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Dear foodies, welcome back to our series of articles as we embark on another journey to uncover the hidden gems of Barcelona and discover spots that are not on the beaten tourist paths. 

Have you ever thought about visiting a small town within a city? Now’s your chance! 

Tip2: #Discover the Spanish soul by strolling through “The Poble Espanyol”

Let’s guide you to ‘The Poble Espanyol’. It is a one-of-a-kind spot in Barcelona since it is a unique fusion: a small village nestled within a big city, serving as a microcosm of the entire country

To reach this enchanted destination, hop off at ‘Espanya’ underground metro station and walk towards the “Museum National d’art de Catalunya”. From there, follow the signs leading you to “The Poble Espanyol” and enter the site from the ‘Puerta de Ávila’. 

As you enter, you will feel transported in a bubble, separated from the chaotic city. Walking through the little streets you will immediately notice it is a path into Spanish culture. Each step unveils the richness of Spain’s architectural heritage, taking you on a journey through its different regions—from the North to the Central and Southern parts, with dedicated sections to the Mediterranean and the Camino de Santiago. As you explore, marvel at architectural wonders, visit artisanal workshops, and engage with interactive exhibits unraveling the traditions of each region.

This place was a unique project from the very beginning. Miquel Utrillo, an engineer, painter, and project leader, alongside Francesc Folguera and Ramón Reventós, embarked on a mission to design a venue for the universal exposition, capturing the essence of traditional Spanish architecture. After meticulous research—spanning over 1,600 villages—their vision materialized into Poble Espanyol. Construction started in 1928, culminating in its inauguration on May 20, 1929. Initially this venue should have been demolished after the universal exposition, but – as all great projects created for this world-famous event – it was such a success that the place was kept in Barcelona and still endures today. 

During the Spanish Civil war (1936-1939), the joyful atmosphere of this typical Spanish village faded away as the place was converted into a prisoner internment camp. Efforts to revitalize the site ensued, with the Barcelona City Council spearheading initiatives between 1957 and 1973. Yet, it wasn’t until Catalonia’s growing autonomy in 1986 that Poble Espanyol emerged as a cultural, leisure, and commercial hub. The privatization of the management of the venue led to a quick relaunch. From 2001 an extensive private collection of Spanish contemporary art was installed to mix old and new in a perfect unification of time and space.

On your way back don’t miss the opportunity to watch the sunset from the stairs of the “Museum National d’art de Catalunya”. This popular spot, frequented by tourists and locals alike, offers a picturesque sight of the city. As the sun dips below the horizon, immerse yourself in the harmonious melodies of buskers, adding a magical touch to your Spanish cultural odyssey.

We’ll wait for you at The Paella Club to eat all together a Paella and hear about your discoveries!

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