ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poble Espanyol in Barcelona

Updated on July 20, 2018
aesta1 profile image

Mary and her husband work on international projects and have worked in the Maldives helping the government with skills development.

Poble Espanyol: Culture, Gastronomy, Artisans and Events

Calle de los Arcos
Calle de los Arcos | Source

Why Visit Pueblo Espanyol?

When you can’t see a whole country, yet you know all of it has a magnetic history, stunning architecture and amazing variations in culture, what do you do? You can sit on your couch and watch travelogues o read other folks adventures. That gets boring very quickly.

In Barcelona, you can go to Puelo Espanyol and walk through living, working examples of the architecture that expresses Spain's history. From the hot plains in the middle to the heavy Arabic influences of the South, the mountains of the north and the glorious beaches of the East, Spain as an endlessly unfolding magic road of enticing places and with Pobles, you can get an intro to most of them.

Streets of Poble Espanyol
Streets of Poble Espanyol | Source

What is Poble Espanyol About?

Built for the 1929 Barcelona International Expositions, Poble Espanyol gave visitors a sense of the entirety of Spain before the age of Ryan Air and the low cost carriers, decent road links and really rapid trains.

As you walk through the streets, you see historic buildings from every region and most of the faces and doorways are originals brought from towns and villages where reconstruction was made necessary by the endless wars of the 19th and 20th century.

Some of the buildings contain displays reaching back to Roman times but often focused on the era that the building was completed, with many from the 14th to the 17th centuries.

It's about enabling visitors to have a Feel for Spain in a day, know about its culture and tradition, its food and art, (even Picasso puts his nose in ) and what makes it the country so distinct and special.

Where is Poble Espanyol

A
Poble Espanyol Barcelona:
Av Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, 13, 08038 Barcelona, Spain

get directions

The Entrance to Poble Espanyol

Entrance to Poble Espanyol
Entrance to Poble Espanyol | Source

Feeling Spain

Feeling Spain is the theme encompassing Poble Espanyol. Promoted as a concept by Catalan architect, Puig Cadafalch, Poble Espanyol was built by the architects Francesc Folguera and Ramon Reventós, the art critic Miquel Utrillo and the painter Xavier Nogués who visited 600,000 sites all over Spain.

From these they selected the ones to represent the key characteristics of each region. They organized the village into cultural themes:

  • The Center
  • The Way of St. James
  • The North
  • The South
  • The Mediterranean

Casa de los angels in Zaragoza
Casa de los angels in Zaragoza | Source

The Centre of Spain

You enter Poble Espanyol through the Torres de Avila and you break out into a huge square, the Plaza Mayor. This big square in the middle is so typical of Spanish villages and even in cities, the organization is around such squares. Around here you will have a sense of the plains and hills of La Mancha and see displays from the centre of Spain which includes cities such as Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, Caceres, Leon, Merida and Badajoz. The history and drama in each one of these is worth the visit.

We enjoyed popping into these places but also became fascinated by the displays here. Madrid is, of course, the capital of Spain so it offers visitors more variety. But Merida has Spain's top Roman ruins as the retirement community for an entire Roman Legion and if you're into historical battles, Badajoz is the place to go. Salamanca's centre has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Poble shows these areas very well and can kick off your interest in more research or a real visit.

As you move to the North, you are welcomed by the Pilgrim on his way to Santiago de Compostela following the Way of St. James. Even today, about 200,000 Pilgrims walk the Camino coming from all over Europe and the world for this journey. The Camino is given here in Poble a special place because the routes used by the Pilgrims encompass most of the country.

The streets in Poble are narrow and winding and covered with paving stones and Romanesque blocks. You can almost feel the 15th century through your shoes.

A Pilgrim on the Way of St. James

The Pilgrim in Santiago de Compostela
The Pilgrim in Santiago de Compostela | Source

The Way of St. James

This has been a famous pilgrimage popular in Europe from the early 9th century. Pilgrims walk from countries close by to visit the tomb of St. James which was found in Santiago de Compostela. Each country has stories of its heroes setting off to pay a moral debt.

The Legend tells us that St. James found his way to Galicia to preach there but later decided to return to the Holy Land where he was beheaded. His disciples managed to bring his body back through a ship in Jaffa which conducted them back to Galicia, specifically Iria Flavia.

This place was then governed by the local pagan queen, Loba, from whom the disciples asked for permission to bury the body of St. James. Annoyed by this request, the Queen sent them to a sacred mountain allegedly to pick a pair of oxen to finish their journey. But in this mountain dwelt a dragon, and she hoped the dragon would kill the Christians.

The dragon indeed attacked the disciples but at the sight of the Cross they were carrying, the dragon disintegrated. So, they went to collect the oxen which were really wild bulls the Queen used to bring her enemies to subjugation. Again, when the bulls saw the Cross, they calmed down and carried the body of St James to what is now called Compostela.

