Barcelona, Spain – One

Barcelona’s slogan is Cap i Casal de Catalunya or Head and Heart of Catalonia. The centerpiece is Ciutat Vella. Old City includes the famous Gothic Quarter, La Rambla and the waterfront of La Barceloneta. Equally exciting is Montjuïc Hill. Enjoy your visual tour of these historic areas in gallery one of Barcelona.

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Unique Historical Architecture in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is celebrated for its unique historical architecture. Antoni Gaudí is considered the genius of Catalan Modernism. You will see several of his creative buildings in the Barcelona Two gallery. On the left is the Nativity Façade of Sagrada Família. Construction of this famous minor basilica began in 1882. It is scheduled for completion in 2026. In this gallery you will enjoy Neo-Classical government buildings, former Olympic stadiums, a 17th century castle, a Gothic cathedral plus the remnants of a Roman wall from the 1st century BC. An example of what is ahead is the Neo-Mudéjar style of the Arc de Triomf with its red brick columns and angel sculptures.

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1 Barcelona Cathedral’s Central Spire in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Construction of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia began in 1298 and was finished in 1420. This 174 foot central tower of Barcelona Cathedral was added in 1913. Notice its openwork and lacelike design. It is surrounded with pinnacles accented with decorative crockets. For a closer look, take an elevator to the top. The Cathedral’s namesake is Eulalia of Barcelona. Saint Eulalia was only 13 when she was tortured, crucified and beheaded in 303 AD for refusing to recant her Christian faith. The tomb of Barcelona’s co-patron saint rests within a marble sarcophagus. Barcelona Cathedral is located at Plaça de la Seu within the Gothic Quarter.

Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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2 Barcelona Cathedral’s Central Naves in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

The interior of Barcelona Cathedral is structured with three naves. Canopying the altar is a Catalan Gothic, ribbed apse. Flanking the sides are lancet arches containing elegant stained-glass windows. Surrounding the perimeter are 29 chapels. Collectively, they contain the images of more than 140 saints.

Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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3 Barcelona Cathedral’s St. Cristo de Lepanto Chapel in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

These red votive and pillar candles are in the St. Cristo de Lepanto side chapel of Barcelona Cathedral. The altar contains a cross from the bow of a rowing vessel used in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. According to legend, a sign from God helped the Holy League defeat the Ottoman Empire during this major naval engagement involving over 400 ships. This chapel was created in 1407 by Arnau Bargués.

Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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4 Barcelona Cathedral’s Saint Ivo Tower in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Cathedral has two octagonal bell towers in the back of the structure finished in 1393. This one seen from Baixada de Santa Clara stands over the Saint Ivo doorway. The gargoyles on the right are protruding from Palau del Lioctinent, part of the Royal Palace of Barcelona. This building housed Arxiu General de la Corona d’Aragó starting in 1318. In 1994, the General Archive of the Crown of Aragon moved to the Eixample District (see photo of new headquarters in this gallery).

Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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5 Gaudí Exhibition Center in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Most people visiting Cathedral Square are fascinated by the Cathedral’s Gothic façade. But look to your left at the Gaudí Exhibition Center. This site has a greater history, starting with the Romans in the 1st century BC. It was also an Augustinian monastery called the Charity House or La Canonja from the 10th century until 1400. Most of the current structure from the 14th century was the new House of Charity. Its formal name is Pia Almoina meaning devout charity. Inside is the Diocesan Museum of Barcelona displaying religious art and artifacts dating back to the Middle Ages. There are also exhibits about Antoni Gaudí. Another place to experience the works and life of the city’s famous architect is at the Gaudí House Museum in Park Güell.

Pla de la Seu, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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6 Palace of Catalan Music in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is celebrated for its Catalan Modernism architecture, especially buildings designed by Gaudí. Yet Lluís Domènech i Montaner was masterful in his use of decorative shapes, colorful mosaics, open design, intricate statuary and elegant features. He was also a professor and director of the local architecture school for 45 years, so he influenced generations of designers. Montaner’s masterpiece is Palau de la Música Catalana, finished in 1908. The performances within the 2,200 seat concert hall are delightful. But the lasting triumph is the façade of the Palace of Catalan Music. Don’t miss savoring this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt, 11, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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7 Arc de Triomf at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

A triumphal arch usually memorializes military success. In Barcelona, the Arc de Triomf was designed in a Neo-Mudéja style by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas as the grand entrance to the 1888 Universal Exposition of Barcelona. The World’s Fair was held at Parc de la Ciutadella. This city park contains several historical structures and museums, a lake, the zoo, an elaborate fountain and plenty of greenspace within 70 acres. Citadel Park was designed by Josep Fontsère and opened in 1877.

