If we’re looking for Barcelona’s B-side, Poblenou is the place to visit. Technology and communication companies share spaces with artist studios in industrial buildings with history. Also known as the catalan Manchester in the nineteenth century, Poblenou was originally filled with swamps that enabled a massive industrial growth, with the creation of many textile factories such as Can Felipa or Ca l’Aranyó. After the factories closed between the forties and sixties, it became a new residential and financial district that was given a big boost in 1992 with the creation of the 22@ project, that created the collage that we can find there nowadays.
One of the most beautiful and popular buildings left from the industrial era is Can Felipa, built in 1855 as a textile factory originally owned by Felipe Ferrando (hence the name “Felipa”). After the textile crisis forced the factory to shut down, it became a Community Centre thanks to the will of locals that pressured the council in to creating this space. Nowadays it has become a multidisciplinary project to create, propose or take part in visual and stage arts.
After the cemetery of Montjuïc, it is probably one of the most important cemeteries when it comes to artistic value. It was rebuilt in 1775 after Napoleonic troops destroyed its predecessor to become the last resting place of famous Catalan artists such as Josep Anselm Clavé or Serafí Pitarra. One of the most famous sculptures in the cemetery is “El Petó de la Mort”, which would be translated as “The Kiss of Death”. Built by Jaume Barba in 1930, it is said that this statue was the inspiration for Ingmar Bergman’s “The Seventh Seal”.
All kinds of bars, restaurants and pubs fill Poblenou. Most of the terraces and restaurants are concentrated in Rambla del Poblenou, a residential street with beautiful modernist buildings. There, we’ll find great restaurants such as Can Recasens, located in a site built by one of Domenech i Montaner’s desciples. If you’re looking for a quick bite, another place to go is the Carrot Café, a simple but stylish place where we can devour what are allegedly the best sandwiches in Barcelona. Late at night, bars and taverns pop up where at day there were only metal doors with graffiti. One of the most popular taverns is l’Ovella Negra, a massive bar filled with long wooden tables and big pints of beer. Really close to l’Ovella is one of the most famous discos in Barcelona, Razzmatazz; with five different dance floors and some of the best Djs in the city. Plus, if you’re lucky you might get to watch a live concert .
The “Parc del Centre de Poblenou” is a beautiful creation by Jean Nouvel, who created a wonderful wall of plants that hides this Park filled with Mediterranean flora. The meeting point of the Sardana Square makes a great spot for children, as they can play in cool huts while adults can relax on the benches and contemplate wonderful willows, vines and flowers that entwine with Nouvel’s gaudinian creation.
Metro: L1 Marina or Glóries L5 Bogatell,Llacuna or Poblenou Tram: T4 Auditori, Glóries, Ca l’Aranyó, Pere IV, Fluvià, Selva de Mar Bus: L26, L6, L192