Palau Sant Jordi is an impressive multi-purpose venue which sits atop Montjuïc as part of the Olympic Ring, landmark location of the 1992 Olympic Games. Below the sleek, iconic dome – which took 10 ten days and 12 hydraulic jacks to raise – you’ll find the ‘go to’ venue for all the biggest concerts, both Spanish and international, that take place each year in Barcelona. The Palau also hosts sporting events, family shows, exhibitions, and corporate events. Even if nothing on the events calendar takes your fancy, it’s well worth paying a visit to see the building, a piece of outstanding architecture designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.
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Palau Sant Jordi forms part of the Olympic Ring, the name given to the site of the 1992 Olympic Games, a pivotal event which it is said to have launched this city as the European holiday destination giant that it is today. In the Olympic Ring, you’ll also find the Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Esplanade, the stylishly landscaped outdoor space which links the two monumental buildings, and the scene of many outdoor sporting events, corporate events, and photo shoots. There’s a slightly space-age feel to this area – at night, the dome has a flying saucer quality to it. Surrounded by lights, it seems to hover in the night sky above the city, watched over by the unconventional white squiggle of a tower, the Montjuïc Communications Tower which was built to transmit the Olympic Games and represents an athlete holding the Olympic flame.
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World Class Venue
Palau Sant Jordi was the main covered arena during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, hosting events such as gymnastics competitions, and the volleyball quarter, semi-finals and finals. Far from becoming a ghost of Olympic Games past, this enormous space has maintained its status as a world-class venue for the biggest names in music. Top international performers who have appeared at Palau Sant Jordi include Madonna, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lady Gaga, and Rhianna. It also continues to be a site for top sporting events with many world championships held there, like the Basketball World Cup in, 2013 and 2014, and two Davis Cup finals, in 2000 and 2009. Aside from these ‘conventional’ activities, the cavernous interior has been fitted with a motor cross track, swimming pool, and even an artificial sea (for the Indoor Windsurfing Competition).
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*Main photo by German Ramos via Wikimedia Commons