Plaça de Catalunya
Plaça de Catalunya (meaning in English "Catalonia Square"; sometimes referred to as Plaza de Cataluña, its Spanish name) is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.
Some of the city's most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l'Àngel, in addition to Ronda de Sant Pere, Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions, and for the flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre.
After the medieval city walls were demolished in the 19th century, ambitious designs for the city's public spaces were conceived under the guidance of notable urban planners. Plaça Catalunya was conceived as part of pla Rovira in 1859, but no official permission from the government was given until the 1888 Universal Exposition. It was urbanised for the first time in 1902 and was further modified in 1929, on the occasion of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, which also included the construction of a metro station. Architect Francisco Nebot designed the changes made in 1929.
In May 2011 Plaça Catalunya was the main location where anti-government protests and sit ins were held in Barcelona, mirroring the events in other Spanish cities.