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Parc Diagonal Mar Welcome to urban insanity

Start with a flying flowerpot and chaotic paths branching out in all directions—take one. As you delve further into this anything-but-pragmatic park, pathways dissolve into vegetation-lined courts looking like salt marshes next to a large lake.

Diagonal Mar—the greater area of which the park is a key component—is an urban redevelopment project consisting of residential areas, hotels and even a modern shopping complex, as well as the new Centre Internacional de Convencions (International Convention Center) in Barcelona’s 22@ district.

The park’s unique design was conceived by the EMBT design team of Benedetta Tagliabue and Enrique Miralles. Upon completion, the park was received with mixed emotions. Perhaps the most telling criticism is that it’s hardly used by locals. Yet we find it to be quite charming and worth a visit to explore a fascinating example of contemporary urban planning.

The park is divided into six main areas: the fountains, a “magic mountain” for children, a sports area, an amphitheater, a playground and a dog run. The areas are grouped around the large body of water and surrounded by benches and interesting configurations of pavement designed by the Catalan architect team.

Castillo de Montjuïc Elevated fortress

The creation of Castillo de Montjuïc began in the middle of the 17th Century, with additions continuing up until the late 18th Century. It was commissioned during the ‘War of the Reapers’, fought between Catalonia and Spain. For this reason, many Catalans have a profound affection for the building, whose imposing outline now represents a purely symbolic resistance to rule by the Spanish government from Madrid.

The castle’s position was originally intended to give early warning of approaching ships, and still offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea to tourists and residents alike. It is also an opportunity to see another side to Barcelona, with its surrounding industrial sprawl in perfect view.

For those wishing to gain a more in-depth understanding of the fascinating history that defines this impressive building, there is a military museum within the castle grounds.

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