Jardins del Pou de la Figuera or the Hole of Shame

Passing from the Santa Caterina market a couple of blocks to the northeast along Avenida Francesca Cambo, we will find ourselves in a small triangular square called Jardins del Pou de la Figuera (on the map), where we will see front gardens with all sorts of plant exotics, benches, as well as children's and sports grounds. Locals call this cozy corner El Forat de la Vergonya, which translates from Catalan as "hole of shame".

Barcelona. Square Hole of Shame (El Forat de la Vergonya, Jardins del Pou de la Figuera)

The history of the square is very instructive. In 2000, the Mayor's Office launched a project to modernize the area adjacent to the Santa Caterina market. Residents offered to arrange a green zone on the site of dilapidated and abandoned houses, but when the site was cleared, construction of a huge parking lot began here. Naturally, the residents of the quarter did not like it very much, appeals to the municipality began to pour in, protest rallies were held. These events were not spared by the press, which gave the construction site a scandalous nickname. Together, the construction was still stopped, and a small garden appeared on the square, equipped by the residents themselves. Later, with the help of the authorities, they built a playground, a fountain, and benches. This is a vivid example of the" yard democracy " that was born during the authoritarian rule of Franco, who completely suppressed all freedom of expression in the political life of Spain. During this period, residents of homes and entire neighborhoods began to unite to solve everyday problems and fight against the arbitrariness of municipal officials. It all started small - with the arrangement of courtyards and entrances. The experience of collective problem solving, which was born "at the bottom", was very useful in the transition of post-Franco Spain from a rigid dictatorship to a democratic system of government.

Barcelona. Square Hole of Shame (El Forat de la Vergonya, Jardins del Pou de la Figuera)

After passing through a cozy square, I walked along the rather run-down Carrer de Sant Pere Mes Baix towards Boulevard Luis Campanis.

Barcelona. Santa Caterina District