C/Nou de la Rambla, 169
Refugio 307 is just one of more than one thousand air raid shelters built during the Spanish Civil war to protect its citizens from the bombing campaigns which were a new weapon of war. Gone were the days where battles were held on battlegrounds and the front would be far away from daily life for civilians. Now they were directly targeted, aerial bombardent made them part of the battle and therefore arose the need to protect the people from these overhead attacks. At first basements of buildings and metro staions served as shelters but as the bombing intensified more shelters were needed. The neighbours of Poble Sec helped construct this 200 metre long tunnel for protection, somewhere to escape the terror above ground and keep safe. Visiting the air raid shelter brings to life the suffering of normal people during the war and the city council arrange tours to remind us to never forget the terrible misery and consequences of war.
Av Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13
Built for the International Exhibition of 1929, El Poble Espanyol (literally ‘Spanish town’) was built to show the architectural diversity of Spain and has 117 buildings, streets and squares from all corners of the country reproduced to scale. You can take a stroll in a pueblo blanco of Andalucía, marvel at the reconstruction of a Catalan monastery and see town halls from Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura and Galicia. Added to the architectural sights El Poble Espanyol has many shops and workshops mainly making and selling traditional items such as leather goods, handmade embroidery, ceramics, jewellery and one of the last glass furnaces in Spain. After taking in the sights and doing some shopping you can also enjoy sampling some traditional delicacies from each region of the peninsular in the many restaurants dotted around this poble. Well worth a visit.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
Palau Nacional, Parc de Montjuïc
Housed in the Palau Nacional which was built as part of the 1929 International Exhibition, the Museu National d’Art de Catalunya holds works from the early medieval period to the mid-20th century. Particularly worth a look is the Romanesque collection which is unmatched by any other gallery in the world. Bringing together murals and paintings from 11th, 12th and 13th century churches in the Catalan Pyrenees, the collection shows not only the changing tendencies and materials used but also the birth and growth of Catalonia. The MNAC also takes us through the Renaissance and Baroque periods right up to the mid-20th century, with works by Rusiñol, Ramon Casas and Salvador Dalí. Another gem in this museum are the newly opened observation decks which give fantastic views over Plaça Espanya and beyond. A must for all art lovers.
Av. Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 6-8
An art gallery sponsored by Barcelona based bank "la Caixa", CaixaForum was opened in 2002. With almost three acres of exhibition space there is no time to waste in exploring every area, the permanent collection featuring media and Modernista art and also delving into the current exhibitions which change every . Apart from the temporary exhibitions, light and airy spaces, media library and restaurant the building itself is also well worth a mention. Housed in a former textile factory designed by the famous Catalan architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch.Called the "Casaramona factory", it was completed in 1911, and the same year won the City Council's award for best industrial building. After closing and then being bought by la Caixa, the building was restored and a new entrance was designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.
Fundación Joan Miró
Parc de Montjuïc The Fundación Joan Miró comprises of over 14,000 pieces by one of Barcelona’s most famous sons. The collection includes 217 paintings, 178 sculptures, 9 textiles, 4 ceramics, the almost complete graphic works and some 8,000 drawings mostly donated my Miró himself and other friends and family. In addition to this extremely complete collection of Miró’s work there is also the Espai 13 an area where young experimental artists can exhibit. This was important to the artist, he wanted to encourage the younger generations to experiment with their art. The architect Josep Lluís Sert designed of the building so it had a natural path to follow to view the many wonderful works of this surrealist artist.
Cementiri de Montjuïc
Carrer de la Mare de Déu de Port, 56 - 58
Opened in 1883, and made possible by the donations of the growing Barcelona bourgeoisie, Montjuïc Cemetery not only occupies almost the entire southern slope of the mountain, but also is the final resting place of many of the Barcelona good and great. The artists Joan Miró, Ramon Casas and Santiago Rusiñol are all buried here as well as Joan Gamper, the founder of our beloved FC Barcelona, Ildefons Cerdà who designed the Eixample layout and Lluís Companys, the last President of the Generalitat de Catalunya before the Franco dictatorship who was tourtured and executed in Montjuïc Castle whose final resting place is the Fossar de la Pedrera alongside 4000 other victims of Franco’s repression. The Cemetery is also well worth a visit to discover its various curiosities, for example all the pathways have names, like the streets in a city and the grand mausoleums built by rich Catalan families in the 19th and early 20th Century.
Barcelona, Spain, Catalonia, Montjüic, Poble Sec, Sants, sightseeing, travel, tourism, museums, culture