Arc de Triomf | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Arc de Triomf

Barcelona’s gateway to the modern period

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Built for the 1888 Universal Exposition, this 30 metre arch marks the border between the Old Town and modern Barcelona. The Arc de Triomf was at the top of the street that led to the main entrance to the 1888 Universal Exposition and now marks the border between the Old Town and the Eixample district.

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Why visit the Arc de Triomf?

This monumental triumphal arch was constructed as the gateway to the enclosure of the 1888 Universal Exposition, leading to what is now Passeig de Lluís Companys, a 50 metre wide avenue featuring iron balustrades designed by Pere Falqués, the Barcelona municipal architect whose accomplishments include the remodelling of Plaça de Catalunya, the redesign of the layout of Ciutadella Park and the creation of the lamppost benches on Passeig de Gràcia.

The 30 metre tall structure is a classic arch that was built in red brick in the neo-Mudejar style with profuse decoration designed by the architect Josep Vilaseca. The friezes on each one of the faces depict a subject related to city:

  • Barcelona Welcomes the Nations, by Josep Reynés, facing Passeig de Sant Joan.
  • The Recompense – distribution of recompense to Exposition participants, by Josep Llimona, facing Passeig de Lluís Companys.
  • Allegories of Industry, Agriculture and Trade, on one side.
  • Allegories of the Sciences and the Arts, on the other side.
  • Winged figures on the buttresses as allegories of the Greek goddess Pheme, sculpted by Manuel Fuxà and Pere Carbonell.


How do you get to the Arc de Triomf?

Hop off at the Zoo stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic, enter Ciutadella Park and leave by the gate that gives onto Passeig de Lluís Companys, at the end of which you will see the arch.


For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? It is now common for the Arc de Triomf to be used as the finish line for Barcelona’s most important races, like Jean Bouin and the Barcelona Marathon.
  • Local’s tip: Passeig de Lluís Companys, which is accessed through the Arc del Triomf, is a good place to skate or cycle.
  • A must: To see a triumphal arch that was not erected to commemorate a military victory, but to celebrate a civic event.