Panot Barcelona: Concept, History, and Available Models

April 18, 2024

Panots are the type of hydraulic tile used on the sidewalks of Barcelona. Their history is fascinating because they have inadvertently become one of the symbols of the city.

When Were Panots Introduced? Panots are intimately related to the urban development of Barcelona’s Eixample. Traditionally, the city pavement used macadam stone. The problem it generated was that when it rained, it became a muddy surface due to its nature. In fact, the city came to be called Can Fanga. From 1903, the need to use another type of pavement for Barcelona was seriously considered. Its extension could not be understood without the existence of modernist architecture and that type of material.

From that moment, the Barcelona City Council called for a public competition. In this way, a decision was made to finish paving the city. The option of panots was chosen from among the 5 that existed. The reason that led the authorities to opt for this material was fundamentally economic. It was the cheapest option available, and in 1907, it began to be introduced into the city’s pavement. However, what types exist? We explain it better to you.

Types of Panots The panot must meet standard measurements of a 20×20 centimeter square. Another equally important aspect is that it must be made with Portland cement. The lack of companies that manufactured it was one of the initial difficulties for the spread of this type of tile. The main difference usually lies in the design printed, which can vary. In any case, it is important to note that you can find them in almost any area of ​​the city.

These are the most common designs, although today only the rose and tablet designs are installed. We will not discuss other varieties such as Gaudí hexagonal or traditional cobblestones that have been placed in the Gothic Quarter. These are the most important ones today:

  1. Rose Panot Traditionally, the design has been attributed to the famous architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. This is because the panots of the Casa Ametller are similar to this design. However, there are some differences in relief, and most importantly, there is no documentary evidence. Today this is a very common design on the streets of Barcelona.
  1. Tablet Panot The tablet panot has two great virtues. First, it can be built in small pieces without noticing the difference. Second, it facilitates water drainage, one of the fundamental aspects to avoid problems.
  1. Four-Tablet Panot with Circles This design tries to combine the functionality of the tablet panot with the attractiveness of the rose panot. Although it is not the most common, it is not too difficult to locate it on the streets of Barcelona.
  1. Ensaimada Panot The ensaimada panot, named for its concentric shape reminiscent of that Mallorcan pastry, is uncommon. In any case, it is important to say that they are no longer installed on the city’s pavement today.
  1. Skull Panot The skull panot is another design that has been abandoned and is no longer being restored. While it may seem eerie, most Barcelona residents eventually got used to it.

Who Installs This Type of Tiles? The installation of this type of tiles is assigned to specialized manufacturers. It must be said that these are few because the Barcelona City Council only works with companies with experience in the sector. This is the case of Mosaics Torra, which provides tiles, panots, and Gaudí tiles. No less important is the restoration work, which in the pavement of Barcelona is fundamental.

If you want to buy hydraulic tiles, Mosaics Torra is an interesting option for several reasons. Firstly, because we are manufacturers. Secondly, because we take care of the installation. Finally, because we can restore public buildings because we have the know-how.

If you need quality hydraulic tiles, we can help you. Contact us, and we will inform you in more detail about the possibilities available to you.

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