Port, Barcelona

The port, with its outer harbor of about 300 hectares/740 acres, occupies the whole of the coastal strip between the district of Barceloneta and the southern foothills of Montjuïc. Before Spain showed renewed interest in the Atlantic and her possessions in Central and South America in the 17th C., the port of Barcelona was one of the most influential in the Mediterranean, and even today ranks as the most important in the whole of Spain. The northern end of the harbor area and the stretch of coastline lying beyond Barceloneta have been reorganized and rebuilt specially for the Olympic Games.
The merchant port extends from the foot of Montjuïc, from which it is separated by the broad Cinturó del Litoral (an arterial road leading to the airport and on to Tarragona). With the ports of Gijón and Bilbao it is the most modern in Spain; the annual volume of traffic is about 18million tons. The main imports are oil, coal, wheat and cotton; first and foremost among its exports are olive oil and cork.
For tourists, the most interesting part of the port is the northeastern section, with the International Trade Center and promenade.

Maritime Museum

Near the port, west of the Columbus Monument are the striking vaulted buildings with many bays, the form of which clearly betrays their original function. Situated in the docks (Catalan: "Drassanes"), they were once a naval arsenal for the royal fleet. Here has been established the Museu Marítim which at present is undergoing reorganization. Therefore the description may not be entirely accurate. Some of the rooms are reserved for special exhibitions.
The museum, which is constantly being extended, portrays all aspects of the sea and seafaring by means of ships, models of ships, nautical equipment, tools and weapons, diagrams and drawings. Signs guide the visitor on a circular tour.
Address: Plaça del Portal de la Pau, E-08001 Barcelona, Spain

Maritime Museum - Shipyard

The shipyard was first built in the 13th C., and by the 18th C. it had been extended to twelve bays. This is where the galleys of the Crown of Aragoàn were built, serviced and repaired. However, after the discovery of America maritime interests moved to the Atlantic, the importance of the shipyards fell appreciably, and the buildings became used as storage warehouses, powder magazines and military barracks. In 1936 it was officially decided to set up a museum here. Since 1976 the whole complex has been under a preservation order. On the southern side, on the Avinguda del Parallel, remains of the old town wall have been preserved.

Maritime Museum - Exhibition Hall

The large exhibition hall is dominated by an excellent full-size replica of the galleon "Real". This was the flagship of the fleet which, under the command of Don Juan d'Austria, defeated the Turks on October 7, 1571 off Lepanto (Greek: Naupaktos; southwest Peloponnes) to give Spain mastery of the Mediterranean. The original figurehead, the "Christ of Lepanto", can now be seen in the Cathedral. The reason for the rebuilding which took place from 1960 onwards was the approaching 400th anniversary of that victory.

Maritime Museum - Submarine

A large number of explanatory diagrams and drawings show the submarine topography of the globe, characteristic Mediterranean winds and their names in various Mediterranean languages, migration routes taken by the most important of the marine animals, the maritime food-chain, sailors' knots and rigging. Also exhibited are some fishing boats (including one from Málaga painted in typical designs), ships' guns, torpedoes and mines.

Columbus Monument

At the Plaça del Portal de la Pau stands the Monument a Cristòfor Colom, 60m/197ft high and weighing 205 tons, which was erected for the World Exhibition in 1888. The iron column is completely covered with allegorical figures. Around the base is a series of reliefs depicting important stages in Columbus's life and voyages of discovery. On the top of the column is an 8m/26ft high statue of Columbus, which points out to sea (and therefore not directly towards the New World). A lift takes visitors up to a look-out area from where there are excellent views of port and the city. On the windows transparent pictures and captions serve to facilitate the visitor's orientation. At the foot of the monument, in the Portal de la Pau, horse-drawn carriages offer tours of the area.
Address: Plaça del Portal de la Pau, E-08002 Barcelona, Spain

Harbor Cable Car

Spanning the harbor basin diagonally is the harbor cable car (in Catalan "Transbordador Aerí"). The harbor terminus is the Torre de Sant Sebastian on the new mole, a 96m/315ft steel lattice mast (the Plaça del Mar with sports and cultural facilities is planned); the intermediate station is the 158m/519ft Torre de Jaume I on the Moll de Barcelona. The funicular ends on the northeast side of Montjuïc, near the Jardins Mossen Costa i Llobera (cactus garden). During the journey passengers can enjoy a splendid view of the port area and the wide Passeig de Colom.

Moll de la Fusta

The Moll de la Fusta is the name given to the section of the port between Portal de la Pau and the Plaça d'Antoni Lòpez. The Moll de Bosch i Alsina, which runs directly parallel, is linked to it by two railroad bridges and has been turned into a spacious promenade with seats, restaurants and an underground parking lot.
One prominent feature is a giant statue of a lobster which was erected next to a restaurant.
The main street along the Moll de la Fusta is palm tree lined Passeig de Colom.


Along the harbor mole the Golondrinas ("swallows") landing-stage can be reached, from where boat-trips round the port may be taken.
Address: Praça del Portal de la Pau, E-08001 Barcelona, Spain


On the Moll de la Fusta lies the large, extravagantly built galleon "Neptune".

Mall of Spain

On a platform 4.5m/14-3/4ft high over the wharf, a center for leisure, culture, sports and shopping has been created.
The chief attractions are an aquarium, a cinema, plus the Maremagnum, a black mirrored building holding a shopping center and a series of restaurants. A model of the world's first submarine, designed by a citizen of Barcelona sits on the main connection of the wharf to the mainland. The area is surrounded by moored pleasure craft. Of special note is the footbridge to the Columbus monument. This bridge is decorated with undulating, overhead metal beams. This redeveloped harbor area is now called Port Vell or the old port.


L'Aquàrium de Barcelona is a marine leisure and educational centre on the moll d'Espanya del Port vell, by the sea. 35 tanks, 11,000 animals and 450 different species are representative of the Mediterranean.
Address: Moll d'Espanya del Port Vell, E-08039 Barcelona, Spain

Church of La Mercé

The Church of La Mercé is the only example of Baroque architecture in Barcelona with a curved façade.


South of the Columbus monument stands the imposing and rather ornate customs building (Duana).

Estació de França

Further to the north of the Stock Exchange and to the right is the Estació de França, the station for France, with rail connections to the north.

Main Post Office

The vestibule of the Main Post Office in Barcelona is decorated with frescos by Catalonian mural painters from the first half of the 20th century.

Military Headquarters

On the grand Passeig Colom which fronts the old port is the large Military headquarters with an elegant 17th century courtyard.

Museum of the History of Catalonia

The history of Catalonia is told through various means including; historical recreations, objects, audio-visual presentations, and hands on displays.
Address: Palua de Mar, Port Vell, Plaça de Vila, 3, E-08003 Barcelona, Spain

Barcelone Pier

A promenade and sports marina was created for the Olympic Games.

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