Passeig de Lluís Companys, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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8 Palace of Justice at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Palace of Justice is one of the few buildings in Parc de la Ciutadella not purposed for the 1888 Universal Exposition. It is the most ornate structure along Passeig de Lluís Companys. Architect Josep Domènech i Estapà combined several architectural styles to create the unified headquarters for the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia and the Provincial Court of Barcelona. The façade is adorned with friezes plus 48 sculptures and reliefs depicting law and justice. On top of the arched pediment is Moses holding the tablets of law.

Passeig de Lluís Companys, 14, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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9 Passeig de Lluís Companys at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Passeig de Lluís Companys is a popular promenade starting at the Arc de Triomf and leading to Parc de la Ciutadella. The esplanades’ namesake was the President of Catalonia from 1933 until he was exiled after the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939). 18 months later, he was captured by the Nazis and executed by order of Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco. This walkway is illuminate by elegant lampposts. In the background are four domed cupolas of the Palace of Justice.

Passeig de Lluís Companys, 14, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
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10 Three Dragons Castle at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Castle of the Three Dragons was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. He is one of Barcelona’s most famous architects of the Modernisme style yet not as celebrated as Antoni Gaudí. This was a restaurant and café for the 1888 Universal Exposition of Barcelona. Since 1930, Castell dels Tres Dragons has served as the Museo Zoologia. Fans of animals will also want to visit the Barcelona Zoo. Both are located in Parc de la Ciutadella.

Pg Picasso, s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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11 L’Hivernacle at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Regardless if you are a botanist or have a brown thumb, your eyes and nose will enjoy a stroll through L’Hivernacle. The glass and cast iron greenhouse was built for the 1888 Universal Exposition of Barcelona. Today, it is a nursery filled with plants and supplies to beautify your garden. The Hivernacle also offers gardening workshops.

Passeig de Picasso, 8, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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12 Font de la Cascada at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

The centerpiece of the artificial lake in Parc de la Ciutadella is the Font de la Cascada. The elaborate, two-tiered waterfall is fronted by four dragon sculptures. Inside of the arch is a sculpture by Venanci Vallmitjana of Venus on a clam shell. This imagery is a tribute to “The Birth of Venus” painted by Sandro Botticelli in 1480. The fountain was designed by Josep Fontsére with the help of a young student named Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí would become Barcelona’s most famous architect.

Parc de la Ciutadella, Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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13 Quadriga on Cascada at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Crowing the Cascada Fountain in Citadel Park is the gilded Quadriga de l’Aurora. Riding the chariot drawn by four horses is Aurora. According to mythology, the Roman goddess of dawn flies across the sky every morning to usher in daylight. Her brother is the sun and her sister is the moon. This ensemble was sculpted by Rossend Nobas in 1885.

Parc de la Ciutadella, Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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14 Catalan Parliament at Ciutadella Park in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Most people think of Spain as one country. Actually, since 1978, the Kingdom of Spain is a State of Autonomies comprised of 17 autonomous communities. Barcelona is the capital city of the Catalonia community. There are 135 members of the Parliament of Catalonia. They manage Catalonia’s government, agencies and budget. Their sessions are conducted in this mid-18th century building designed by Próspero de Verboom as a military arsenal. Also housed here is the Museum of Modern Art (Museu d’Art Modern).

Parc de la Ciutadella, s/n, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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15 Fossar de les Moreres Eternal Flame in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

The War of the Spanish Succession was a major battle between Archduke Charles of Austria and Felipe V, the King of Spain from the House of Bourbon. Philip V had been promised to rule France and Spain. The conflict raged across Europe from 1702 until 1715. During the Siege of Barcelona (1713 – 1714), the Bourbons captured Barcelona who were sympathetic to Charles. This event ended Catalonia freedom. Soon the Crown of Aragon was abolished after a rule lasting 554 years. This eternal flame is part of the Fossar de les Moreres memorial to the 10,000 Catalonians killed or wounded. The tribute created by Alfons Viaplana in 2001 stands above a cemetery where many of the defenders were buried in the Grave of the Mulberries. In the background are the Catalan Gothic windows of Basilica Santa Maria del Mar. The church was built in 1383 by architects Berenguer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig.

