In the late 18th century, Gràcia was a small neighbourhood in the plain of Barcelona where the road from Barcelona to Sant Cugat crossed with the transverse path which surrounded the city to the north. Two monasteries were established there, the Santa Maria de Gràcia Convent, later known as Els Josepets de Gràcia, and the Santa Maria de Jesús Convent, from which the town had grown. Dependent on Barcelona, Gracia was an eminently agricultural town. In 1801 it was parcelled out to land owners who began various streets construction projects. Thus, Gràcia grew to welcome people commuting to work in the city but without a place to live within the walls. Later, the Passeig de Gràcia, which became a meeting place and recreational zone of the Barcelonan bourgeoisie, was urbanized. In 1850, shortly before the city walls were demolished, Gràcia became an independent municipality, and remained so for nearly fifty years until 1897, when the expansion of the Eixample resulted in Barcelona not only absorbing Gràcia but also Sants, Sant Martí de Provençals, Sant Andreu and other nearby towns. During this time, small workshops were installed in Gràcia's urbanizing zones. Areas that had been dedicated to farming transformed into areas of industrial production. In the mid-nineteenth century, the arrival of large textile industries to Gràcia turned it into a working class neighbourhood with a large claim tradition. Eventually, industries abandoned the neighbourhood which gradually was changing from an industrial neighbourhood to a commercial and service-oriented one.
Joan Lafarga i Oriol (2000). “Itinerari Geogràfic per l'antiga vila de Gràcia”
. Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia
, 49, p. 253-265.