Torres Venecianes, Barcelona

4.3
#586 of 1,796 in Things to do in Barcelona
The Venetian Towers (in Catalan: Torres Venecianes) is the popular name for a pair of towers on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina at its junction with Plaça d'Espanya in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. There is one tower on either side of the street.


The towers are 47m high, with a 7.2 metres square cross-section. The bottom section of each is built of artificial stone, the main section of red brick, and the top section is a colonnaded viewing gallery built of artificial stone, and topped by a pyramidal copper roof. They were modelled on the campanile of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.
They were originally envisaged in Léon Jaussely's city expansion plan of 1907, and designed by architect Ramon Reventós and built in the period 1927 to 1929, as part of the redevelopment of the area for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. Reventós was also involved in a number of other projects featured in the exhibition, such as the Greek Theatre (Teatre Grec), the Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol), and the buildings of the Montjuïc Funicular on the nearby hill of Montjuïc.


They serve an ornamental function, to mark the entrance to the exhibition district, now known as Fira de Barcelona, and the start of the grand avenue leading up to the Palau Nacional on Montjuïc, which houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Originally, the towers were open to the public, who could climb the internal stairs to the viewing galleries, but they are now normally closed. In later years, the western tower housed equipment for controlling the illumination of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, 350m away at the far end of Avinguda Maria Cristina, and the gallery of the eastern tower housed sirens for signalling possible emergencies; the disused equipment was removed during the 2013/14 restoration work.
The towers are registered as protected structures by Barcelona city council, with a protection level of B:B, a structure of local interest.
Following restoration work, the towers opened to the public for the first time since 1929, for a two-day period during October 2014.
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Torres Venecianes Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • These two towers are pretty much the same as the placa espana. The colour is great and really weird.  more »
  • Large towers built for the world Expo in the 1920's and said to be modelled on similar towers from Venice. very striking as you pass through here from the Placa de Espana heading up Montjuic to the...  more »
Google
  • Iconic pair of towers built in the 1920s with a street between them & a design inspired by Venice. The other end of the road is National museum of art of Catalunya (MNAC) and the magic fountain of Montjuïc.
  • Beautiful sunday night colourfull wster fountain and much more
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