Barcelona has always been renowned for its ability to transform. Hosting the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exhibition established it as one of the world's foremost manufacturing hubs. The Arc de Triomf was the gateway to that tremendous event. Today it still stands as the border between the old quarter and the Eixample district, which was just beginning to expand the city’s limits at that time.
When Barcelona presented itself to the world
The Arc de Triomf - Barcelona Nord stop on the Barcelona Bus Turístic’s Red Route is on Carrer d’Alí Bei. When you get there, you will experience what Barcelona was like when it hosted the 1888 Universal Exhibition, the first of two universal exhibitions held in the city.
By the end of the 19th century, Barcelona was already the second most important city in Spain and the first in terms of industry. With the 1888 Exhibition, it presented itself to the world as a thriving city that, with the Eixample, was preparing to expand beyond its mediaeval walls. The Arc de Triomf was built as a gateway to the exhibition site. Today, it still provides access to Passeig de Lluís Companys, which features landmark buildings such as the High Court of Justice, and Parc de la Ciutadella, the space that hosted the exhibition and become the city's first public park when it ended.
On one side of Arc de Triomf is the Barcelona Nord station, which provides further proof of Barcelona’s ability to transform: the former railway station is now a modern bus station, with all the charm and magnificence of 19th century buildings. Next to it sits the Estació del Nord park, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city and the only example in Barcelona of land art, the artistic trend that brings artwork to natural spaces.