Masts of the Universal Exhibition of 1888

Passeig de Lluís Companys

Architect: Antoni Rovira i Trias

The masts are now faced with the Arc de Triomphe are like this, a reminder of the Universal Exposition in Barcelona in 1888. This was the main access to the site and as such had to spruce up the to make a good first impression foreign visitor who approached the Barcelona event.

Space Hall of San Juan, a name which then received the Passeig de Lluís Companys, had been arranged with balustrades with jars that surround it, but on both sides of the upper section of the ride, the scenery was not very encouraging, with some houses quite simple aside, and the wall of a garage and the construction of the Palace of Justice in another, which detracted force the ceremonial entrance to the exhibition.

In fact, the initial plans the exhibition mark the position of the entrance a hundred meters below, that is, almost in front of the judicial and closer to the first monumental pavilions of the exhibition building: the Palace of Fine Arts and the Palace Sciences, the vision of which would have mitigated the suburban aspect of the place.

But the desire of the Arc de Triomphe was a permanent fixture serve beyond the exhibition as a focal point of the "square" formed by the junction before him, determined to place it on this site so unattractive. Masts, standard type, with colorful flags, creating a visual landmarks that directed the gaze of visitors to the Arc and departed from that ugly environment. In this regard, it seeks to relate the most of the four suits with bow, with the repetition of iconographic elements such as shields and crowns.

Perhaps the only discordant elements are helmets that crown the masts, a direct reference to the medieval world, which has no echo in the sculptural repertoire classicist del Arco, but it is a very common element of the construction of the first stage of Montaner, period that coincides with the intervention of the architect in important (and medieval-) exhibition buildings as the ousted Grand Hotel International or the old Café-Restaurant that after the year 2010 would host the Museum of Zoology.

  • S. Pere, S. Caterina i La Ribera

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