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Time Required : 15-20 minutes

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Arc de Triomf, Barcelona Overview

Also known as the Arco de Triunfo, this Spanish triumphal arch was designed as the main gate of access for the Barcelona World Fair in 1888. Now it leads to Ciutadella Park, which has replaced the erstwhile World Fair Grounds. Facing Passeig de Sant Joan, the Arc de Triomf is often compared to its sister arches in Paris, London and Bucharest.

Many art aficionados have studies the Arc de Triomf for its hidden structural symbolism. A gateway to 19th century Barcelona, it depicts the Catalan city welcoming the nations of the world. Atop the arch shields of 49 Spanish provinces are perched, heralding the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona.

Situated at the intersection of Barcelona’s two boulevards – Passeig de Lluís Companys and Passeig de Sant Joan, your visit to the Arc de Triomf can be combined with a walk through the Ciutadella Park and Barcelona zoo. Right across the arch, you can see an impressive statue, honouring a former mayor of Barcelona Francesc de Paula Rius i Taulet.

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History of Arc de Triomf

Arc de Triomf

This famous monument was designed by architect Josep Vilaseca, as a part of the Catalan Modernista movement. Spread across the Passeig Lluís Companys, the Arc de Triomf has become one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Constructed as a gateway to the Universal Exhibition hosted in Ciutadella Park in 1888, the arch is replete with neo-Mudejar elements. The frieze overlooking Passeig de Sant Joan was designed as a way of symbolising Barcelona welcoming the nations.

Architecture of Arc de Triomf

arc de triomf, archway, architecture, red brick

Built in reddish brickwork in Neo-Mudéjar style, the two pillars of the arch feature sculpted ‘bats’, an emblem of King Jaume I of Barcelona. The 30-metre-high Arc de Triomf has its origins in Moorish architecture. The front frieze, designed by Josep Reynes contains a sculpture with the words ‘Barcelona rep les nacions’ while its opposite side says ‘Recompensa’, representing granting of awards to the World Exhibition participants.

How To Reach Arc de Triomf

To get to the Arc de Triomphe you can walk from the centre of Barcelona (1.1 km).
  1. Metro: "Arc de Triomf" line L1. 

  2. Railway: R1, R3, R4, R7, R12, RG1. 

  3. Bus: No. 54 (Estació Nord)

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