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View of Diagonal Mar
Avinguda Diagonal's main section is the core of Barcelona's shopping district.
Avinguda Diagonal in 2009

Grupo Planeta headquarters on Avinguda Diagonal

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


It was originally projected by engineer and urban planner Ildefons Cerdà as one of the city's wide avenues, which along with Avinguda Meridianamarker 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 Catalunyamarker, 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 Besòsmarker, and crosses the city finally meeting the Lleidamarker-Madridmarker highway and Ronda de Dalt, by Esplugues de Llobregatmarker, in Les Corts.

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


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 Madridmarker 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).


The different regimes that held power in Cataloniamarker and Spainmarker 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:

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

Buildings and places of interest


Shopping centres


  • CINESA Diagonal Mar
  • Boliche
  • CINESA Diagonal
  • Glòries Multicines


Avinguda Diagonal is also home to several schools of both Universitat de Barcelonamarker and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunyamarker, in the area that is commonly known as Zona Universitàriamarker.

The following UB faculties and schools are located on the avenue:
  • Biology (Av. Diagonal, 645)
  • Business school (Av. Diagonal, 696)
  • Economics (Av. Diagonal, 690)
  • Law (Av. Diagonal, 684)
  • Physics (Av. Diagonal, 647)



The avenue is served by a number of metro stations:


Trambaix Trambesòs
  • Glòries (T4, T5)
  • Ca L'Aranyó (T4)
  • Pere IV (T4)
  • Fluvià (T4)
  • Selva de Mar (T4)
  • El Maresme (T4)
  • Fòrum (T4)

See also


  • ALBAREDA, Joaquim, GUÀRDIA, Manel i altres.Enciclopèdia de Barcelona, Gran Enciclopèdia Catalana, Barcelona, 2006.

External links

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