Running parallel to the Passeig de Colomb, Carrer Ample means ‘wide street’ – wide enough for carriages that is, which in higgledy-piggledy 16th century Barcelona was good enough to make it the city’s most aristocratic address, where the likes of Emperor Charles V and the kings of Hungary and Bohemia stayed, and where the city's merchant princes hunkered down in their mansions and waited for better times.
Decidedly less regal today, it still has its charms: the Basilica de La Mercé, as well as several bars and intriguing shops, including the 19th-century grocer's La Lionesa at No. 21. On its northern end you'll find Barcelona’s grand palace of letters, the Correus (1927), designed to awe visitors sending postcards home from the 1929 Exhibition.
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