Parc de l’Espanya Industrial

Barcelona, Spain | C.1985

Photo Credit: @ginginegin

Spain may not be known as a land of dragons or Roman gods, but in Barcelona’s Parc de l’Espanya Industrial, these mythological mainstays reign supreme. Opened in 1985, the Parc is located on the former site of the La Espana Industrial textile mill. The site has been completely transformed into housing and a public park for the local community.

Designed by Basque architect Luis Pena Ganchegui, the Parc features giant metal sculptures, tall towers, and a glittering, central lake that stretches across the park. These features, along with elegant trees and grassy landscapes, create an eclectic urban oasis for relaxation and recreation.

The huge, dramatic dragon, with its outstretched wings and pool-plunging tail, was designed by another Basque artist, sculptor Andres Nagal. It functions as a slide for children. Sculptures of Neptune, Venus, and the Oxen of Plenty were originally created for the 1929 International Exhibition, and were taken out of storage to be placed in the park. Last but not least, the nine lighthouse towers stand tall at the top of white steps that lead down to the water.

The Parc is not only an emblem of Basque art and architecture, but an example of the land reclamation movement that occurred in Barcelona in the 1980s. Thanks to community advocates who fought to establish a public park in the area, both city dwellers and tourists can enjoy the park all these years later.

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