Plaça de Lesseps
Plaça de Lesseps
It is a nerve centre for traffic and has had to maintain a fine balance between acting as a road junction, through which 100,000 cars pass every day, and respecting the needs of local residents. Today, following the alterations carried out in 2008, Plaça de Lesseps is a modern square with green spaces and systems for reducing the traffic noise.
Who was Lesseps?
Ferdinand Marie de Lesseps was a French engineer and diplomat, famous for having directed the building of the Suez and Panama canals. He served as the French consul in Barcelona between 1842 and 1848, and during that time he lived in Gràcia, in the square named after him. During the shelling of Barcelona ordered by General Espartero on 3 December 1842, Lesseps intervened directly on behalf of the city, and that earned him Barcelona's recognition.
In 2005 work began on remodelling the square, to facilitate the flow of traffic without being detrimental to the life of the neighbourhood. After lots of negotiations, plans were agreed that met a good number of both the goals set and the residents' requests, which included leaving the facades of adjacent buildings visible, equipping the square with passable spaces for pedestrians and softening the acoustic impact of traffic.
Today Plaça de Lesseps has urban furniture that allows it to be used by people who live in the area, as well as sculptures (the beam crossing the square, which represents the Suez Canal, stands out), trees and gardens. Notable buildings include the Jaume Fuster Library and the Church of the Josepets, the oldest building in the square.
- Plaça de Lesseps, s/n