Barcelona has experimented a magical time that it will never forget. With the celebration of the 1992 Olympics, the city became the capital of the world for a few days, days that will remain forever in the collective memory. The Olympic Ring of Montjuïc, where I am walking right now, was the nerve center of the festival. Today it is much more than a place of remembrance of the emotions experienced because it brings together a series of installations used daily by locals and are still admired by visitors. However, it remains a place where very few visitors stop, so you will be quiet at all hours of the day, but if you are in Barcelona for a short time, this place has very little interest and can surely be replaced by the Mirador de Montjuïc, a few hundred meters away.
Next to the imposing presence of the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium and the Palau Sant Jordi, we cannot miss the communications tower built by the engineer and Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava. This is a steel tower 136 meters high with a structural form that is not based on a vertical but inclined trunk. Its silhouette reminds the body of an athlete and its base is covered with “trencadís”, a clear reference to one of Gaudí’s design characteristics. In addition, the orientation of the tower actually makes it a sundial when it casts the shadow of its central needle on neighboring Europa square. The pools Bernat Picornell are a common meeting point for locals who want to stay fit and just next door is the university sports center, the seat of the INEFC (National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia), designed by Ricard Bofill which reveals the taste of the architect for classical forms, columns and triangular friezes.
An attraction that, in my opinion, is worth more the visit is the Spanish Village or “El Poble Espanyol.” Also located on the hill of Montjuïc, it is one of the biggest attractions of the city, thanks to its unique combination of architecture, contemporary art, craft, commerce and gastronomy in a pleasant environment, without cars and ideal for the whole family! Built in 1929 for the Universal Exposition, it consists of a village with 177 copies of buildings from different Spanish regions. In the same group are the typical Andalusian district and examples of Romanesque monastic architecture, among others.
The set is also a unique shopping center, open 365 days a year, where 20 craftsmen are working every day to develop unique ceramic, glass, leather, jewelry, etc. Another attraction is the Fran Daurel museum which hosts about 300 key works of authors of contemporary art such as Picasso, Dalí and Miró. Entrance to the museum is already included in the entrance to the Poble Espanyol (yes, entrance isn’t free). Finally, a wide range of bars and restaurants allows visitors to discover the variety and richness of Spanish gastronomy. And if you’re up for it, do like me and make yourself comfortable on one of its pleasant terraces to sip a refreshing drink!