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Melissa Katano

Jim....back when I was still a Spanish student in college, my text book was more or less a travel guide to Spain....the one phrase that was repeated was "las calles estrechas y tortuosas" (the narrow and torturous/winding streets)....my roommate and I got to hate that phrase....


The old section certainly has narrow and tortuous streets, but the much larger 19th-century part of the city is all Enlightenment-era planning done with a T-square. And at some point someone carved two broad perpendicular avenues through the old quarter as well. As with Baron Haussmann's redesign of Paris, this may have combined the goal of traffic flow with the goal of clear fields of fire for government troops.

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