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The Poble Espanyol is an architectural museum placed in one of the most emblematic areas of Barcelona, just a few meters away from the Fountains of Montjuïc. It is one of the biggest attractions of the city because of a single set featuring about contemporary art, architecture, crafts and gastronomy in a quiet, safe and peaceful environment.
The museum consists of 117 full-scale buildings, which make a real Iberian village with streets, houses, parks, theater, school, restaurants and artisan workshops.
The museum was built in 1929, for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition as a synthesis of architectural and cultural of Spain. The idea was promoted by the Catalan architect Puig Cadafalch and the project was realized by architects Francesc Folguera and Ramon Reventós, the art critic Miquel Utrillo and the painter Xavier Nogués were involved as well. The four professionals made several trips in Spain to collect the iconographic material which they needed. During the tour they made hundreds of photographs, notes and drawings that allowed them to project what they wanted to capture. Overall, the artists visited six hundred thousand areas in order to build a complex synthesis of architectural and cultural essence of Spain.
The Poble Espanyol has 117 buildings of fifteen autonomous communities of Spain - Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla - La Mancha, Castilla y León, Cataluña, Comunidad Valenciana, Extremadura, Galicia, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, País Vasco. The autonomous communities La Rioja and the Canary Islands are not represented. The first is not present because it wasn't a separate autonomous region when the museum was designed and built. The Canary Islands, instead, are not represented because the four professionals could not visit them for economic reasons.
Monuments and buildings of the Poble Espanyol
Some of the 117 buildings that are replicated are:
- Calle Cuna - Arcos de la Frontera Cádiz - Andalusia
- Torre de Utebo - Utebo - Aragón
- Cangues d'Onís - Cangas de Onís - Asturias
- Casa Barreda - Santillana del Mar - Cantabria
- El mirador - Sigüenza Guadalajara - Castilla - La Mancha
- Puerta de San Vicente - Ávila - Catilla y León
- Navalcarnero - Navalcarnero Madrid
- Casa de los Celdrán - Murcia
- Las Arcadas - Sangüesa - Navara
- Caserío Casa Arteche - Erandio Bizkaia - País Vasco
- Casa Son Berga - Palma de Mallorca - Islas Baleares
- Paço de los Fefinhas - Cambados Pontevedra - Galicia
- Palacio de los Golfines de Abajo - Cáceres - Extramadura
- La Jana - Castellón - Comunidad Valenciana
- Monasterio románico de Sant Miquel - Cataluña
The Poble Espanyol today
Although it was planned to be demolished when the International Exhibition was completed, it was preserved due to the great success it had achieved. So nowadays we can still enjoy streets, squares and facades that make the Poble Espanyol a real village in which we can still find reproductions of buildings of different Spanish areas and the environmental and cultural diversity of the country can live on. The village today celebrates various gastronomic festivals, concerts in summer, Flamenco shows, private events (weddings, celebrations...), children's activities, festivals and more…
The cultural attraction of the Poble Espanyol is explained as well by the presence of more than 30 artisans, who work within the museum regularly and continually and can be seen working. There are professionals who make blown glass, leather, ceramics, jewelry, masks, basketry, Spanish guitars ... they are in studios or workshops to provide unique pieces, exclusives, to handmade and personalized them according to the costumer's desire. Therefore, even if it is an outdoor pedestrian museum, Poble Espanyol is a unique shopping center in the city of Barcelona.
And among rides, artistic discoveries and visits to artisans and stores with gourmet products, there is always the opportunity of enjoying some delicious food in one of the restaurants or bars in the Poble Espanyol. There is a wide range of establishments. Many have quiet terraces with different types of cuisine in which you can enjoy appreciated food in a quiet environment without cars.
Museum Fran Daurel
The museum Fran Daurel is another attraction of the Poble Espanyol. It is a private collection open to the public featuring over 295 works of contemporary Spanish authors like: Picasso, Dalí, Miró, Tàpies, Barceló, Guinovart and Amat, and many others. Paintings, sculptures, tapestries, drawings and ceramics are concentrated in this museum which also includes a sculpture garden, with 41 large sculptures, in which art and nature are harmoniously combined.
The ceramicist activity of Pablo Picasso developed between 1947 and 1962. During these years, not only the artist learns and uses the traditional technique to make ceramics, but he uses his own methods as well. The pieces that can be seen in the Museum Daurel Fran are especially from 50s and 60s. With ceramics, Picasso expresses any kind of feelings, especially joy. On the one hand, because the Second World War had ended and on the other hand because of his two chldren's (Claudia and Paloma) birth. This feeling is perceived in human faces smiling and because of the presence of animals (simple and schematic compositions and the use of primary colors).
The Poble Espanyol has a theater that regularly organizes entertainment for children. Every Sunday there you can find many proposals (theater, dance, music, clowns or puppets) that change every month. There is also the Barcelona School of Theatre.
Activities for children
In addition to spectacles that take place every week in the Theatre, Poble Espanyol offers other activities for children: workshops (every Sunday morning), TOT Puppet Festival (March), simple living nativity scenes at Christmas and various family shows throughout the year (Carnivals, Santa Eulàlia, Fiesta Mayor, Festival La Mercè ...)
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 09:00-24:00h.
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