09 February 2018

Spain 3.0: Poble Espanyol

The neighbourhood of Montjuïc is something I haven't explored before, until now. So I decided to use the last afternoon I had in Barcelona to check out some of the interesting places to see here. I started with the Poble Espanyol, which is an open-air architectural museum. This is basically a place where you can experience the architectural features of Spain, all in one place. It was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, and consists of plenty of buildings created using the different styles that can be found across the country. It also contains souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Visitors enter through the Porta d'Avila, a massive gate that resembles the Alcazar Gate in Avila. From this point, you can explore various alleys and streets which are lined with buildings representing various styles from all over Spain.

Of course it is different when you compare to visiting the real cities all over Spain, but nevertheless for someone who perhaps is visiting Spain for the first time, and want to see a digested version of how things differ, then this is a great start. The contrast for example is quite palpable when you walk from a street full of white-washed southern buildings to another alley with buildings from the central part of the country.

There are some highlights, such as the Catalan monastery, which is situated at the far end of the park. It comes with a chapel and a full size cloister.

Finally, there is the Plaza Mayor, which is actually the location of the orgy scene from the movie Perfume. This was where Jean-Baptiste Grenouille made an entire square of people fall in love with each other and have sex, just from the scent of his perfume. Unfortunately, the plaza was covered with some tents due to an event, so I couldn't take a proper picture.

Anyway, this is one of those places where families would enjoy a visit. It's not a major highlight of Barcelona, but is nevertheless something that is worth checking out. The restaurants inside are okay, but if you are a foodie, you might want to explore food options outside.

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