Gràcia is a district with a character of its own. It has always had an active neightbourhood life in its provincial atmosphere squares and streets. In the pre-civil war years Gràcia was one of the most fiery anarchist centers in Spain. Today the inhabitants of Gracia are a mix of lifelong residents among which there is a community of Spanish gypsies, students, international artists and artisans...Wandering round the plaças del Sol, de Rius y Taulet, de la Virreina, del Diamant, etc, will give you a good vision of this distinct district. Due to this variety of residents, Gracia has an excellent choice of restaurants, shops, cafés, activities and night life.
The neighborhood of Gràcia has its origin in the junction of two Roman roads, the Travessera de Gràcia and the street Major de Gràcia. Several convents and monasteries were located in the area, of which the church of the Josepets has been conserved, on the plaça Rius i Taulet.
Gracia was also an independent village, and the district has never forgotten its autonomous past. Gràcia was incorporated into the urban web in 1897, absorved by the Eixample designed by Cerdá, who kept in his plan the Passeig de Gràcia, the way that linked the village of Gràcia to the city. At the time it had 62.000 inhabitants, the rural village had become a town owing to the growth of the industrial population.
One of the highlights of Gracia is Gaudí's first modernist building, the Casa Vicens, on the carrer Carolinas, a singular building with turrets and decoration with mosaics of neo-mudéjar style.
Not to miss Gracia's summer festival in August. Every street in the district is profusely decorated, each one with a different subject matter, closed and turned into restaurant and stage with live music in the evenings. The best decorations get a prize and the whole district is full of people dancing and having fun.