Friday, May 4, 2012

El Poble Espanyol, Spain in miniature

Back in 1929, it was Barcelonas turn to host the World Expo, and Poble Espanyol was built. (Poble=town, Espayol=Spanish) Josep Puig I Cadafalch, modernist architect, wanted to build something extravagant, a miniature Spain. An open-air architectural museum located at the hill of Montjuic in Barcelona. He wanted to build a "town" where architectural style and culture from various geographical locations in Spain was represented in one single space. In the end the idea was set into life by architects Ramon Reventós and Francesc Folguera and the artists Xavier Nogués and Miquel Utrillo.

The idea was to make this a temporary museum, just for the world expo. It took them 13 months to build it, and it was only going to be there for 6 months before being demolished. It was preserved as it turned out to be such a success and there were big protests against its destruction. 

The creators made several trips around Spain, visited about 1600 towns and villages to get a good image of the typicalness of each part of the country. Photographs, drawings and notes helped them build this open-air museum. It oppcupies a total of 42000 square meters and contains 117 buildings with streets and plazas reproduced to scale. 

It is like a separate town in the city. Beautiful architecture, a collection of contemporary art, craft workshops, restaurants and shops with products and souvenirs from different parts of Spain.

When I saw the advertisement for the Calcotada back in February, there was no doubt in my mind that I would go, as it was held at el Poble Espanyol. Two birds in one stone! And it was great to see the Poble on a day like that, where the atmosphere couldn’t be any better and there was a lot of people. It felt like I was away in some other Spanish town and I loved it! 

It amazed me that all these beautiful buildigs were supposed to be torn down!

Apart from serving as a museum day-time, you can find a lot of things going on; festivals, concerts,  as well as other events. Some nights of the week the Poble is open at night too, and you can eat dinner at one of the restaurants there.

Here, shop from Andalucía, typical ceramic tiles and platters

Looking at the photos don’t you agree that it seems like a whole real town? 
I can’t believe it was supposed to demolished!

On a side note, this was the second time the World Expo was held in Barcelona. First time was in 1888, when among other things, el Parc de la Ciutadella was reconstructed. (It really is beautiful, make sure to visit if you come by Barcelona!)


  1. It's funny that you posted this - I was just looking at going to the Cockington Green Gardens here in Canberra which has miniature buildings and gardens from around the world. I'll have to keep an eye out on what they have on Spain (and Norway). I'm so glad that they didn't demolish it, that would have been such a loss. Hope you had a great weekend lovely <3

  2. PS I'm hosting a giveaway by an inspiring young lady I hope you're able to have a look :)

  3. Oh, that sounds fun! Please tell what you find on Spain and Norway, that would be fun to know!
    I can't believe I missed the give-away! I will have to have a look ;)