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Aside from being one of the best places to view Catalan Modernist architecture, this is also the city's elegant shopping area par excellence. Foreign brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, MaxMara, Escada and Armand Bassi stand beside Spanish labels such as Purificación García, Camper and Loewe. The exclusivity of Vogue, Bally and Yanko are offset by more accessible shops like Mango, Globe, Benetton and Laura Ashley. This street also boasts the Bulevard dels Antiquaris (for antiques), many restaurants and outdoor cafés, bookshops and jewelers, as well as boundless energy and style. At number 55, Boulevard Rosa also offers more than 50 small, elegant shops under one roof.
Casa Batlló is one of the masterpieces by the world-renowned architect Antoni Gaudí. A mosaic of different architectural styles, colored glass and designs with a history going back to 1875, it is a culture aficionado's delight. Tour the intriguing interiors of the beautiful 20th-century home of the Batlló family: the dragon-like structure has magical rooms like the elegant Piano Nobile, the sky-lit coach house, and more. The Casa is available as a magnificent venue for special events, gatherings and conferences. Don't miss your chance to explore this heritage structure, seemingly straight out of a psychedelic fairy tale. Check the website for details.
Casa Vicens or Vicens House, built for Señor Manuel Vicens i Montaner, is another example of Gaudi's marvelous handiwork. Although visitors are not permitted inside, one can take a look at the interesting exterior facade. Built in 1883, the casa is covered with a multitude of brightly-colored tiles and is adorned with exotic designs reminiscent of Middle Eastern, Indian and African architecture. The opulent and whimsical interiors are still inhabited by descendants of the original owner.
Today dominated by the neon marquee of popular onsite retailer Vinçon, Casa Ramón Casas is a marvel to behold. Erected in 1899, it is turn-of-the-century avant garde incarnate. Just looking at its darkly striking facade, you'll feel transported to a bygone era of innovation, passion and true rule breaking.
Palau Montaner is a grand and classy structure situated along the Calle Mallorca. After controversies and changes in the project management, the building was finally completed and the result was a spectacular landmark. Classic paintings and mosaic glasses take you to the by-gone era. Stone, woodwork, sculptures, no efforts are spared in adorning the decor.
The Torre de les Aigüesis only one of the courtyards left in the Eixample district that is still open to visitors - it was a water tower that has now been transformed into a swimming pool where children and adults alike can swim to their heart's content on a sunny day. There are even complimentary changing rooms, toilets and a bar available for the purchasing of drinks.
Barcelona's university: and the only one in Catalonia until 1715, was closed down by Felipe V. It later re-opened, and the original Renaissance structure was restored in Gothic style between 1863 and 1868 by Elies Rogent. There is the beautifully kept botanical gardens to the right-hand side of the main building that was laid out in 1860; it is an ideal place for a quiet stroll, or you can sit down and read a book in peace. You can also visit the university's café located under the patio for its lively atmosphere and very cheap drinks.
At the intersection of Gran Via and Passeig de Gracia is Font Pg. de Gràcia - Gran Via, which was constructed in 1958 and is one of the 301 ornamental fountains in Barcelona. The fountain is equipped with ground water and made up of a 13 feet (3.9 meters) large bowl from which two jets spring high into the air. The fountains are encircled by small, individual plays of water. Lights are hidden away behind a small slope of grass. At night, the sight at the busy intersection is awe-inspiring. The water, complemented with purple, green, red and blue lights, paint a heavenly picture.