This monument was built for one of the most transcendental events in the history of Barcelona, the Universal Exposition of 1888. The place chosen for this event was the area of the Parc de la Ciutadella, as it offered ample space for the occasion.
Many buildings were commissioned for construction, but there is no doubt the most striking and emblematic of all was the Arc de Triomf, an architectural work of Josep Vilaseca, which is nowadays a visual referent of Barcelona’s urban landscape.
Projected as a gate of honour to the compound, brick was the chosen material for the edifice, a resource which was starting to be used by the most innovative architects for their plastic and expressive effects. The arc recreates a classical architecture with a Moorish essence.
We would like to highlight the sculptural reliefs on the top: the one in the main façade, a work from Josep Reyné, represents Barcelona receiving visitors, with the text “Barcelona rep les nacions” (Barcelona receives the nations), and the one on the rear façade, from JosepLlimona, symbolizes the award giving ceremony to participants.
The monumental construction of Arc de Triomf is placed on the promenade Lluís Companys, dedicated to the memory of the president of Generalitat de Catalunya between 1933 and 1939 and later executed by the fascist regime.
The majestic street bench-lights are also remarkable, a work from Pere Falqués, who also designed the ones in Passeig de Gràcia. The promenade links the Arc de Triomf with the Park of Ciutadella, a breath of fresh air for the city. The name of ‘Ciutadella’ refers to the military compound ordered byking Philip the 5th, after the siege of Barcelona which finished in 1714.
If you like history, you will discover more of it with our tour Old Town Tour 😉