Horta-Guinardó is Barcelona’s third largest district and is located in the north-east of the city, between the districts of Gràcia and Nou Barris. It is characterized by its uneven landform consisting of mountains, hills and valleys. Its profusion of green spaces makes it one of the most attractive places for those in search of peace and quiet in the open air.
The history of Horta-Guinardó can be traced back to 965 AD, and the old valley of Horta, which is now known as the Vall d’Hebrón. This is where the village of the same name was founded. Like Gràcia, Sants, Sant Martí, and other villages around the city, Horta was annexed to Barcelona, but somewhat later, in 1904. It was a mainly rural area and wasn’t developed until the 1950s when people from Catalonia and the rest of Spain came to the city in search of work and settled here.
Nestling among the slopes of these neighbourhoods, we can discover authentic jewels of Barcelona’s architecture and cutting-edge art, such as the Pavilion of the Republic andJoan Brossa‘s sculpture “Poema visual” (Visual Poem). And in sharp contrast, in the old quarter, you can enjoy the narrow streets and small squares which remind us of the rural past of this former village, such as the Plaça d’Eivissa and its environs, and the old sinkson Carrer Aiguafreda, where people used to take their laundry.
Together with first-rate healthcare facilities, such as the Vall d’Hebron medical complex and the Llars Mundet hospital, the district has outstanding green areas and recreational zones which include part of the Parc de Collserola; the Parc dels Tres Turons, with the spectacular Mirador del Turó de la Rovira, a natural lookout point (262 metres above sea level) which boasts 360º views of the city and has the added value of being the site of the anti-aircraft battery that defended the city from the bombing raids by fascist planes during the Spanish Civil War; and the wonderful, late-18th-century neo-classical-styleParc del Laberint, with its pond and intricate maze of pollarded cypress trees.