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Centre Civic Can Déu, nº. 13
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Església Maria de Déu del Remei, nº. 1
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Farmàcia Anitiga de Les Corts, nº. 3
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Rab Bar, nº. 9
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La Plaça Florist's, nº.12
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Fragments Café, nº. 12
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Centre Civic Can Déu, nº. 13
The name of this plaça means Harmony Square, most appropriate for a place popular with locals for meeting up and having a drink or something to eat, as well as for the staging of special events like concerts, markets and activities for children.
Tucked away in the neighbourhood of Les Corts, behind the tall office buildings on Avinguda Diagonal and just a few minutes walk from L’illa shopping centre is Plaça de la Concòrdia, a tree-lined pedestrianised square with a mix of restaurants, bars and small businesses.
The plaça is dominated by the Església Maria de Déu del Remei (nº. 1), which dates from the mid-19th century and occupies the whole northern side of the square. Opposite it, are three quite different places to get something to eat: Boages Pastisseria (nº. 10-11), a traditional-style cake and sweet shop; Fragments Café (nº. 12), which serves an original assortment of tapas and a range of mainly Italian dishes—its garden is ideal for al fresco dining in warm weather; and the newest ‘face’ on the square, Rab Bar (nº. 9). Inaugurated in November 2009, with the aim of bringing “something different” to Concòrdia, bar owner Enrique Delgado said he was worried about starting the business in the midst of the crisis, but that so far, things were going well. Open from 8am to 2am, it serves food throughout the day, before becoming a bar de copes around 11pm.
The square is also home to a couple of small cafés—Bar-Frankfurt La Plaça (nº. 8) and Restaurant-Pizzeria Concòrdia (this is officially on Carrer Déu i Mata, but its terrace is definitely in Plaça Concòrdia)—popular with locals for Sunday morning coffee and croissant on their respective terraces.
At number 13 stands the Centre Cívic Can Déu. Now a cultural centre running classes and art shows, it was built in 1898 by the Déu family as their home. The Modernista building was recently renovated and many of its original features are visible, including in the reasonably-priced café at the back that overlooks a large terrace garden.
Finally, the square is also home to a few of those neighbourhood businesses that characterise many streets of Barcelona, managing to survive (and sometimes thrive) despite competition from shopping centres and high street chains, including: the oldest chemist’s in Les Corts at nº. 3 [see ‘A resident’s view’, below], an ironmonger’s (nº. 4), a florist’s (nº. 12) and a convenience store (nº. 14).
A resident’s view: Ferran Oller, 59, Catalan
Chemist Ferran Oller is the grandson of the founder of the Farmàcia Antiga de Les Corts, created in 1860 and today the longest-running chemist’s in the neighbourhood. As well as his grandfather and father, Oller’s wife and two children are all chemists and work with him in the Plaça Concòrdia business. He lives in the flat above the pharmacy.
How much has the square changed? It’s hardly changed; it’s changed very little. The pharmacy is the oldest business in the square—there used to be a chicken shop (polleria), a dairy (lleteria) and two places selling comestibles (grocers).
Eight or nine years ago, they converted the casc antic (old part) of Les Corts into a pedestrianised area. It’s changed positively; [there’s] much more quality of life for the people of the neighbourhood. In the square, there’s always been children, avis (grandparents), people coming to sit on the benches. They came before [when cars were allowed] but it was more dangerous. Now the square is super-tranquil. The houses here have big terraces and when you’re on them you can’t hear any traffic—it’s like being in a quiet village. It seems incredible because the Diagonal is so close.
Is there anything you don’t like about the square? The council could take more care at night in terms in noise. When bands play—and I don’t mind that they play—sometimes the music is too loud.