for concerts. The name “escorxador” comes from the fact that the park’s area used to be occupied by the municipal slaughterhouse, known as “escorxador” in Catalan. The park has a 22-meter high monument created by Joan Miró, called “Dona I Ocell”, or in English, “Woman and Bird”. Inside the park there is also a library, the Biblioteca Joan Miró, which is surrounded by water.
Address: Carrer d’Aragó, 2
Arenas de Barcelona
Arenas de Barcelona is a shopping center designed by Richard Rogers, a remodeling of an old plaza de toros (bullring) designed by Augusto Font Carreras, that was closed down in 1977. Arenas de Barcelona offers a variety of restaurants, like La Lola de las Arenas and Aroma Cucina Italiana; stores like H.E. by Mango and Calvin Klein Jeans; and a cinema complex. The top floor of the shopping mall has several restaurants and a large terrace that offers gorgeous views of Barcelona.
Hospital Clínc is a university hospital designed by architect Josep Domènec i Estapà, having been founded in 1906. Part of the Catalan Public Hospital Network (XHUP), Hospital Clínic is the main public provider in the district of Eixample, and one of the most important hospitals in Spain. The hospital has been recognized by IASIST as one of the Top 20 hospitals for ten years in a row, working also as an investigation and teaching facility.
Address: Carrer de Villarroel, 170
It may not be one of the most prominent modernist buildings in the city, but Casa Golfreichs still demands the attention of every person who passes by the area for the first time. The house was built in 1901, designed by Juan Rubió i Bellver for the Golfreichs family. Today, Casa Golfreichs works as a civic center.
Address: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 491
EAE Business School
Barcelona is known for having a number of excellent business schools and EAE is one of them. They offer high-quality training which is backed by over 50 years of experience, having taught over 57,000 professionals. EAE is one of the highest ranking business schools in the country, which proves it is a great place to study in the city.
Address: Carrer d’Aragó, 53-55
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Stores, restaurants and other services
Visitors will find themselves well served in La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample. There are two Mercadona supermarkets in the neighborhood; a variety of hotels like Hotel Onix Fira, Hotel Sant Angelo Barcelona, and Hotel Abbot; gyms and dance centers such as Pole Dance BCN, Dance Emotion, and Templum BCN Training; restaurants and cafes like Shingané, Yoshino, Casa do Açaí, and El Patio Andaluz; nightclubs like Antilla Salsa Disco; spas like Ban Thai Massage; and amusement centers like Xcape Barcelona and Aventura Park.
For these and many other reasons, La Nova Esquerra de l’Eixample is a great area to live in, close to the center via public transportation but far enough that the flats go for a more affordable price. Go for a walk around this neighborhood and enjoy all it has to offer. Who knows if it won’t end up being your new home?
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* Main photo by Miehs via Wikimedia Commons