26 Juil Plaza Reial, a jewel located next to La Rambla
Plaza Reial in Barcelona is one of the most emblematic squares in the city. It owes its name to King Ferdinand VII, when it was built as it is today. However, it has an interesting history that is worth knowing.
Plaza Reial is located in the heart of La Rambla de Barcelona, a few meters away from Hotel Arc La Rambla, has a rectangular shape and is surrounded by palm trees, neoclassical semicircular arches and identical buildings in which families of the Barcelona bourgeoisie used to live. The architect responsible for its construction was Francesc Daniel Molina Casamajó, who was responsible for making the design following the style of the Spanish squares of the nineteenth century.
A square on the remains of the convent Santa Madrona
Before it became a square, there was the convent Santa Madrona, of the Capuchin order. This building was removed in 1835 due to the confiscation of Mendizábal (anticlerical law of the nineteenth century), but survived the burning. For a few years it was reestablished as a school and theater until it was destroyed and became the Plaza Reial.
King Ferdinand VII wanted to set up an equestrian statue in the centre of the square, but it was not built due to the first Spanish Republic (1873-1874). It was replaced by a beautiful fountain called “The Three Graces“, built with cast iron in the Durenne workshops in Paris and flanked by two columns of the architect Gaudí.
A bohemian place
Plaza Reial is now a bohemian place, with bars and restaurants located under the arches, a perfect place to have a drink at sunset. In this corner of Barcelona you can also find traditional bars such as the mythical Glaciar, which retains the decoration of a century ago, as well as street musicians and local atmosphere.
All in all, this square is a highly recomended place to visit in summer walking from Hotel Arc La Rambla.