El Carmel

Articles in ‘El Carmel’

Forgotten Barcelona

March 16th, 2010
The excellent documentary Barraques pays tribute to the people who lived in the numerous shanty villages across the city for decades. One of the largest settlements spread across the hills of Carmel. Ignored by the authorities, the residents had trek every day down the hill to fetch water. Some shacks still remain, but most have either been bulldozed or upgraded into houses. High up on the Turó de La Rovira, people built homes around the gun emplacements from the Civil War. Today all that remains are a few tiles, though a number of renovated shacks still exist on the hill.
Watch this  short extract from the documentary as two sisters return to the childhood home, now a place of glass, graffiti and rubble.
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The best view in Barcelona

February 19th, 2010


The Turó de la Rovira betwen El Carmel and el Guinardó offers one of the best views to admire Barcelona. The ruined gun emplacements remind us it is also the site of Barcelona’s air defences during the Civil War. More on this another day. It is also a great spot for graffiti. Photos by Mónica. Note hanging shoe art.

Barcelona shacks

April 19th, 2009

Most of the shacks built by the waves of immigrants in the 20th century in Barcelona have been demolished or converted, for the better, into more formal, decent housing, but a number of examples still survive in El Carmel, Montjuic and on the edges of Collserola. Many are threatened by bulldozers, but I think the most interesting should be protected as part of the city’s heritage and because they make the edges of the parks where many of them are sited more interesting. These ones below were taken in the Parc de la Creueta del Coll, El Carmel, and show a clear influence of southern Spanish rural architecture. I love the rural air and the chaos. Photos by Mónica.

gypsy cottage



Shark graffiti

April 19th, 2009

I love this graffiti work in El Carmel, Barcelona. Note in the last image the juxtaposition of the shark formed by 100-euros notes, the fading PCC propoganda and the tree growing impossibly out of the concrete wall. Photos by Mónica.




Shanty town in 1960s Barcelona

April 15th, 2009

This remarkable image is of the shanty town of El Carmel in the 1960s on what was then the outskirts of Barcelona. A number of these shacks have survived and been renovated into sturdier houses, sandwiched between high-rise blocks. Most of the El Carmel was developed in the 1960s and 1970s when immigrant workers flocked to the city and were forced to build housing for themselves. The area is today probably the most urbanistaically chaotic neighbourhood in the city.

Las cabras del Turó de la Rovira

April 14th, 2009

We came across this remarkable scene of Rafael and his flock of six goats in the Turó de la Rovira park, El Carmel last Sunday. The police have told him officially to remove his animals but seem to be turning a blind eye as long as he keeps them on this wilder side of the park. Photos by Mónica.




Pakistani children

April 14th, 2009



Graffiti artist unknown. Taken by Mónica in El Carmel, Barcelona.