The Venetian Towers (in Catalan: Torres Venecianes) is the popular name for a pair of towers on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina at its junction with Plaça d'Espanya in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. There is one tower on either side of the street.
The towers are 47m high, with a 7.2 metres square cross-section. The bottom section of each is built of artificial stone, the main section of red brick, and the top section is a colonnaded viewing gallery built of artificial stone, and topped by a pyramidal copper roof. They were modelled on the campanile of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice. They were designed by architect Ramon Reventós and built in the period 1927 to 1929, as part of the redevelopment of the area for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. Reventós was also involved in a number of other projects featured in the exhibition, such as the Greek Theatre (Teatre Grec) and the Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol) on the nearby hill of Montjuïc.
They serve a purely ornamental function, to mark the entrance to the exhibition district, now known as Fira de Barcelona, and the start of the grand avenue leading up to the Palau Nacional on Montjuïc, which houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Originally, the towers were open to the public, who could climb the internal stairs to the viewing galleries, but they are now closed.
The towers are registered as protected structures by Barcelona city council, with a protection level of B:B, a structure of local interest.
During 2012, the towers started undergoing extensive restoration work, costing an estimated €700,000. This would enable the removal of the netting which had been put in place around the viewing galleries to catch any debris falling from damaged sections.
- "Barcelona restaurarà les torres venecianes de plaça Espanya" (in Catalan). Europa Press (news agency). 2012-11-04. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- "Cercador Patrimoni Arquitèctonic: Torres d'Accés al Recinte de l'Exposició de 1929" (in Catalan). Barcelona city council. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- "Es remodelaran les Torres Venecianes de plaça d'Espanya" (in Catalan). El 3. 2011-05-27. Retrieved 2012-11-04.