Carrer de Santa Maria, 9, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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16 Picasso Museum in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Pablo Picasso’s training as an artist began in 1890 when he was nine years old. His early works favored realism. During his Blue Period (1901 – 1904), he portrayed gloomy people in shades of blue and green. Museu Picasso in Barcelona has the world’s largest collection of paintings created during his youngest years. The permanent collection numbering over 4,200 pieces is displayed in five, Gothic style buildings dating from the 13th to the 15th centuries. This is the courtyard of Palau Aguilar. The museum opened in 1963, ten years before Spain’s famous painter died at age 91.

Carrer Montcada, 15, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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17 Grand Royal Palace in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Grand Royal Palace is a complex of three historic buildings on Plaça del Rei. They were once home to Aragon kings. The oldest section is St. Agatha Chapel constructed at the start of the 14th century. Saló del Tinell was commissioned by Peter IV of Aragon during his reign from 1336 until 1387. Finally, Charles V – who was both King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor during the mid-16th century – ordered the building of Palau del Lloctinent in 1549. These structures are part of the Barcelona City History Museum.

Plaça del Rei, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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18 Palau de la Generalitat in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia. The autonomous community of Spain is governed by the Parliament, Executive Council and President. The leader of the Government of Catalonia is elected by Parliament and appointed by Spain’s king. Since 1359, the headquarters for the presidency has been at the Palau de la Generalitat. The Renaissance façade facing Plaça de Sant Jaume was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and added in 1596.

Plaça de Sant Jaume, 4, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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19 Monroe Impersonator at Erotic Museum on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

This impersonator is dressed like Marilyn Monroe in the iconic subway grate scene from the movie “The Seven Year Itch.” Although a horrible likeness of Norma Jeane, this person is equally effective at using flamboyance to sell tickets. The Museu Eròtic de Barcelona is not a sex shop. Instead, it is a legitimate museum displaying over 800 items of art and artifacts from early times through the 20th century across various cultures. The Erotic Museum is located along La Rambla across from the La Boqueria market.

La Rambla, 96, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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20 La Boqueria Market on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

La Boqueria is a popular and busy food market located midway along your walk on La Rambla. All of the fruits, vegetables, fish and meat are fresh and delicious. This stand was a cornucopia of radishes, mushrooms, bell peppers, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, beans and a lot more to tempt your palate. It is one of countless stalls packed into this public market built in 1853. See the Spain Markets gallery in the Favorite Subjects section of this website for more mouth-watering photos from inside Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria.

La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
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21 Pastas Alimenticias on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

The flamboyant façade of Pastas Alimenticias on La Rambla beckons you inside to a showcase of pastries, desserts and other calorie-laden delicacies. Your eyes will bulge as your mouth waters and your nose savors the aroma. Go ahead … indulge in one or more of the specialties from Barcelona’s best bakery. Their store is housed in Antigua Casa Figueras. This was a pasta store when it opened on La Rambla in 1902. The intricate glasswork was designed by Mario Maragliano.

La Rambla, 83, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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22 Dragon on Casa Bruno Cuadros on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla is filled with visual curiosities. Among the best is this cast-iron Chinese dragon holding a lantern. The sculpture is suspended from the balcony of Casa Bruno Cuadros, a former umbrella retailer that opened in 1883.

La Rambla, 82, 8002 Barcelona, Spain
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23 Casa Bruno Cuadros on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

In 1854, Bruno Cuadros Vidal opened a shop specializing in umbrellas and hand fans. After considerable success, he hired architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas to construct and decorate a new building doubling as a store and residential property. In 1885, the result was Casa Bruno Cuadros on La Rambla. The property is now a bank. Fortunately, the original decorative façade has been well maintained.

La Rambla, 82, 8002 Barcelona, Spain
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24 Plaça Reial on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

Touring Barcelona can be exhausting, especially in the summer when the average high hovers in the mid-80s °F. Plaça Reial on La Rambla is the perfect spot for an afternoon beer, an evening dinner or exciting nightlife. You will be surrounded by a four-sided arcade and palm trees with the Three Graces Fountain in the middle. Look closely at the lampposts. They were created by Antoni Gaudí early in his career in 1879. The Royal Square was built in 1859 on the site of the former Capuchin convent.

