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Architecture

Discover Gaudí's work in the Gaudí Exhibition Center

One of the great attractions of Barcelona is undoubtedly Antoni Gaudí and his architecture. Everyone visiting the city does not leave (or should not leave) without having visited at least the Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera. But beyond the emblematic buildings, in Barcelona there is a museum that deepens in the figure of the Catalan architect and his work, the Gaudí Exhibition Center.

Gaudí Exhibition Center

Gaudí Exhibition Center: art and genius of Antoni Gaudí

Gaudí museum

Near the cathedral of Barcelona, on the avenue of the Cathedral, we find the Gaudí Exhibition Center. In this museum there is a collection of unique pieces and objects created by the most international Catalan architect, as well as documents that tell us about his life and his work. For more than a century, research has been carried out around Antoni Gaudí around the world to understand the genius of his work. The studies speak of its revolutionary method of work, and this museum in Barcelona shows the results of years of research related to the extraordinary pieces of the architect.

The museum's objective of the Gaudí Exhibition Center is to value Gaudí's work and make it known. Although the most emblematic works of the architect are the great buildings such as the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Batlló or the Casa Milà, Gaudí also designed furniture and craftsmanship. All his legacy is exposed to the museum, where visitors will learn the revolutionary ideas of the artist and the unconventional methods that made him a genius.

The Gaudí Exhibition Center in a special building

Gaudí architecture

The Gaudí Exhibition Center is located in a privileged place in Barcelona, just next to the Cathedral, one of the most visited places for tourists. The building was the seat of a charitable institution called Pia Almoina, which hosted the poor and the pilgrims. Initially, in the 12th century, this institution was located in the cloister of the cathedral of Barcelona and was there until the fifteenth century. But in 1423 the building was built that is currently on top of a part of the Roman walls of Barcelona. The building, which has undergone renovations and constructions over the years, has a Gothic and a Renaissance part, and you can still see fragments of other eras such as a tower of the wall of the 4th century or a capital pre-Romanesque.

The long history of the building is another reason to visit the Gaudí Exhibition Center, as all kinds of events have survived to this day, which has become the site of the most complete museum on Antoni Gaudí.

And if you haven’t enough with visiting Gaudí's work in this museum in Barcelona, you can visit its iconic buildings with our e-bike tour that tracks the works of the Catalan architect that you can not miss.

The three chimneys of La canadenca, an icon of Barcelona

The neighborhood of Poble Sec in Barcelona hides one of the most interesting points of the city, not only for its architecture but for the history behind it. These are the three chimneys of La canadenca. Do you know that some of the work improvements of today were achieved thanks to the strike that began in the electricity sector, with La canadenca as the central axis? We explain you.

Three chimneys Barcelona

Three chimneys in the middle of the city

la canadenca barcelona

In the Sants-Montjuïc district we find the three chimneys located in the facilities that had been the headquarters of Fecsa-Endesa. Each one of the chimneys measures 72 m in height and up to 4 m in diameter, some buildings that have become the emblem of the neighborhood.

The Sociedad Española de Electricidad, founded in 1881, settled in the industrial complex of Poble Sec in 1883 with the aim of producing electrical energy for Barcelona. It was the first thermal plant that settled in the city. But it was not until 1896 that the first chimney was built.

The demand for electricity grew once in the twentieth century, and it was then that the other two chimneys were built, one in 1908 and the other in 1912. At that time, Canadian engineer Frederick Stark Pearson acquired the factory turned it into what we now know as La canadenca (The Canadian).

In the 1950s the electricity company FECSA was born, and to centralize its services, a large building was built around the three chimneys. In 1987, however, it was dismantled due to environmental and safety reasons, with the exception of the chimneys that are conserved until today.

La canadenca strike

La canadenca strike

The industrial complex and the three chimneys of La canadenca name one of the most important strikes in Catalonia. In 1919 the electric company Riegos and Fuerzas del Ebro wanted to lower workers' wages, and many were fired when they protested. In solidarity with colleagues, many workers in the electricity sector were declared in strike, and the news spread throughout Barcelona to declare a general strike of electric, gas and water companies. This strike paralyzed the city for 44 days, until La canadenca manager agreed to negotiate with the strike committee. Thanks to this firm and determined Spanish labor movement, considerable labor improvements were achieved, such as better wages, re-admission of dismissed workers or the decree of 8-hour work days. This general strike occurred in history as the strike of La Canadenca, an example of what can be achieved with the union of workers for a common cause.

 If you want to discover other special places of Barcelona like Montjuïc or La Sagrada Família, book one of our e-bike tours. Don’t miss the experience of a bike ride in Barcelona.


