The Arc de Triomf & the Eiffel Tour

The Arc de Triomf & the Eiffel Tour

One of the most important monuments of Barcelona is the Arc de Triomf, was presented during the city’s Universal Exposition in 1888.

A bit of history

In the city of Barcelona there are several monuments representing the era of Catalan modernism. Among these, the Arc de Triomf stands out as it represents an example of the neo mudejar style, which recalls Arab influence. The architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas presented the design of this monument in 1888 for the first Universal Exhibition in Barcelona. It is located in the pedestrian avenue of Passeig de Lluis Companys, the monument served as an access door to the exhibition held inside the Ciutadella Park. The Arc de Triomf represents the progress of Spain in the late nineteenth century. It was a symbol of acceptance towards the nations that came to the exhibition.

Description of Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona is a brick structure of about 30 meters high. The monument is surrounded by twenty angels representing fame. It is crowned by another coat of arms: on top, it represents the coat of arms of the Spanish monarchy. There are also pillars with at the top of lions that are known as the Pillars of Hercules.

Why was it built?

It was built to welcome guests to the Universal Exhibition. While the other part of the arch represents the award ceremony of the guests. On it you can see coats of arms of the various Spanish provinces. While on the sides of the angels, one with a trumpet and one with a laurel wreath. The Arc de Triomf, is distinguished from other Arcs in various cities. It deosn’t represent a symbol of a military victory, but of the artistic and economic progress that Barcelona went through. A true highlight is the avenue behind the monument where you can walk among locals, street artists, skaters and sportsmen. It leading to the Parc de Ciutadella.

An interesting aspect is the possibility of observing the city through a strategic view on the roof.

What do the Arc de Triomf and the Eiffel Tower have in common?

One of the most sensational stories around the Arc de Triomf refers to the Eiffel Tower. It should have been built in the same location in the past. Unfortunately this didn’t happen as the Barcelona Civil Council rejected the proposal concluding that the tower was not consistent with the aesthetics of Barcelona. Indeed, a very curious piece of news, that should be studied in depth.

In 2009, Spanish journalist Lluis Permanyer looked into the library owned by the local newspaper La Vanguardia. It was a popular one back in 1881, where they talked about the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

Permanyer discovered through this research that in reality Eiffel signed the agreement with Paris on March 30, 1885. While Barcelona was announced as a city hosting the fair on June 18, 1885.

In essence, Eiffel had signed with Paris when Barcelona was not yet announced to host the expo. Consequently, it is quite unlikely that the proposal to build the Eiffel Tower in Barcelona predated the one in Paris.

How to reach Arc de Triomf?

The monument can be reached in several ways: via the metro station, located on the red line 1, or a short walk of around 15 minutes if you are in the Gothic Quarter as well as from Placa de Catalunya.

Naturally, if you’ve walked for a long time and want to eat something typical near the monument, there are several restaurants in Arc de Triomf that could suit you. We recommend Degrees Barcelona, Casa Rafols, Toco Alto, Madre Taberna Moderna and many others.

If you want to visit the Arc de Triomf directly on our website you can buy tickets for a walking tour where we will visit the most important monuments of the city including this monument.

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