Visiting a city means seeing monuments, tourist attractions, charming corners etc. This involves appreciating well carved sculptures and its details, unique architecture, peculiar places… All these ingredients can be found in some places of Barcelona that do not appear in the most traditional tourist guides: the cemeteries are one of these examples.
These sacred places unsuitable for sensitive public, are often overlooked even if they hide great art treasures in a few square meters. If you’re not squeamish and want to learn more about the history and culture of Barcelona, from Apartments in Barcelona we suggest you these walking tour on two Barcelona cemeteries, full of legends and jewels of the local heritage: the cemetery of Montjuïc and the cemetery of Poblenou.
A walking guided tour to discover all the secrets
The cemeteries walking tour should be done with a guide. We can see a facade without the need of having a person explaining us its construction, we can enjoy the magnificence of the Sagrada Familia without knowing how Gaudí designed it, but in a place like a cemetery where every corner has its own story, we should always count with the aid of a guide to make us stop in every legend that lurk this holy place.
Both the cemetery of Montjuïc and Poblenou offer guided visits, which are more than recommended in order to know the artistic details, historical stories and curiosities of the place. This way we make sure we are not ignoring the tombs and mausoleums that are really worth looking.
In order to have a more complete experience, in case you have the chance, we recommend you visiting these two cemeteries of Barcelona when they are open to the public at night. A great way to enjoy of a magical and spectral atmosphere together with a great nocturnal landscape that will make us live the stories that the guide tells us much more closely.
The Montjuïc Cemetery opens at night coinciding with the start of spring (around March 21), and Poblenou Cemetery does it in an even more magical date: on the eve of All Saints day. Moreover, these specific activities are free for everyone.
Montjuïc Cemetery: the cathedral of death
Barcelona is pure modernism, and the place where the eternal rest is assured couldn’t be less. Here we find among others the pantheon of the Batlló family, just like the Batlló house designed by Gaudí in Paseo de Gracia, it’s simply spectacular, a real treat for the eyes full of amazing details and figures.
In this cemetery you shouldn’t miss a visit to a pantheon designed by the architect Antoni Vila Palmés. A broad base supporting a double row of neoclassical columns, decorated by a wildly realistic angel rests on a deeply decorated sarcophagus.
Moreover, in this cemetery we can find the graves of famous people in the history of Barcelona, such as Joan Miró, the founder of FC Barcelona Joan Gamper or the architect and urban planner Ildefons Cerda, whose tomb refers to his greatest work: the Eixample.
The cemetery of Poblenou, a sweet embrace of death
Upon entering the cemetery of Poblenou, it highlights the number of figures that allude to all the symbolism surrounding the death cult: angels, skeletons and skulls flood the grounds that, far from frightening, envelop the visitor naturalizing the fact of death.
It also emphasizes the figure “kiss of death”, which represents the cruelty of the death in the form of a skeleton curiously winged, symbolically transferring the soul of the deceased with a kiss.
Unlike the cemetery of Montjuïc, there are no famous people here, but rather characters of the Poblenou neighborhood, which doesn’t mean less interesting. In this cemetery there are heroes of the ordinary day, revolutionary neighbors, charitable souls, whose stories could fill books.
Don’t just visit the places you can find in the guides, or where the massive tourism happens. There are many Barcelonas and they are all worth knowing, let the spectral Barcelona be one of them, you will undoubtedly be captivated by its charm.