Plaça Reial, 9, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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25 Street Entertainer on La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla is a very popular, pedestrian walkway stretching .75 miles through central Barcelona from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront. Along the tree-lined promenade are historic buildings (such as the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Teatre Principal), restaurants, shops, markets, kiosks and crowds of people. As you approach the terminus of this famous boulevard at the Christopher Columbus Monument, stop to watch the street performers. All of them wear elaborate costumes and many pose as statues until they spring into action after receiving a tip.

La Rambla, 6, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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26 Military Government of Barcelona at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

In 1927, the Ministry of War commissioned architect Adolf Florensa to design this Neoclassical structure at Plaza del Portal de la Paz. Within the pediment is a medallion with the carved relief of Spain’s coat of arms as it appeared from 1931 until 1939 during the Second Spanish Republic. Gobierno Militar de Barcelona now serves as the headquarters for the Ministry of Defense.

Carrer de Santa Mònica, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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27 Naval Command of Barcelona at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

The Naval Command of Barcelona is part of Spain’s Maritime Action Force. Beyond FAM’s obvious role for defense of Spanish shores, the Navy is also involved in fishery activities, port protection, ship scales and the maintenance of underwater archeological sites. Their headquarters are in the Naval Sector of Catalonia facing Plaça de La Porta de Pau and the Columbus Monument.

Plaça Portal de la pau, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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28 Port Authority Building at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

The demarcation of La Rambla’s southern end and the wooden bridge called Rambla de Mar is this bright yellow façade with “Port of Barcelona” emblazoned in the arched pediment. Junta d’Obres del Port was a passenger terminal and customs house when it opened in 1907. It now serves as headquarters for the Port Authority of Barcelona. Additional APB offices are located a short distance away in the World Trade Center.

Pg. Josep Carner, 27-29, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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29 Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after discovering the New World. His first step back to Catalonia at this spot is commemorated with a 197 foot column called Mirador de Colom. This tribute designed by Gaietà Buigas i Monravà was erected at Plaça de La Porta de Pau in 1888. In addition to the 23 foot bronze statue of the famous explorer on top, the monument is adorned with allegory sculptures, bas reliefs and statues of men involved with Columbus’ expedition. For a real treat, take an elevator to the top of the viewing platform.

Plaça Portal de la pau, 9998, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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30 Dàrsena Nacional Marina on Moll d’Espanya at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

The Port of Barcelona is a network of coves, docks and terminals. Some accommodate cruise ships, others harbor commercial vessels and the Dàrsena Nacional Marina shelters sailboats and small pleasure craft. This romantic couple is enjoying the view from a bench on the Rambla del Mar. This is a floating pedestrian bridge leading from shore towards shops, attractions and an Imax theater on a peninsula called Moll d’Espanya at Port Vell.

Rambla de Mar, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
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31 L’Aquàrium on Moll d’Espanya at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

You can literally immerse yourself in marine life while walking through a 260 foot sea tunnel at the Barcelona Aquarium. Since opening at Port Vell in 1995, L’aquàrium has delighted 1.5 million visitors a year with 450 species of fish in over 20 aquariums. The centerpiece is the Oceanarium. Swimming in the one million gallons of water is a stunning array of aquatic life including sharks and stingrays. Kids are especially fascinated when staff feed the penguins and sharks.

Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, s/n, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
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32 Maremàgnum Center on Moll d’Espanya at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

The most scenic shopping complex in Barcelona is Maremàgnum. Located on Moll d’Espanya, the center features over 50 stores including fashion and jewelry retailers. The visual highlight of the waterfront is enjoyed from the eateries on the top terrace.

Moll d'Espanya, 5, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
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33 Barceloneta Beach near Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

There are nine beaches along the Mediterranean Sea beginning at Torre de Sant Sebastià and strolling northeast. They are defined by stone piers. Frankly, they feel like a continuous, three-mile stretch of surf. Locals know the farther you walk, the further you distance yourself from the crowds and the better the sand. Barceloneta Beach is the most popular, especially during the summer months when the water temperature reaches 75°F. That may sound nippy. However, taking a dip is the perfect way to cool off when the thermometer often exceeds 90°F in July and August.

