Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Barcelona, Spain - Poble Español

Poble Español is an open-air museum that was built for the International Exposition of 1929. Its a mini city - complete with streets, squares, plazas and fountains - that showcases the different architectural styles of Spain. Two architects and two artists visited 1600 towns and villages gathering pictures, drawings and notes on the various elements of Spanish architecture. They then built a small city with each barrio having a distinct regional style. It was supposed to be demolished after the Exposition, but has survived to recently celebrate its 75th anniversary. It has been a tourist attraction since the Exposition with the exception of a period during the Spanish Civil War when it was used as a prisoner camp. But don´t be fooled, this little city is alive. It has craft stores, restaurants, schools and shops. Its fun to walk the city and marvel at the different styles, building materials and designs.