In the 9th century, St. James body was rediscovered by a hermit called Pelagius, who after observing strange lights in a local forest went to the Bishop, Theodemar, for help. The Bishop was the guided to the spot by a star thus, the name Compostela was really derived after Campus Stellae, Field of Stars.

The Mourner's Corner
The Mourner's Corner | Source

The Mourner's Corner

This is one of the most interesting features of the Poble. This tells the story of a Count who lived in this house with his daughter. His greatest aim in life is to look for a suitor for his daughter and put a smile on her face. But because the daughter has not really been well endowed with attractive features, the suitor never came. So, one day, the Count decided to put on a disguise and started courting his daughter and he finally saw the smile on her face. However, not long after that, the Count got ill and passed away. The daughter was taken ill by her sorrow that her father died and her suitor has not come back that she soon followed her father. This Corner has then been referred to as the Mourner's Corner.

Torralba de Ribota in Aragon
Torralba de Ribota in Aragon | Source

The North

While often overlooked by tourists, the North of Spain is one of the most stimulating places to visit. Close to the Pyrenees, it is cold in the winter. In the summer, the beach of San Sebastian is one to enjoy as tourists flock to the more popular ones down south. Bilbao has the stunning Guggenhein 2 Museum by the Canadian-American architect, Frank Gehry.

The Way of St. James ends up in the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela which is part of this northern area of Spain. The Way is one of the best ways to explore Spain as the routes are well travelled and well marked with the much needed services on the way. The Plaza Aragonese discussed below are part of this area as well.

Aragon Section In Poble Espanyol
Aragon Section In Poble Espanyol | Source

The Aragon Square

Aragon is a landlocked region in northeastern Spain comprising the provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel. It is not to be confused with the Crown of Aragon which included a much bigger area.

Aragon is known for its ornate, Moorish-influenced Mudéjar architecture. Most famous of these is the Basilica of the Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Zaragoza. Pobles displays these beautifully

Andalusia

The South
The South | Source

The South

The South segment of Poble Espanyol, Andalucia, showcases its well known cities such as Malaga, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada and its Moorish influence having been under the Moors from the 8th to the 15th century. So, the architecture here reminds visitors of the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba, the Giralda and Alcazar in Seville. The whitewashed buildings of the South are also showcased here in Poble.

Streets of Poble Espanyol
Streets of Poble Espanyol | Source

The Mediterranean

The Spanish cities on the Mediterranean Coast boast of milder climates reflected in their way of life. Barcelona is part of this area together with Valencia. These coastal cities showcase their Maritime tradition, art and gastronomy. In some cases, they feature different languages and cultures and their uniqueness has a political overtone emphasized in the architecture (think Gaudi).

Fran Daurel Museum
Fran Daurel Museum | Source

Fran Daurel Museum

Inaugurated in 2001, this Museum is inside the Poble Espanyol. It has over 300 works by internationally renowned artists housed artistically on several levels. This is worth a visit. Showcased are the variety of styles of many contemporary Spanish artists. Picasso, Dali and Miro and others with links to Barcelona are all featured here.

The Sculpture Garden
The Sculpture Garden | Source

The Sculpture Garden

36 sculptures by 27 different artists using different styles in a natural surrounding of about 3,000 square meters. This is the Sculpture Garden that you can enjoy inside the Poble Espanyol. What a refreshing break from the recreated village.


Artisans at Work

The Artisan at Work
The Artisan at Work | Source

Poble Espanyol: a Living Site

To make it a living site, about 20 artisans work through the range of crafts that have been part of Spanish history, and of course, sold products on site. The artisans are interesting as they still use the age old ways of making their wares. You should see the workshop of the guitar maker. There are some beautiful guitars there on display. and he builds as you watch.

We went inside the leather crafters shop where we were greeted by his white miniature poodle watching the store as the craftsman worked out back. We had a good look and settled on a beautifully crafted belt.

We also visited the glass maker and the workshop is big enough to really watch him at work. While some people think these are tourist traps, for us, it is a connection to the past, to the artisans who love their craft.

Although there are about 20 artisans working in Poble, we took time to visit these artisans and it was worthwhile:

  • Guitar Maker
  • Leather Crafter
  • Glass Blower

Castille y Leon

Castille y Leon
Castille y Leon | Source

A Poll on Poble Espanyol?

What do you think of Poble Espanyol?

See results

Here's a video of the Poble Espanyol

A Visit to Poble Espanyol

Do you recommend a visit to Poble Espanyol?

See results

Aranda de Duero

Castilla y Leon
Castilla y Leon | Source

Cafes, Music and Other Events in Poble Espanyol

There are Musical Performances and other events organized in Poble Espanyol most of which showcase Spanish culture but also other events just for fun and entertainment. Flamenco dances or fiestas are some of the events here so check out the scheduled events and join the fun.

There are many activities for kids, classes and workshops so you can learn from some of the artisans in the place.

