One of the more curious attractions set on the hill of Montjuic, Poble Espanyol (ŽThe Spanish VillageŽ) describes itself as an open-air museum and combines reproductions of architecture from throughout Spain with craft workshops, restaurants, art galleries and even a glamorous nightclub.
The idea of concentrating examples of the best architecture from around Spain was conceived for the 1929 World Fair and although it was originally given a 6 month lifespan Poble Espanyol is one of few remaining constructions from a World Fair that can still be visited today.It is set out as an ŽidealŽ Spanish village within the city and there are 117 examples of the best and most characteristic architecture of the peninsular, including various historical buildings, villages and squares.You can therefore enjoy a meander through the whitewashed streets of Cordoba before visiting a replica 17th century Galician palace all in one afternoon.Opinion tends to be divided as to whether this is delightfully charming or simply rather tacky but it is enjoyable regardless, particularly if you are interested in craft and artisan products.
There are currently 40 craft workshops in the village where visitors can discover the traditional arts of ceramic, jewellery, decorative painting and glass fusing, along with more unusual crafts; espadrille and puppet making amongst many others.The items produced are for sale, but individual visitors or groups have the opportunity to discover the production techniques and the different skills necessary in producing these highly individual products.For this reason, as well as having such an unusual architectural place in Barcelona, Poble Espanyol has furthermore been declared an Area of Craft Interest by the Catalan Government.The village also has a strong commitment to supporting contemporary art and various spaces are dedicated to exhibitions, including a SculptureGarden which is home to over 27 pieces.
There is plenty to for stomachs as well as for eyes to feast upon, Poble Espanyol has over 15 venues covering all types of Spanish food from typical tapas bars to Catalan delicacies or restaurants specialising in the full range of Mediterranean cuisine.There are live flamenco shows, an Andalucian ŽpubŽ or for serious night owls the nightclub La Terraza where the city’s beautiful people come to dance until dawn.
Opening hours: Mon 9am – 8pm Tues to Thurs: 9am – 2am, Fri 9am – 4am, Sat 9am – 5am, Sun 9am -12am
Christmas: 24 Dec 9am-8pm, 25 Dec 9am-2pm, 1 Jan 1pm-8pm