Plaça de la Barceloneta, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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34 El Peix Sculpture at Olympic Marina in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

This golden fish sculpture was created by Frank Gehry in 1992 when Barcelona hosted the Summer Olympic Games. The enormous steel structure measure 184 feet long and 115 feet wide. The sunlight glistens off the scales of El Peix (The Fish) as it watches over the Mediterranean at Olympic Marina. Framing this popular artwork are two skyscrapers. On the left is Hotel Arts. At the base of the five-star property is the Casino de Barcelona with 33,000 square feet of gaming space. On the right is Torre Mapfre, a commercial office building named after a Spanish insurance company. These are Barcelona’s two tallest buildings at 505 feet.

Passeig Marítim, 53, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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35 History Museum of Catalonia at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

In 1881, Maurici Garrán, who was the director of the Board of Works, designed Palau de Mar as an enormous waterfront warehouse serving Port Vell. In 1992, the Palace of the Sea was converted into multi-use facility. Four years later, the primary tenant became the History Museum of Catalonia. The museum traces the evolution and major events of the Catalan culture from the stone age until today. After exploring all four floors of exhibits, have something to eat at the rooftop restaurant.

Carrer dels Magatzems, 8, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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36 Marquis of Campo Sagrado Monument in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

This monument at Plaza del Palau celebrates the success of Marquis of Campo Sagrado VI (title held from 1792 – 1837) to channel water from the Moncada mountain to four Catalan provinces represented by the women sculptures. The male figure holds the Progreso star, a symbol of progress. The Neoclassical fountain titled “Source of the Catalan Genius” was created by Francesc Daniel Molina in 1856.

Passeig d'Isabel II, 416, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
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37 Correos de Barcelona in Ciutat Vella District in Barcelona, Spain

Anchoring Plaça d’Antonio López (Antonio López Square) in the Gothic Quarter of Ciutat Vella District is Edificio de Correos y Telégrafos de Barcelona. A team of architects – Jaume Torres i Grau and Josep Goday i Casals – created Barcelona’s Post Office and Telegraph Building in 1929. The four statues below the coat of arms were sculpted by Manuel Fuxà. They are allegories for communications. Surprising, this is still the city’s central post office. Not surprisingly, the telegraph services are long gone.

Plaça d'Antonio López, 1, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
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38 Barcelona Royal Shipyard at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

The Spanish Navy was founded in the 13th century. During the 16th and 17th centuries, it helped Spain become a world power by conquering foreign lands after the discovery of the New World and the first global circumnavigation. These are a few of the stories you will learn among the shipping artifacts at Maritime Museum of Barcelona. The exhibits are housed in the former Drassanes Reials de Barcelona. Initial construction of the Gothic-style Royal Shipyard occurred in the late 13th century and was finished in 1390.

Av. de les Drassanes, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
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39 Aduana Building at Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

This Neoclassical building in the Square of the Gate of Peace at Port Vell opened in 1902. Architects Enric Sagnier and Pere García did a masterful job of decorating the former custom house with Ionic columns, dentil molding and ornate windows. Above the reliefs of royal crowns and the crenels are sculptures of winged lions. The stone façade has a warm glow in the Barcelona sunshine. This building is called Aduana by some and the Duana Nova (New Customs House) by others.

Carrer de Circumvallacio Tram Dos, 6, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
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40 Torre de Sant Sebastià in Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

A scenic way to travel from the beach and harbor at La Barceloneta to Montjuïc Hill is by riding the Port Vell Aerial Tramway. One of two elevators will take you up the 282 foot Tower of Saint Sebastian. Then it is a short distance – less than a mile – before reaching the Sants-Montjuïc District. Along the way you will enjoy panoramic views of the city from your cable car.

Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 88, 08039 Barcelona, Spain
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41 Landmarks at Montjuïc Hill and Park in Barcelona, Spain

The 700 foot elevation of Montjuïc Hill provides wonderful views of central Barcelona and the Mediterranean. This is just the beginning of the attractions warranting exploration. An example is the National Art Museum of Catalonia below these towers and domes. This is one of a few pavilions left from the 1929 International Exhibition. You will also find stadiums that hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics, the Jardí Botánic botanical gardens, a Spanish village named Poble Espanyol, the Magic Fountain (Font Mágica) and the historic Montjuïc Castle. Within Montjuïc Park are a bullring, convention centers and Venetian Towers.

Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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42 Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona, Spain

In 1927, Estadio de Montjuïc was one of several buildings constructed for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (World Fair). During the late 1980s, it was renovated to become the main facility for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Capacity crowds of 67,000 people watched the opening and closing ceremonies for the XXV Olympiad inside Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. Since then, the stadium at Olympic Park (Anella Olímpica) has been used for professional sporting events and concerts.

