Poble Espanyol Is An Open-Air Museum of Spanish Architecture:
One of the favourite places to visit and also a most popular shopping area of Barcelona, the Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) is an array of houses, shops and other buildings done in every style seen across Spain. Enter through the gateway, simulated to look like the great walled city of Avila, and experience the many sights within.
Poble Espanyol or Pueblo Español was built in 1929 in the Parc de Montjuïc as part of the International Exhibition. Today, this open-air museum of architecture provides delightful crafts and entertainment, while giving a view of the many architectural styles around the country. Many of them are careful replicas of existing buildings from around Spain. There are over 117 buildings representing different styles from Galicia, Castille, Basque and the many other regions of this diverse country.
In the interior is a large square, the Plaza Mayor, featuring the Utebo Clock Tower. Connected to it are smaller squares with a town hall, a church, a faux monastery and homes.
While you’re seeing the interesting architecture you can be entertained by street performers and artists. Purchase handcrafted jewelry or just sit and sip a cool drink outside the Tablao de Carmen. There are over 40 workshops here featuring ceramics, embroidery and other handcrafts.
Art of many kinds can be seen throughout the Poble Espanyol. At the Fundació Fran Daurel, you can find works by contemporary Catalan artists along with their more famous colleagues from the past. The building houses art by Picasso, Dali and many others. Lesser known (outside Spain), but still important artists like Barceló and Tàpies are represented too.
Music is an ever-present feature of the Spanish Village, with roving guitarists and horn players providing a festive atmosphere for shoppers. Wander along the boulevard and see pottery made before your eyes. Just next door is the glass blower who will fascinate you with his skill.
At night the village really comes alive.
Many of the shops remain open until 9 p.m. and offer engravings, handmade puppets, masks, leather, traditional woven baskets, musical instruments and much more.
There are dozens of bars, clubs and restaurants. Dancing is popular here with both tourists and locals alike. There’s an open-air discotheque called La Terrazza that attracts visitors and Barcelonans equally.
But perhaps you want a more sedate experience? If you prefer to watch rather than participate, attend the famed flamenco performances. One of the best is found at the Tablao de Carmen. Here, visitors can see the finest in Spanish dance performed by world-class performers.
The village was only intended to last until six months after the 1929 exhibition, after which it was scheduled to be demolished. But the area proved so popular it has lasted to the day, receiving a major renovation in 1988. Visit and you’ll see why.
Poble Espanyol is easy to find. Just take the metro to Placa Espanya, then ride the escalators to the village. Your entry price includes a free audioguide.
Av. Marquès de Comillas, 13