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Streetview Av Diagonal

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Avinguda Diagonal is the name of one of Barcelona's most important avenues. It cuts the city in two, diagonally from west to east, hence the name.

Location

It was originally projected by engineer and urban planner Ildefons Cerdà as one of the city's wide avenues, which along with Avinguda Meridiana would cut the rationalist grid he designed for l'Eixample. Both would meet at Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, which Cerdà envisioned as the new city centre. However, Plaça Catalunya, occupying a more privileged position in the urban area would finally become the centre.

The avenue starts in the Sant Martí district, next to Ronda del Litoral, bordering Sant Adrià de Besòs, and crosses the city finally meeting the Lleida-Madrid highway and Ronda de Dalt, by Esplugues de Llobregat, in Les Corts.

It's consistently 50 m wide and about 11 km long.
 History

Ildefons Cerdà's so-called Pla Cerdà wasn't totally successful in transforming Barcelona's urban reality, as only parts of it were finally approved. The construction of Avinguda Diagonal is one of the projects it entailed that became reality, when a Royal Decree from Queen Isabella II of Spain and O'Donnell's Spanish government in Madrid allowed him to start the construction of the avenue in 1859. The city council of Barcelona had previously requested the approval of Antoni Rovira i Trias's alternative project instead, which had been rejected.

After the completion of its central section, from current Plaça de Francesc Macià towards Glòries, it soon became one of Barcelona's most popular avenues and an ideal place for the Catalan aristocrats and bourgeoisie to exhibit their carriages, and Francesc Cambó, leader of Lliga Regionalista proposed the construction of a new palace for the then monarch Alfonso XIII in 1919 (the royal palace in Ciutat Vella had been destroyed in the fire of 1875).
Names

The different regimes that held power in Catalonia and Spain during the 20th century sought to change the city's street names, and Avinguda Diagonal was no exception to that: it has been known under the following name:

    * Gran Via Diagonal – original name which Ildefons Cerdà and Víctor Balaguer intended to call the avenue.
    * Avinguda d'Argüelles – 1891. Named after Agustín Argüelles.
    * Avinguda de la Nacionalitat Catalana – 1922. Mancomunitat de Catalunya.
    * Avenida de Alfonso XIII –1924. During Primo de Rivera's dictatorship, named after the king Alfonso XIII.
    * Avinguda del Catorze d'Abril – 1931. Second Spanish Republic
    * Gran Vía Diagonal – 1939, provisional name imposed the day after the Fascist capture of Barcelona as an attempt to eliminate references to the Republic.
    * Avenida del Generalísimo Francisco Franco – 1939. During the Authoritarian Regime of Francisco Franco.
    * Avinguda Diagonal – Its current name, adopted following the restoration of democracy in 1979.

It should be noted, though, that in popular usage the name "Diagonal" has always prevailed.