Passeig Olímpic, 15-17, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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43 Palau Sant Jordi on Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona, Spain

Another sporting complex located within Olympic Park on Montjuïc Hill is Palau Sant Jordi. Architect Arata Isozaki designed the domed arena as a gymnastics and volleyball venue for the 1992 Summer Olympics. St. George’s Palace continues to be used for handball and basketball games plus concerts and other special events.

Passeig Olímpic, 5-7, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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44 National Art Museum on Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona, Spain

High atop Montijuïc Hill is the National Palace of Montjuïc. This magnificent Spanish Renaissance building was the main pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exhibition. After Expo 1929, it became the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Within its half million square feet is a wonderful collection of Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance artwork, paintings, frescos, statues and coins. Most exhibits are from the 19th and 20th centuries. A few date back a thousand years. The MNAC offers visitors free admission.

Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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45 Fundació Joan Miró on Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona, Spain

Joan Miró i Ferrà was a celebrated 20th century sculptor and painter who was born in Barcelona. Eight years before his death at 90 in 1983, he established Fundació Joan Miró. This building designed by Josep Lluís Sert on Montjuïc Hill is as stylistic as the works created by Joan Miró. Centre d’Estudia d’Art Contemporani doubles as a learning institute for aspiring artists plus is a museum for contemporary art.

Parc de Montjuïc, s/n, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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46 Montjuïc Castle on Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona, Spain

The first military fortress commanding Montjuïc Hill was built from 1640 until 1694. It saw fierce action in 1641 during the Battle of Montjuïc (part of the Catalan Revolt) and again in 1705 during the Siege of Barcelona. In the second half of the 18th century, architect Juan Martin Cermeño rebuilt the citadel. During the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939), this was the scene of imprisonment and executions of political enemies of dictator Francisco Franco. In 2011, Montjuïc Castle was given back to the city and is now available for public touring.

Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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47 Stone Garrison Soldier at Montjuïc Castle in Barcelona, Spain

On the top of Montjuïc Mountain in Barcelona, Spain, is a fortress that was originally built in 1640 and then was destroyed, rebuilt and expanded after at least eight battles through 1842. From 1890 through 1960, Montjuïc Castle was a military and political prison that witnessed hundreds of executions. It is now a museum. This garrison soldier stands guard outside of the drawbridge entrance just past the moat.

Ctra. de Montjuïc, 66, 08038 Barcelona, Spain
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48 Venetian Towers in Montjuïc Park in Barcelona, Spain

These twin towers on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina welcome visitors to Barcelona’s conference and trade show centers plus lead toward the Magic Fountain and the National Art Museum of Catalonia. They resemble the iconic landmark in Piazzetta di San Marco in Venice. Yet, at 154 feet, they are about half the height of St. Mark’s Campanile. They were created by Ramon Raventós in order to impress the attendees of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.

Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, 1755, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
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49 Congress Center of Barcelona in Montjuïc Park in Barcelona, Spain

Palau de Congressos de Barcelona is the city’s main convention center. In addition to a 62,400 square foot exhibition hall, the facility has a large auditorium with a 2,000 person capacity plus numerous conference rooms. The structure is adjacent to the Fira Montjuïc Exhibition Centre on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina.

Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, s/n, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
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50 Fira Exhibition Centre in Montjuïc Park in Barcelona, Spain

Fira de Barcelona hosts about 1,000 trade shows annually. The company’s two facilities – Montjuïc and Gran Via – collectively offer over 4.3 million square feet of floor space. The Fira Montjuïc was built to help accommodate the 1929 International Exhibition. This vintage trade show center is located next to the Congress Center along Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina in the Sants-Montjuïc District.

Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, s/n, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
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51 Plaza de Toros de las Arenas in Montjuïc Park in Barcelona, Spain

Spaniards loved their style of bullfighting called corrida de toros. The sport began in 711 AD and reached its peak popularity in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1900, architect Augusto Font Carreras created this Neomudéjar-style bullring at Plaça d’Espanya. Up to 15,000 people enjoyed each ritualized event until it closed in 1997. In 2011, the former Plaza de Toros de las Arenas (Bullring of the Arenas) were converted into a shopping mall called Arenas de Barcelona. On the left is an ornate fountain designed by Josep Maria Jujol. The sculptures are the work of Miquel Blay Fabregas.

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes no. 373-385, 08015 Barcelona, Spain
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