Port Vell

Old Port
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Formerly an obsolete harbor, Port Vell is a modern yacht-basin and entertainment center. It's a very touristy area, with the Barcelona Aquarium and the Catalonia History Museum as some of its main attractions.

Urban Renewal

Port Vell, Barcelona
Port Vell
Before the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, the Port Vell, the city's old obsolete harbor, was only a run-down area with empty warehouses, industrial buildings, refuse dumps and railroad yards.

In one of the most drastic urban renewal projects, the area was transformed into a yacht basin and entertainment center, opening the city up to the sea. A coastal road was moved underground and a wide pedestrian promenade - the Moll de la Fusta - now stretches from the Columbus Monument to the Barceloneta neighborhood.

Rambla de Mar and Maremàgnum, Port Vell
Rambla de Mar and Maremàgnum

Maremàgnum

A wooden pedestrian bridge - the Rambla de Mar - connects Barcelona's inner city via the Rambla with the Moll d'Espanya, where we find the Maremàgnum, a complex with shops, cinemas, discos, bars and restaurants. Behind the Maremàgnum are an IMAX theater and Barcelona's aquarium. Maremàgnum can be quite lively at night, especially during summer months.

Aquarium

Aquarium at Port Vell
Aquarium tunnel
The biggest attraction of the Port Vell is the aquarium, one of the largest in Europe. The aquarium boasts 8000 sea species, including sharks, rays and octopuses, in a total of 20 basins filled with 6 million liters (1,5 million gallons) of sea water. Basin 17 features an 80m long tunnel from where you can observe Mediterranean deep sea fish, including sharks.

Museu d'Historia de Catalunya, Palau de Mar at Port Vell
Palau de Mar

Palau de Mar

Of all the warehouses along the Port Vell only one survived. Now known as the Palau de Mar, it was originally built at the end of the 19th century by Elies Rogent. Today it houses offices as well as several popular seafood restaurants and a museum: the Museu d'Historia de Catalunya (History Museum of Catalonia). The museum tells the story of Catalonia with chronologically organized exhibits, spanning an era from pre-history to the present day.

Old Port Authority Building, Port Vell
Port Authority Building

Other Notable Buildings

There are several other notable buildings in Port Vell besides the Palau de Mar. At the start of the Rambla de Mar stands the Old Port Authority building, an ornate structure built in 1907 as a maritime station. Today it houses the Port Authority of Barcelona.

Just south of the Old Port Authority building is the Aduana building, an old customs building constructed in 1902. The nearby pier - the Moll de Barcelona - leads towards the hulking mass of the modern World Trade Center.

Aduana Building, Barcelona
Aduana Building
In front of the WTC building stands the Torre de Jaume I. The tower supports a cable system - the Transbordador Aeri - that brings visitors from a similar tower - the Torre de San Sebastianá - at Barceloneta to the Montjuïc Hill.

Head of Barcelona

At the other, north eastern end of Port Vell is an eye-catching statue created by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. The colorful 14 meter (46 ft) high statue is called 'El cap de Barcelona' (head of Barcelona).

Subway
Barceloneta (L4)
Drassanes (L3)
Location
At the end of the Rambla
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