Right in the heart of Barcelona, very close to Plaza Espanya and on the hill of Montjuic, you will find Poble Espanyol, a formidable attraction which will transport you instantaneously out of the city, into the world of traditional Spanish villages.
A little history
Poble Espanyol was built at the time of the World Fair of 1929 by creators of great renown: the architect Puig I Cadafalch, initiator of the project; 2 famous architects, Ramon Reventos and Francesc Folguera; and the two artists Xavier Nogués and Miquel Utrillo. To carry out this project, they travelled through typical villages on the peninsula and got information about the architectural characteristics of each area in order to create a harmonious synthesis in one single village, Poble Espanyol, right in the heart of the city of Barcelona. Their goal was to present to the world Spanish architecture in all of its diversity, as well as the convivial ambiance of Iberian villages.
The village consists of elements rebuilt directly on the model of authentic Spanish buildings, whilst others are in original form, extrapolated and transported right to the middle of Barcelona. Carried out with great precision and a very harmonious aesthetic, this village, which was to be destroyed after the Exposition, is still standing today, much to the delight of visitors. Poble Espanyol consists of architecture from the provinces; Aragon, Castilla, Andalusia, Asturias, Murcia and Catalunya.
My experience in Poble Espanyol
After having entered the enclosure of Poble Espanyol, you have the impression of having left the city and transported into the centre of a lively and pleasant village. You are then able to ask for audio guides, which are available in Spanish, Catalan, English, French and Italian, giving you explanations about the regions of Spain, their architecture, their history, which is ideal in order to obtain an overall picture of the country. Strolling around gives you a full tour of Iberian architecture, whilst at the same time benefitting from the convivial ambiance of a Spanish village, breathing in the gentle perfume of the orange trees.
Your visit begins in Plaza Mayor, which abounds in small restaurants offering good quality menus and whose terraces will allow you to soak up the sun, whilst admiring the architectural landscape of the village. Upon continuing your visit, you will discover Galicia, Asturias and Aragon, and will make a stop-off in Andalusia with its white-washed villages. Then you will be able to go and visit the Fran Fraudel foundation, a collection of contemporary art which gathers astonishing works from the contemporary Catalan artistic world: Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Tápies, Ponç, Mompó and many others.
Afterwards, you can take a look around the peaceful monastery of San Miguel, as well as a large number of buildings reflecting all areas of Spain.
While walking through the small lanes of Poble Espanyol, you will discover all kinds of shops, many of which are actually craft and artists’ workshops. Leather, jewels, guitar manufacturers, glass-blowers, fans, masks, hand-made embroidery, paintings, ceramics and lots more. You can discover the trade secrets of all of these objects and see online how to blow glass thanks to one of the most famous glass-blowers in Spain. You will certainly be able to dig out a few beautiful objects to take back home.
To amuse the children, there are also some workshops offering such things as puppets, storytelling, and even an exciting game which allows you to discover the village all whilst having fun. Many festivities are also organized to amuse small ones and grown ups alike.
If you come later in the evening, you can eat in one of the many restaurants in Poble Espanyol, afterwards having a drink in one of the pubs and then enjoying the well-known clubs of the village, to keep the party banging into the wee-small hours.
For those who wish to really get into the Spanish vibe, an authentic flamenco show with dancing, songs and music is also on offer in the Andalusian lanes of the village.
Poble Espanyol is a lively village, ideal for walking, and where you will have the ability to discover the areas of Spain through architecture and the traditional craft industry. Moreover, Poble Espanyol regularly accommodates many events and festivities which liven up the life of the village and make your visit full of surprises. For more information consult the program of activities.
Poble Espanyol , Av. Marquès de Comillas, 13, 08038 Barcelona
How to get there:
Metro (Espanya stop)
Ferrocarriles Catalanes FFCC (Espanya stop)
Autobús (Poble Espanyol stop) 13, 50, 61 and Parc Montjuïc
Bus Turístico (parada Poble Espanyol) BCN SHOP
More photos from my experience