Plaça Catalunya, meeting point in the center of Barcelona

Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona is one of the most popular and tourist places in the city, and a meeting point in the center easy to reach because of the amount of public transport that has stopped. This attraction of Barcelona connects the old town with the Eixample neighborhood, and it is also the point of origin of many important avenues of the city such as La Rambla, Passeig de Gracia or Portal del Angel.

plaça catalunya barcelona monument

Plaça Catalunya: from outside to inside

When the walls of Barcelona still surrounded the city, Plaça Catalunya was nothing more than an esplanade on the outskirts, in front of one of the main doors. From there, paths leading to the surrounding villages began. That is why it quickly became a place of open air markets and, therefore, a very busy place. Although not yet called Plaça Catalunya, that esplanade already predicted a promising future as a meeting place. Once the walls were demolished, it became part of the city definitively. In 1889, after the Universal Exposition of the previous year, the building permit was granted to the square, and was finely opened in 1927 by King Alfons XIII.

When the city was preparing for the International Exhibition of 1929, some of the most luxurious cafés, hotels and theaters in the city were located in this attraction of Barcelona. Over time they have been changing, but locals in Plaça Catalunya have always been a meeting place and literary and political gatherings.

Art and culture in Plaça Catalunya

plaça catalunya barcelona attraction

Plaça Catalunya of Barcelona as well as being a meeting point for tourists and locals, is a good place to take a walk and contemplate the sculptures that are distributed throughout the square. You can find sculptures such as La Deessa, by Josep Clarà, a monument to Francesc Macià by Josep Maria Subirachs, the sculpture Els pastors of Pau Gargallo and other important sculptors such as Josep Llimona and Enric Casanova. There are also six sculptural groups surrounding the square that represent wisdom, work and the four Catalan capitals.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Plaça Catalunya was also a theater center with venues such as Bon Retir, Cercle Eqüestre Alegria or Teatre Barcelona. Now, the commercial activity is one of the great attractions of the square, and the commercial center El Triangle or the legendary Café Zurich are almost obligatory places of visit.

Plaça Catalunya, today

At the moment, Plaça Catalunya is much more than a meeting place. It is an attraction of Barcelona where there are all kinds of public events, concerts, citizen events, fairs, shows... It is a multipurpose space that welcomes activities for all tastes and for all ages. One of the most media manifestations was that of May 2011, when a large group of citizens camped there to protest against the passivity of the political class. There were also celebrations when Barça won the Spanish Football League. And now that we leave behind Christmas, there was a Fair of responsible Consumption and social and solidarity Economy, recreational and sports activities for children and a show of puppets for the whole family. If you want to discover this and other attractions in Barcelona, reserve one of our e-bike tours right now!

 

Gardens of Barcelona: a breath in the middle of the city


A walk through the garden

Barcelona is a city full of places to discover, such as its gardens. The gardens of Barcelona are ideal places to take a walk and to disconnect from the frantic rhythm of the city. There are many, all different and unique, distributed throughout the city. Surely the best known and touristy is Park Güell because of its relationship with Gaudí, but there are many other gardens worth knowing because of its beauty and originality.

Another Gaudí work: Park Güell

Parc Güell, located at El Turó del Carmel, is a large garden with more than 100 years of history since it was built between 1900 and 1914, and it was opened in 1926. The park, which was first conceived as a great luxury urbanization, was commissioned by Eusebi Güell to Antoni Gaudí, who had already done other assignments, that is why the architecture of Parc Güell is completely modernist. The entrance to the park is sure to be the most emblematic space because the salmandra made of trencadís in the middle of the large stairway. The stairs lead to the Hypostyle Hall, a columned forest with the roof decorated with trencadís panels made by Josep M. Jujol. He himself decorated the railing of the Nature Square, one of the busiest points in the park and from which you can see magnificent views of Barcelona. One of the places worth visiting if you are at the Parc Güell is the Casa del Guarda. Initially it was the house of the porter of the enclosure, but now it is part of MUHBA (Museum of History of Barcelona) and you can see the exhibition «Güell, Gaudí and Barcelona. Expression of an urban ideal».

parc guell barcelona gardens

Get lost in the Horta Labyrinth

If we talk about the gardens of Barcelona, we can not forget the oldest one that is conserved in the city: the Horta Labyrinth. Located in the district of Horta-Guinardó, it was the work of the italian architect Domenico Bagutti. This park includes a 18th century neoclassical garden and a romantic 19th century garden. Inside the neoclassical garden is where the labyrinth is named after the park, and in the middle there is a sculpture of Eros surrounded by cypress trees. The theme of this part of the garden revolves around love, and you can stroll among italian style temples, sculptures and inscriptions inspired by classical mythology, and neoclassical style ponds.

horta labyrinth e-bike tour

The other part of the garden of the Horta Labyrinth in Barcelona, the romantic garden, on the contrary that the other, is inspired by death, and there was even a replica of a medieval cemetery, which today is no longer keep it. In fact, there is little thing about the original design of this part, but you can still walk between fountains, waterfalls and parterres in a particularly shady area. The combination of the two environments makes the Horta Labyrinth one of the most interesting gardens in Barcelona to visit.

