Many cities around the world have places with the same name. For example, Spain Square in Barcelona has a namesake in Madrid, and it is only slightly inferior in size and occupies a legitimate second place. It is on the list of must-see attractions in many tourist programs, on a sightseeing tour it receives a lot of attention because it is famous not only for Spain Square itself, but also for the architectural sites located on it.
History of Spain Square
Most of the main city squares arose on the site of bazaars. Only a relatively small part was planned and built on purpose. Plaza España in Barcelona combined both options. In the Middle Ages it was a rather dark place where death sentences were read and carried out. The site was then chosen for the erection of the fortress of Ciudadela. Only at the beginning of the 20th century did it acquire representative functions.
The transformation of this part of the city began in anticipation of the World’s Fair, which was scheduled for 1929. It was necessary to build something that would shake the imagination and completely erase the memory of the dark past. The architects approached the task with great responsibility, creating a sketch where the Spanish square was like a sun with a monumental fountain in the center and ray-streets leading from the square in five directions.
Josep Pui Cadafalch and Guillem Busquets were commissioned, and the project was completed by Antonio Darder. A great solution was to combine several architectural directions. Already unfashionable modernism played new colors with the introduction of classical and baroque elements. This is how Barcelona’s Spanish Square at the foot of Montjuïc became one of the city’s iconic landmarks.
Symbolic meaning of the fountain
The area covers an area of 34,000 m2. The central place is taken by the sculptural and architectural composition, which with the help of allegories conveys the most significant values of the Spanish people:
The fountain on Plaza España in Barcelona was under construction for four years, but its grandeur and beauty are well worth the long wait.
The place chosen for it is also symbolic, located on the road from Madrid to Barcelona, which indicates the greatness and immutability of the country.
The overall design is by Josep Marie Jujol, with decorative elements by Mikel Bly. They combine Greco-Roman, Art Deco and Baroque styles. The central part consists of a monument enclosed around the edges in Corinthian columns with symbols of art, glory, and religion. A bowl rises above them. At the foot of it picturesquely arranged three goddesses, symbolizing health, fertility and wealth of the sea.
Spain Square Sightseeing
Conceived as a single architectural ensemble, the square also has its own allegorical gate leading to the Queen Maria Cristina esplanade. They are symmetrical Venetian Towers, reaching a height of 47 meters. In the original design, the towers were to serve as an entrance to the international exhibition.
The Arena Barcelona shopping complex is almost 30 years older than the square itself, it was built at the beginning of the 20th century. The building is round in shape because it was originally a bullfighting arena. After it was banned, the complex was reconstructed for trade, with restaurants and pompous stores opening on its premises.
The observation deck is never empty because it offers a magnificent panoramic view. If you go up the escalator, the entrance is free. Those who chose the transparent elevator must pay 1 euro.
Fira-Barcelona is considered one of the major fairgrounds in Spain. It consists of two pavilions. The most famous technical exhibition held annually, called Mobile World Congress.
How do I get to Plaza España?
Spain Square is marked on tourist maps as one of the main attractions of the city, so to pass by it will not be possible with all the desire. It also has practical significance, as it is a major hub of surface and underground transport.
Location of Spain Square on the map
It can be reached on foot by taking the direction of Mount Montjuïc and the Olympic Center. As well as the subway, train and bus, the corresponding stops are marked on the tourist and transport maps. The easiest way to go by cab, but then will be lost opportunity to leisurely walk through the stores, look into the cozy restaurants and feel the indescribable atmosphere of the city itself.