It took me until my last week in Barcelona to discover the beautiful area of Sarrià-Sant Gervasi. Located next to Gracia and between the mountains and the Left Eixample, the area is one of the richest in Barcelona. Some areas are more typical dense development, with mid rise apartment buildings and local shops below. Others have setbacks from the sidewalk, with a row of trees, grass, or even hedges in the least dense areas. And even others have full walls around their large estate properties, with their own gardens and large houses inside. After walking around Barcelona for four months, I thought I understood what most of the city looks and feels like to walk around in, but these areas are very different.
Mostly quiet and very green, these upper class neighborhoods feel much more similar to American upper class neighborhoods, especially in the areas with large detached mansions. The access to nature, with the area's multiple large, quiet, beautiful parks, was really nice and created a feeling of being outside the city. Yet despite the low density of some sections, there were still some restaurants and higher end shops, unlike in many American high income neighborhoods. Historically, the area has been where the city’s bourgeois have lived, and the best evidence of that is in the most massive mansions up on the hills. Far away from the industrial centers of the city, this peaceful area allowed for privacy, beauty, and security. Today, many of the mansions have been either subdivided or converted to space for institutions, but the legacy of the big houses on the hill as being a desirable place to live has continued. Like the rest of the city, the area felt surprisingly young and there were many families. If you are looking for a more quiet place to walk around or feel homesick for American suburbs, Sarria-Sant Gervasi is the district for you.
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Hi All! My name is Curtis Kline, I'm from New York City, and I am abroad in Barcelona this spring. I am interested in food, culture, and urban studies. In my free time I will be exploring Barcelona and Europe and am excited to share my experiences with you!