The Arc de Triomf is an enormous monument initially built for the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition. Today, the arch is one of the city’s most iconic attractions and marks the entrance to the scenic Parc de la Ciutadella. Visit the Arc de Triomf to admire the neo-mudéjar design of the dark red triumphal arch.
Get a closer look and study the intricate carvings and sculptures adorning the walls. Giant pillars merge with the arch’s sides, presenting imposing stone sculptures of bats. These winged creatures were considered the emblem of King Jaume I in the 13th century.
Pass through the arch and gaze up at its curved ceiling. Each side of the arch’s interior has three light blue doors.
At the top of the arch, notice the horizontal stone tapestry that depicts various historic figures beneath a large emblem. The friezes represent themes including agriculture, industry and art. Stand back and consider the sheer size of the structure, which is 98 feet (30 meters) tall.
The arch stands in the Passeig de Lluís Companys, a long pedestrian boulevard flanked by palm trees and elaborate lanterns. Find the best spot on the lengthy approach to the monument to capture a photo of your group, with the arch making up an impressive background.
Consider the history of this Catalan symbol, which was designed by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas and built as the gateway to the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition. The arch’s various symbols welcomed other nations to the exhibition and depict the awarding of medals.
Find the Arc de Triomf on the edge of the Old Town quarter in central Barcelona. Take the train or metro to its namesake station right beside the monument, which is in the northwestern corner of the Parc de la Ciutadella. See some of the nearby sights, such as the Plaça de Tetuan, the Plaça de Catalunya and the Museu de la Xocolata.