Passeig de Gràcia is one of the most frequented streets in the city, and a must see for tourists in Barcelona. It is decorated with luxury shops (it is considered the most expensive street in Spain) and wonderful architecture. Many walk past the lampposts that line the pavements without ever noticing them. ShBarcelona will tell you why you should look out for them the next time you are walking in this famous boulevard.
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The man behind the designs
Passeig de Gràcia is lined with 32 lampposts designed the Modernist architect Pere Falqués i Urpí. Born in 1850, Falqués had a profitable career, ascending to the coveted position of architect of the city at the age of 39 and holding the post between 1889 and 1914. An award-winning figure in his field, the architect worked on numerous projects within the city. These included churches, schools, and monuments amongst many others, as well as the light features that adorn Passeig de Gràcia.
Built in 1906, the 32 lampposts on the boulevard all feature a bench structure at their base. Made out of mosaic – something that is often found in the architecture of Barcelona – and small ceramic pieces, the fragments glisten under the sunlight or indeed the light from the lamps directly above them, at night. Keep an eye out next time you are walking along the boulevard. This will undoubtedly enrich your experience in Passeig de Gràcia.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia
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Walking around Barcelona, you will notice that beautifully designed lampposts are not limited to the Passeig de Gràcia. Just off Las Ramblas you will find one of the most beautiful squares of the city, Plaça Reial. Standing in the plaza, it is hard to miss two very imposing and ornate lampposts. Designed by Antoni Gaudí at the young age of 27 shortly after graduating from his studies, the lampposts feature snakes and symbols of the Roman deity of commerce (Mercury).
Address: Plaça Reial
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In Barcelona, I saw street lights with fire chamber at the bottom. Our tour director told me the city used to burn charcoal in those pits in winter evenings. The idea was to provide warmth to pedestrians. They gathered around the lights and spend more time and money for the local business. After returning to home, in US, I was trying to get more information. I did not do a scholarly search. I will love to have more information or sources of information on these lights.