El Poble Espanyol was built on the occasion of the International Exhibition of Barcelona that took place in 1929. Today it is one of the main tourist attractions of the city and the mountain of de Montjuïc.
The Village is a replica of a real Iberian town, complete with its streets, squares, town hall, monastery, craft shops and restaurants. It sets out to reflect the architectural wealth of Spain, with each of the 117 buildings of the Village a replica of some of the unique monuments and buildings that can be found all over the state. The idea was conceived by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and was brought to life by Francesc Folguera and Ramon Reventós, with the participation of painter Xavier Nogués and art critic Miquel Utrillo. Their aim was to offer a combination between the architecture and the way of life in the different parts of the country. It was originally due to be demolished once the Exhibition finished, but it was eventually preserved in response to popular demand.
Today, a definitive step has been taken to convert the Village into a space for discovering Spanish traditions with the incorporation of new audio-visual installations, among which the Fiesta space stands out, an installation of some 150 m2 that uses a 7-metre high mapping to recreate the most popular celebrations and events in Spain grouped together by concepts such as euphoria, courage, fire, spirituality and colour. The result is a spectacular space where you can experience first-hand the excitement of the Patum of Berga, the Tomatina (tomato fight) of Buñol (Valencia), human towers (Catalonia), Holy Week in Andalusia, the festival of San Fermín (Navarra) and The Jaleo of Menorca (Balearic Islands). In addition there are five immersive audio visual spaces entitled Feelings, which enable the visitor to discover the landscapes, cuisine and traditions of five emblematic regions of Spain: the Mediterranean, the North, el Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James), the South and the Quixote landscapes (central Spain). To add to the experience, the audio-visuals are equipped with high definition screens which interact with other sensory experiences such as the sense of smell.
It is worth highlighting that there are around twenty craftsmen and women who work in the Poble Espanyol, creating pieces from materials such as leather and glass, as well as jewellery and other objects. As a consequence, the Poble has been recognised as an Area of Craftwork Interest by the Government of Catalonia.
In addition, workshops, family activities, guided tours and other events are organised here.
Inside the complex, which is closed to traffic, are numerous bars and restaurants with welcoming terraces, a children’s play park with slides, a picnic area, and cultural events are organised throughout the year for both locals and visitors alike. In the summer months there is a full programme of outdoor activities. There is also a valuable private collection of modern art, on show at the Fran Daurel Museum, where you can admire works by internationally renowned artists such as Picasso, Dalí and Miró.