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Arts & culture

Public art in Barcelona

Written by Christine

They say art is all around and if you’re walking through the streets of Barcelona it really is.  There are numerous art museums and galleries throughout the city but you don’t even need to step inside a single one to find some of the city’s most recognizable pieces.  Many works of public art can be found throughout Barcelona by world-class artists.  The majority of this art was created specifically to be shown in Barcelona or to represent the city itself in some way.  The next time you’re wanting to feel inspired and see something truly unique, make a trip to see any one of these extraordinary works of art.

Parc de Joan Miró

MiroParc de Joan Miró is a green oasis in the middle of a concrete jungle. This park stands upon what was formerly Barcelona’s slaughterhouse district in Eixample Esquerra and was the first public park to be built after the fall of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.  Filled with a variety of trees, plants, and waterways, this space can be used for countless recreational activities.  However, standing 22 meters above the park is a Miró masterpiece, Dona i Ocell.  This brightly-colored cement sculpture was completed around 1983 and placed in the park shortly thereafter.  This is a must for any art lover, and as it is a short walk from Plaça Catalunya it’s easily accessible by public transportation.

El Cap de Barcelona

Cap de BarcelonaKeeping an eye over Port Vell is El Cap de Barcelonaa pop-art wonder created by Roy Lichtenstein.  This sculpture was created to put on display for the 1992 Olympics held in the city and has been placed at the waterfront since.  The artist has said that this statue was created with Barcelona in mind and as a tribute to Gaudí, it’s most famous patron of the arts, due to its bold colors and mosaic tiles.  El Cap de Barcelona was created as an abstract piece but it shows the face of a woman, looking out over the sea from her position about 65 feet above ground.  This work of art is a favorite among tourists who stop to snap a pic of one of Barcelona’s most iconic statues.

The Raval Cat

Botero catSlinking through the Rambla del Raval is The Raval Cat, a sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero.  Known for his style of full-figured characters, this chubby kitty is a popular meeting point in one of Barcelona’s more colorful areas. This bronze feline has a fun and adventurous air about him which certainly makes him right at home in the Raval neighborhood.  The Raval Cat was placed in the Rambla del Raval about 13 years ago and before that his home was Parc de la Ciutadella. Snap a selfie with the cat or if you’re feeling adventurous you can climb up on his back for a better view.

Anything by Gaudí

Gaudi houseGaudí is synonymous with Barcelona.  You can’t visit this city and leave without having seen the Sagrada Família or Parc Güell, or having a walk down Passeig de Gràcia to see his iconic houses.  Gaudí and his architecture are symbols of Barcelona and shape the idea of the style of art of Barcelona and Catalan art in general.  Walking down Passeig de Gràcia you will find Casa Milá and Casa Batlló, both recognized by their soft, flowing lines, unique style, and throngs of people in front taking in the beauty.  The same is true at Sagrada Família and Parc Güell, but you can also find lesser-known Gaudí works in other places, such the mosaics in the Sant Andreu de Palomar church in Sant Andreu and on the Casa Vicens.  No trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing at least a few of these important parts of the culture of Barcelona.

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About the author

Christine

Christine is a traveler, teacher, writer, and beach-lover, exploring Barcelona one tapa at a time!

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