Sights to See in Barcelona
Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village)
One of the most popular shopping areas of Barcelona, the Poble Espanyol
is an impressive array of houses, shops and other buildings done in
every style seen across Spain. You enter the "Spanish Village" through
the gateway which has been constructed to look like the great walled
city of Avila and experience the many sights within.
Built in 1929 as part of the International Exhibit,
it provides delightful crafts and entertainment while, at the same
time, giving a view of the many architectural styles around the
country. Many of them are careful replicas of existing buildings from
around Spain. There are over 100 different styles represented from Galicia,
Castille, Basque and the many other regions of this diverse country.
In the interior is a large square, the Plaza Mayor, featuring the Utebo Clock Tower. Connected to it are smaller squares with a town hall, a church, a faux monastery and homes.
While you're taking in the interesting architecture you can be
entertained by street performers and artists. Purchase handcrafted
jewelry or just sit and sip a cool drink outside the Tablao de Carmen. There are over 40 workshops here featuring ceramics, embroidery and other handcrafts.
Art of many kinds can be seen throughout the poble. At the Fundació
Fran Daurel, you can find works by contemporary Catalan artists along with their more famous
colleagues from the past. The building houses art by Picasso, Dali and many others. Lesser known (outside Spain), but still important
artists like Barceló and Tąpies are represented, too.
Music is an ever-present feature of the village with roving guitarists
and horn players providing a festive atmosphere for shoppers. Wander
along the boulevard and see pottery made before your eyes. Just next
door is the glass blower who will fascinate you with his skill.
But, it is a night that the village really comes alive.
Many of the shops remain open until 9 p.m. and offer engravings,
handmade puppets, masks, leather, traditional woven baskets, musical
instruments and much more.
There are dozens of bars, clubs and restaurants. Dancing is popular
here with both tourists and locals alike. There's an open-air
discotheque called La Terrazza
that attracts visitors and Barcelonans equally.
But perhaps you want a more sedate experience? If you prefer to watch
rather than participate, attend the famed flamenco performances. One of
the best is found at the Tablao de Carmen.
Here, visitors can see the finest in Spanish dance performed by world-class performers.
Originally, the village was only intended to last until six months
after the 1929 exhibition, after which it was scheduled to be
demolished. But the area proved so popular it has lasted to the day,
receiving a major renovation in 1988. Come see why.
Poble Espanyol is easy to find. Just take the metro to Placa Espanya, then ride the escalators to the village.
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