Plaça Espanya is the gate to the centre of Barcelona when you are coming from the airport. The square marks the conjunction of Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Avenida Parallel and Avenida Maria Cristina.
It was designed in 1915 and finally completed for the Barcelona World Exhibition in 1929.
The immense fountain in Placa Espanya’s centre consists of three large columns. Designed by Josep Maria Jujol, each of the columns represents one of the Spanish seas: the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay. Previously, the actual site of the fountain had been used for hangings.
Nowadays, in opposition to Placa Catalunya, Placa Espanya is the site for gatherings with a Spanish cause. Right next to Placa Espanya, on Avenida Maria Cristina, hundreds of thousands watched the Spanish national team in the 2010 FIFA world cup final in South Africa.
After the victorious match, Placa Espanya witnessed the biggest party it had ever seen.
Together with Placa Catalunya Placa Espanya is Barcelona’s most important local transport hub. Two metro lines and the airport bus cross here and all southbound metropolitan trains depart.
Buildings around the plaza
- The bullring of Arenas de Barcelona – The Parliament of Catalonia has declared bullfighting for illegal from the year 2012. This second largest bullring in Barcelona will now be converted into a shopping center.
- Parc de Joan Miró – In 1979 this has been the first of the large urban parks being built after the years of Franco. It has been named after one of the most famous sons of Barcelona, Joan Miró, whose 22 metre statue Woman and Bird (Dona i Ocell) is the most impressive skulpture of the parc.
- Venetian Towers – these twin towers mark the entrance from Placa Espanya to Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina. Architect Ramon Reventos y Farrarons designed the Venetian towers with an altitude of 47 metres.
Following Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina along the exhibition grounds of Fira de Barcelona, after 300 metres you will reach the Magic Fountain and the stairs to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) on Montjuic.
How to get to Placa Espanya?
Use metro line 1 or 3 or one of the regional trains to Placa Catalunya. From the airport take the blue airport express bus outside the terminal.