Espanya Industrial Park
A 19th-century textile factory converted into a park with a navigable canal
Nine lighthouse towers watch over an open space of water and plant life that was formerly home to one of Barcelona’s largest textile factories. Espanya Industrial was in fact the name of the textile factory that was located on this large esplanade until the 1970s and now it is the name of a park with large lawned areas and a navigable canal.
Why visit Espanya Industrial Park?
Espanya Industrial Park is an example of the process undertaken in Barcelona in the 1980s to recover land occupied by services and industries that had either disappeared or moved away. In this case, the space was occupied by Espanya Industrial or Vapor Nou, an old textile factory that had been founded in 1847 and had moved to Mollet del Vallès in 1972.
In 1985 the architects Luis Peña Ganchegui, Antón Pagola and Montserrat Ruiz delimited this esplanade with nine impressive lighthouse towers and built a park with lawns and Mediterranean trees, a pond with a navigable canal and sports facilities. Two years later, the sculptor Andrés Nagel added to it an immense metal dragon, some 32 metres long and 12 metres tall, which is also a slide that every child in Barcelona has enjoyed. Moreover, various sculptures made for the 1929 International Exposition were recovered from municipal warehouses, such as Neptune by Manuel Fuxà, Venus by José Pérez ‘Peresejo’, and the Oxen of Plenty, by Antoni Alsina.
How do you get to Espanya Industrial Park?
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? The fact that the park exists is an example of the strength of the residents’ movement in 1970s, given that the owners of the factory, once they had moved, had wanted to use the land to build houses.
- Local’s tip: Espanya Industrial Park contains a number of sports facilities where you can play basketball and table tennis.
- A must: To see at first hand the transformation of the city’s industrial spaces into facilities used by local residents.
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