Portal de l’Àngel (Portal del Ángel)

Portal del Angel Barcelona

Avenida del Portal del Ángel (officially and in Catalan Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel) is a famous pedestrian street of Barcelona bringing together a large number of commercial establishments. The avenue runs from Plaça de Catalunya turning into Carrer de la Cucurulla to Carrer de la Portaferrissa and joining onto Las Ramblas.

The street is famous for being the most walked down in Spain with an average footfall of 3500 people per hour, this comes hand in hand with having one of the highest commercial rents in Spain with the average price per meter being 3,120€ back in 2011.

Still you will find many stores here such as El Corte Ingles and other international franchises, especially fashion and fast food. Due to the extremely heavy footfall it is common to find street entertainers here: human statues, dancers, musicians etc. but not so many as you would expect on Las Ramblas itself as this street is not as popular with the tourists.

Closer to the Plaça de Catalunya end among the larger commercial stores you will find smaller craft stalls selling handcrafted objects and the such.

It is said that during the visit of Vicente Ferrer at Barcelona in 1419, an angel appeared to him in this place and explained that he was there to watch over the city and here the name is derived: Avenida del Portal del Ángel (Avinguda del Portal de l’Àngel).

This name became official on January 30, 1466 at the initiative of King Pedro the Ceremonious in appreciation of the end of a plague epidemic in the city. A few months later, in November 1466, when the king was dead, an image of the Guardian Angel commissioned by the king was placed here. This sculpture, located in a chapel on the wall, was there until 1859, at which time the walls were demolished and the image  was first moved to the door of the Church of Santa Anna situated on Carrer Santa Anna, and then to the church Àngel Custodi d ‘Hostafrancs (then new) until it was destroyed by the Civil War in the anticlerical snatches that occurred in Catalonia.


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