The largest garden in Barcelona: Ciutadella Park

One of the indispensable gardens of Barcelona is the Ciutadella Park. Located in the ancient lands of the fortress of Ciutadella, between the Estació de França, the Arc de Triomf and the Olympic Village, it is one of the largest parks in the city. This park houses the building of the Parliament of Catalonia and also the Barcelona Zoo, as well as the Geology Museum and the Zoology Museum. One of the main attractions of this park, as well as the ideal landscaped areas to stroll, is the great lake where you can browse with oar boats. There is also a monumental waterfall designed by Josep Fonserè and in front there is a musical gazebo. Throughout this Barcelona garden there are sculptures and statues that make it an open-air museum. One of the most emblematic is the Desconsol, by the sculptor Josep Llimona. The diversity of spaces in the Parc de la Ciutadella is perfect for doing all kinds of social and cultural activities.

parc ciutadella barcelona gardens

Moorish inspiration: Laribal Gardens

laribal gardens barcelona

On the Montjuïc mountain we find another of the most impressive gardens in Barcelona. Constructed between 1917 and 1924 on the occasion of the International Exhibition of Barcelona in 1929, Laribal Gardens are the work of Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier and Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí. These gardens have a unique structure since they are formed by terraces at various levels joined by steps and paths. The inspiration for these gardens is hispanoarabic, and brick, stone, fountains, tile ornaments and flowers are elements that stand out in the entire park. In the gardens of Laribal, there is the famous fountain Font del Gat, from where the water comes from the head of a feline, designed by the sculptor Josep Antoni Homs, and other sculptures that give it an artistic touch as well as a landscape. Within these gardens, the Ethnological Museum of Barcelona is located.

Visiting all these gardens in Barcelona can not only be an activity of leisure and relaxation, but we can turn it into a cultural activity to know the fauna and flora typical of Catalonia. Book any of our e-bike tours to visit these and other places in Barcelona that you can not miss!

 

Arc de Triomf: a legacy of the Universal Exposition of 1888

Must of the Barcelona attractions

Among all the Barcelona monuments, one stands out for its imposing construction: the Arc de Triomf. From the second half of the 19th century to the present day, universal expositions are celebrated worldwide with the aim of publicizing the culture and tradition of the different countries that participate. In Barcelona, a Universal Exposition took place in 1888, which will last from May 20 until December 9, and it was then that the Arc de Triomf was built, one of the tourist attractions of the city. Designed by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, it became the entrance to the Universal Exposition presiding over the Passeig de Lluís Companys, near the Ciutadella park. One of the main features of this monument in Barcelona is its civil character, marked by artistic, scientific and economic progress. This makes it different from triumphal arches of other cities, of a more military character.

arc de triomf monument

This Barcelona attraction is cataloged as a Cultural Good of Local Interest within the Catalan cultural heritage. In 1989, one hundred years after it was built, it was restored to give it all its magnificence.

Six scluptors, one Barcelona monument

arc de triomf barcelona attraction

The Arc de Triomf is 30 meters high and is of Neomudejar inspiration, not typical in Catalonia. Although it also includes ornaments of the first modernism. It is constructed with exposed brick, that gives this red color so showy, and the most outstanding is the rich sculptural ornamentation. Up to six different sculptors participated in the construction of this attraction in Barcelona. Thus, the upper frieze, called the Adhesion of Nations to the Universal Contest, was conceived by Josep Reynés; Josep Llimona made the reverse of the top and called The Reward; on the right side of the Arc de Triomf Antoni Vilanova designed the allegories of Industry, Agriculture and Commerce, and to the left side Torquat Tasso was in charge of allegories of Sciences and Arts. Finally, in the monument there are twelve female sculptures that represent the Fames, sculptured by Manuel Fluxà and Pere Carbonell. The talent of all these artists created what is still one of the most visited tourist attractions in Barcelona.

As a curiosity, if you pass by, look over the Arc de Triomf, there you will see the shields of the 49 Spanish provinces presided over by the coat of arms of Barcelona. The Arc de Triomf has often served as a goal for some of the city's popular races, such as the Barcelona Marathon. If you want to know about this monument in Barcelona, book the 4 hour Discovering Barcelona Tour. We will pass through the Ciutadella park and we will see the Arc de Triomf.