Avinguda Diagonal | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Avinguda Diagonal

The backbone of the new Barcelona

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Avinguda Diagonal has evolved in tandem with the city’s transformation to eventually cross it from one side to the other. Since the initial development of its central part, Avinguda Diagonal has been progressively prolonged in accordance with the changes undergone by Barcelona and is today a major avenue that links the entire city.

The history of Avinguda Diagonal

Avinguda Diagonal is one of the main arteries that Ildefons Cerdà designed for the new expansion or Eixample. Along its almost 11 kilometres it runs across the entire city from the south-west to the north-east and crosses other major streets like Passeig de Gràcia, Passeig de Sant Joan and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes.

When it started to be built in 1884, Avinguda Diagonal only connected Carrer de Pau Claris to Passeig de Gràcia. Its long development process has reflected Barcelona’s transformations and borne witness to the city’s evolution.

In its first decades of existence, renowned architects like Puig i Cadafalch designed some of their major works on it, including Casa de les Punxes, Can Serra, which is at the intersection with Rambla de Catalunya, and Palau del Baró de Quadras, which changed its main entrance from Carrer del Rosselló to Avinguda Diagonal when it started to become an important thoroughfare of the new Barcelona. Casa Pérez Samanillo and Casa Sayrach also date back to this period.

In around 1920, a number of interesting buildings were erected in the direction of the river Besòs, including Casa Planells by Josep Maria Jujol, while at the other end Avinguda Diagonal now reached as far as Turó Park in the Les Corts district. The construction of the Royal Palace was responsible for its next extension as the architect Francesc de Paula Nebot took advantage of the works to prolong it from Plaça de Francesc Macià. Not only did he extend it but he also expanded it: from this point Avinguda Diagonal is 84 metres wide as far as Carrer d’Entença and 92 metres wide from there to Plaça de la Reina Maria Cristina. However, this last section, the new university zone, was not constructed until the 1950s.

At the other end, its growth was driven by the Olympic Games, which made Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes into a new central area of the city. With the approval of the 22@ Plan to transform the Poblenou district and subsequently the creation of the Parc del Fòrum, Avinguda Diagonal was extended almost as far as the sea.

Over the years the growth of Avinguda Diagonal has reflected the growth of the city whose backbone it now forms, connecting districts of very different stripes.

 

How do you get to Avinguda Diagonal?

You can get to Avinguda Diagonal with both the Blue Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic and the Red Route, hopping off at the Diagonal – Francesc Macià stop or the Passeig de Gràcia – La Pedrera stop.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? Avinguda Diagonal is the only street in Barcelona that is numbered from north to south.
  • Local’s tip: You can cycle from one end of Avinguda Diagonal to the other. It is one of the most pleasant and safest rides in the city as it has a cycle lane along its entire length.