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Copyright: Valentin arfire
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Uploadet: 12/10/2009
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History and OverviewBarcelona began more than 2,500 years when Phoenicians and Carthagians settled here and began a commercial port. Its name refers to the Carthagian ruler Amilcar Barca. The original name of the city was Barcino, which was adopted by the Romans in the 1st century BC and later became Barcelona. It's now the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia.There are several surviving monuments from the earliest Roman outposts, such as the Placa Sant Juame. Roman walls built to repel Frankish and German invasions later were used as foundations for buildings in the Gothic Quarter and in some cases can still be seen.Barcelona sits on the Mediterranean Sea along a route that brought them lots of visitors in the ancient times -- for better or worse. Circa 415AD Visigoth invaders arrived after the disintegration of the Roman Empire and called it "Barcinona". Three centuries later the Moors swept through on their way from Northern Africa to southern France. Another century later Louis the Pious came with the Franks and set up the front lines of the Christian battle against the Arabs. By the year 988AD, the County of Barcelona was independent of the Carolingian kings and free to become the dominant political and military force in the Catalonian region.Barcelona's Golden Age gleamed across the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The city became as influential as Venice or Genoa through marine trade using gold as the standard of exchange. Buildings such as the Romanesque St. Paul del Camp and the Chapel of Santa Lucia remain as testament to this prosperous period.The Cathedral of Barcelona was begun in the thirteenth century and its construction continued even while the Plague decimated the population. A building boom ensued while Barcelona was expanding its reach and conquering foreign ports, a boom which saw the construction and embellishment of various churches, chapels, shipyards and civil buildings.By the end of the fourteenth century however, social tensions mounted and erupted into war with Genoa and a local massacre of the Jewish community in Barcelona. The next four hundred years were a roller coaster of politics and intrigue. Barcelona revolted against Spain and eventually lost after nine years of war, losing its Catalonian status as an independent city. The Napoleonic Wars, yellow fever epidemic, and the Spanish Revolution all challenged the economy and stability of Barcelona.The early twentieth century was marked by strikes and riots along with strong cultural movements such as Modernism. The Spanish Civil War totally repressed Catalan national identity and it was not until 1977 that Catalonia was restored to a self-governing nation recognized within Spain.Meanwhile, massive migrations after WWII brought major strain on the city. Lack of urban planning during general construction ended up with crowded and poorly serviced neighborhoods surrounding the city. However, Barcelona's infinite ability to regenerate itself shows in the artistic, cultural and economic growth which has taken place in the past decades.Getting ThereThe Barcelona Airport is located 13km from the city and connects to it by taxi, shuttle bus and trains. The metro does NOT go to the airport regardless of what you may have heard. The trip should cost about 20 Euro by taxi, 5 Euro on the shuttle bus.TransportationGood news for your shoes, 74% of people in Barcelona regard themselves as pedestrians rather than drivers. The city even has this crazy website where you can calculate the time it will take to walk a certain distance in the city!Barcelona has a good metro system including metro, buses, trams and even cable cars. The Metro system has nine lines which connect also to commuter rail stations for out of town service.People and CultureThe two main languages are Spanish and Catalan; English is not very wide spread.Euros are the currency and siesta is the word of the day, specifically, the part of daytime between two and four PM. Don't expect to get much done at the post office at that time. Public offices and most shops will be closed.Barcelona is a smoking city. Restaurants, cafes and shops all have ashtrays and zero non-smoking sections. Go to the public transportation system if you want a cigarette-free area, or maybe one of the largest supermarkets.People in Barcelona are friendly and warm and they love to eat and drink. The kitchen is the central room of the house, dinner can take until midnight, and they still go out after that. Every night of the week you will be able to find something interesting going on, from house music to avant-garde theater.Cuisine in Barcelona is more about fish than red meat, with an arsonist's hand on the olive oil. Bruscetta is very common as is alioli, a garlic mayonnaise type of thing. If you leave Barcelona without tasting escudella, the traditional fish stew, you have missed something very very important.Things to do, RecommendationsHere's your liftoff point, the Tower of Telecommunications at Collserola, where you can get a good look around the city. As always, a bird's eye view best puts life into perspective.Heavy hitters: Pablo Picasso heralds from Catalan and the Picasso Museum is located in the heart of Barcelona. Make it a point to visit.Follow it with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art of Barcelona, hosting a collection of Catalan Modernists. It's near Ciutadella Park, Metro station Arc do Triomf Barceloneta.The beaches are fantastic and they may be all you need on your visit here. You can check out the Castle of Montjuic Fortress along the coast if you're interested in history.As we've said, people in Barcelona eat late, drink late and go out very late. We leave it our dear readers to figure out when they get up in the morning...The house music scene in Barcelona is LIVE!! Check out clubs like Moog, Elephant and Pacha for just a taste. People flock here in the summers for it. You may have heard of a little island called "Ibiza..."As they say, "we don't call it house. We call it home."Text by Steve Smith.