There are Cafes serving food specialties from different regions so this is your chance to sample food from places in Spain you have not yet been. When we went the first time, we enjoyed churros con chocolate and some turrones.

The Poble offers venues for all kinds of events even weddings. There are squares as open venues for events, churches that can accommodate banquets, and others that can even be recreated in this 40,000 sq. m. area.

Poble Espanyol
Poble Espanyol | Source

Our Impression of Poble Espanyol

In some ways, Poble Espanyol is overwhelming. There’s simply too much to absorb in a few hours and perhaps, a kilometre of walking. There’s truly a bit of everything. From Picasso to food, through lace, leather, glass and knives.

Located as it is immediately adjacent to the Museum of National of Art in Catalonia, it is very easy to visit the culture of Catalonia through the morning and the architectural history of Spain in the afternoon.

Although we have visited most of Spain, we found Poble, the miniature Spain to be absolutely intriguing. Each narrow street unfolded a new part of the country and original architecture to be considered.

For visitors with no time to see the cornucopia of Spanish history and culture, this is a one stop shop to give an overview and some ideas.

For opening hours and events, visit the Poble Espanyol website.

Poble Espanyol
Poble Espanyol | Source

© 2018 Mary Norton

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      6 days ago from UK

      Having read your article, I will certainly consider visiting next time I am in Barcelona.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 days ago from Ontario, Canada

      What you bring to a place often changes your own experience. For people who will not have a chance to see most of Spain, this is a good glimpse of the other Spanish provinces and its culture.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      7 days ago from UK

      Each time I have gone to Barcelona I have wondered about visiting El Poble Espanyol. It has either been closed, not well publicised or we have been put off by stories of it being a tourist trap. Your article encourages me to put it back on my list of places to visit in Barcelona (which lengthens each time I read your interesting articles).

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the visit. It is in Barcelona.

    • Leonie Manguilin profile image

      Leonie Manguilin 

      6 months ago from Belgium.

      I've visited many places in Spain but not Poble Espanyol.

      Thanks for sharing your thought on this masterpiece. Love reading it.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It is my favourite area to visit, eat and shop.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 

      6 months ago from Connecticut, USA

      Seems as if this is a great area of Spain to visit. Such variety. Beautiful photos.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Yes, Barcelona is indeed a city to visit as there are many things to see. Thanks for the visit.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful photos and what an amazing scenario. Loved the detailed information about a place I would visit some day.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      6 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks you Rachel. I appreciate the support.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      6 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Mary, Your pictures are fantastic. I don't travel but if I did, I would really like to see Barcelona just by seeing your pictures and reading the descriptions of your trip. Thanks for sharing. I will pin this article..

      Blessings to you.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      It is and I am sure you must have seen it, at least the outside, when you were here.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Linda. Of course, there is no substitute for the real thing but, often, it is not possible to get to these places.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      That was our experience, too. We delayed going thinking it is like Disney but we enjoyed the stroll.

    • CYong74 profile image

      Kuan Leong Yong 

      7 months ago from Singapore

      Oh, you bring back such memories, Mary. I visited in 2014 and remember being somewhat hesitant before entering, I thought it would be cheesy, but it turned out to be so lovely and serene. Thanks for sharing your pictures and the detailed writeup.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love this article, Mary. I've visited Spain once, but I didn't go to Poble Espanyol. I would love to visit this site! Your descriptions, the beautiful photos, and the video make it sound and look very appealing.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      I see in one of your responses that you likened it to visiting Epcot. That is exactly what I was thinking as I was reading about Poble Espanyol. Places like that are a great introduction to a country particularly if people cannot get to all of those places. At least they have an idea of what the different areas would have to offer.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for the visit. I would recommend this city. There is so much to see and do.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 

      7 months ago from Chicago Area

      More beautiful photos! My husband has his heart set on visiting Barcelona someday. This area should be on his itinerary. Thanks for showing us the sites!

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Barcelona would be great. We are 66 and 74 and with elevators and escalators in almost all of the attractions, your Mother will enjoy it.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      For you who has traveled a lot and enjoy exploring on your own, Poble will be like Disney's Epcot. Still, if you happen to be here first in Barcelona, it is a good basis for where to go.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      7 months ago from USA

      I would simply love to visit here. I'm looking for somewhere that my mother and I can go. She would love this, I think.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      7 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. Very interesting. We have not made it to Spain yet but definitely in the next few years so this will come in handy. I really like the idea behind Poble, it gives you a taste of all the different regions of Spain in one place. Will add it to our list. Thanks for sharing, have a great day.

    • aesta1 profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Norton 

      7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Bill. I can understand that and, at least, I know you'll appreciate what I share.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'll probably never visit there. Just the thought of being trapped in an airplane for six hours or more is enough to make me shake. LOL But I love hearing about it and seeing your beautiful pictures, so thank you.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)