The OpenHouse festival, which runs over the weekend, is a great opportunity to peek inside some of the architectural gems in Barcelona which aren’t usually open to the public. The festival has been running for five years now and getting steadily bigger and more popular every year, with over 150 buildings in Barcelona participating this year.
There are a few really special buildings which we’re planning to check out:
Bomb shelters in Gracia
This system of tunnels under Plaça del Diamant was built during the civil war, when Barcelona was bombed heavily by Franco’s forces. Designed for the inhabitants of Gracia, the tunnels could shelter up to 200 people.
Arc de Triomf
Built in 1888 as the entrance point for the Barcelona World Fair, this beautiful piece of architecture next to Ciutadella Park is a familiar sight for most people in Barcelona. Sure to be one of the more popular buildings participating in the festival, you can go up to the top for a rare view over the park.
This ornate palace now houses the Directorate of Catalan Cultural Heritage, but it was originally built in 1794 by the Marquises of Moja. Designed by Catalan architect Josep Mas, it was restored in 1984 to its former glory.
Entry to all the buildings is free, but if you want to skip the queues it’s best to head out early. There is a festival pass available for €50 for the weekend which lets you jump the queue and avoid waiting – maybe a good option if you’re planning to go to a lot of buildings. Full information on the list of buildings can be found on the website.