The Poble Espanyol (Spanish Village) was built for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona on the Montjuïc hill. Its aim was to show visitors a representative sample of Spanish architecture.
Creating a Village - A team of two architects, an engineer and an artist created the Poble Espanyol by building 116 buildings in different architectural styles representing Spain's many regions. The village features a large square, the Plaza Mayor, and a couple smaller squares connected by picturesque streets, some with stairs. It includes a town hall, a church, a monastery, shops and residential buildings.
Replicas (Caballeros Street) - Several of Poble Espanyol's buildings are exact reproductions of existing buildings, while other merely represent a specific architectural style. The main entrance gate to the village is a replica of the Puerta San Vicente, one of nine gates of the 11th century walls around the city of Avila. Some other notable replicas are the Town Hall of Valderrobres and the tall clock tower of Utebo, a mixture of Mudéjar and gothic styles.
A Popular Attraction - El Poble Espanyol was only built for the duration of the Exhibition, but due to its popularity it was not demolished. Except during Spain's civil war, when it was used as an internment camp for prisoners, it has continued to attract visitors lured by the car-free idyllic village.
The Village Today - In 1988 the village was renovated and several attractions were added. There is now a focus on traditional arts with artisans creating glass, decorative paintings, ceramics, embroidery, and many other handmade objects in about 40 workshops. The village also features a number of bars, restaurants, shops and even some nightclubs.