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Arts & Culture

The National Theatre of Catalonia

Written by Walter Cullinan
The National Theatre of Catalonia is, without a doubt, one of Catalonia’s most important and popular theatres. Designed by the Barcelona-born architect Ricardo Bofill, it was opened up to the public in 1996 and is quite a sight to see. Whether you’re interested in theatre, opera, or just great architecture, the National Theatre has something for worth checking out for everyone.

The magnificent theatre

Photo by marinamartis via Visual Hunt

Even if you don’t go inside for a show, the National Theatre of Catalonia is spectacular to see from the outside. Its design is inspired by the ancient Greeks and their love for splendid architecture. With twenty-six columns at a height of twelve meters each, it clearly stands out among the surrounding architecture. Along with the white concrete steps, beautiful plaza, and surrounding palm trees, it’s easy to imagine being back in the times of ancient Greeks.  Like a lot of Barcelona’s buildings, the theatre mixes the old and the new through its architecture. Once inside, you’re greeted with lots of spacious room and huge glass windows that flood the building with natural light. It’s spacious and comfortable inside with a very nice restaurant on the first floor.

Related Article: 6 Theatres in Barcelona

Shows and arts

Photo via Pixabay

The outdoor plaza is often used as a place for open-air performances. The theatre has three main spaces where performances take place. You can see plays, dance shows, music concerts, puppet shows, opera, and many other events all year round. Most of the time, the shows and events are in Catalan or Spanish. Check out their main website to see a schedule of upcoming shows.

The Sala Gran is the main auditorium and where the biggest events usually take place. It can seat nine hundred people and has the same layout as a classical amphitheatre, so you will get a good view wherever you sit. The Sala Petita is a smaller space which seats three hundred people. It is popular for its versatility and ability to create contact between the audience and the performers. The Sala Tallers seats four hundred people in the adjacent building. This is where you can see experimental acts and works by new writers trying to make a name for themselves in theatre.

How to get there

The theatre is located in the Eixample neighborhood of the city in Plaça de les Arts.  Eixample is a lovely area to walk through, but to get the theatre from Placa Catalunya it will take thirty minutes walking. It’s best to take metro line one from Placa Catalunya to Glòries. There are lots of nice, cozy bars and restaurants in this area where you can relax before or after a show.
The theatre is a great way to connect with culture as it reflects society through art. If you’re looking for a great place in Barcelona to enjoy it, the TNC is one of the very best.
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* main photo by mazlov via Visualhunt

About the author

Walter Cullinan

Walter is a writer from Ireland, Barcelona is like a second home for him with something new to explore every day.

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