Construction start / opening date: 1888
Architect: Josep Vilaseca and Casanova
Original name: Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona
The Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona is a monument located at the intersection of two boulevards – Sant Joan and Lewis Compans. Unlike arches in other cities and countries, it was erected not in honor of the victory, but as a symbol of the country’s scientific, cultural and economic development.
In 1888, in Barcelona, on the territory of the Citadel Park, the World Exhibition was held, while several large structures were built in the district, including the Arc de Triomphe, which became the main entrance to the exhibition area.
The Arc de Triomphe in Spain is made in the neo-Moorish style – one of the most unusual styles of architecture. It differs from similar arches in Moscow and Paris in the material of construction: the arch consists entirely of red brick. Above you can see the Spanish coat of arms, on the other facades of the building are the coats of arms of all provinces of the state.
To prevent the Arc de Triomphe from looking too simple, it was decorated with sculptures and bas-reliefs. They all carry symbolism, but there are two figures of bats, the meaning of which is unknown.
The style in which the arch was framed was very popular at the time of construction. In addition to her, there are many other attractions in Barcelona, but it is the Arc de Triomphe that is considered the most beautiful and majestic, which attracts many tourists.
On the frieze of the façade, there is an unusual composition called “Barcelona welcomes the nations”. Barcelona is depicted as a man seated on a throne and greeting the exhibitors. On his chest is the old coat of arms of the city. On his right hand you can see the mother of the gods – Cybele, and on the left – Athena Pallas – the goddess of war, wisdom, culture, art and justice. The latter is depicted as a woman with a shield in her hands.
On the other side of the arch is the sculpture “Reward” – the work of the architect Joseph Limon. Depicts the distribution of awards to exhibitors. There is also a figure of Barcelona, but this time in the form of a woman surrounded by various allegorical and mythological characters.
On the right side of the arch there is a composition “Agriculture, Industry and Trade”. Among the figures one can easily recognize Athena holding the olive branch, the symbol of peace, and Tsetsera, raising grapes from the ground. Agriculture is represented by a woman holding a tray of food. Trade is represented by the god Mercury, and the cogwheel is a symbol of industry.
On the left side – the composition “Science and Art”. The central place in the composition is occupied by the figure of Apollo – the god of the sun, beauty, music and poetry. In his right hand he holds fire – a symbol of progress, passing it on to Science.
In addition, four more sculptures were created in the image of women, who were given the general name “Glory”.
How to get there
Getting to the Arc de Triomphe in Barcelona is very easy. It is enough to go down in the metro – Red Line 1, and get to the Arco de Triunfo station. There are also bus stops and excellent bike paths.
- The Arc de Triomphe is considered a unique architectural monument of the 19th century.
- Near the arch is the metro station of the same name “Arc de Triomf”.
- The arch in Barcelona traditionally serves as a venue for city fairs.
- The arch was restored in 1989.