Olympic Harbor - Village, Barcelona
Olympic Village was constructed for 1992 Olympic Games. The “village” use in a name is quite modest, as the main buildings here are skyscrapers, the tallest in Spain, 44 floors. Nowadays one skyscraper houses hotel Arts, the other one is used for offices. The Olympic village is a nice starting point for a walking to look Barcelona’s central beach.
Port Olimpic was built for the 1992 Olympics and is a stylish Marina area in between Icaria and Barceloneta Beaches, the team’s accommodation have now been transformed into trendy apartments. The harbour has a good selection of tapas bars and restaurants and has a long wide walkway that connects the two beaches.
After the Olympic Port I walked along the Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta watching the beach of Barceloneta(pic 1) but when I passed the park de la Barceloneta I was surprised of this old fishermen district which is full of narrow streets. Since 1753 fishermen and workers were living here. First I started to walk along with no direction getting lost in the small streets having only the aroma of the sea as a guide. The beach was full of people and at Placa de la Barceloneta I saw the church Sant Miquel del Port(pic 2). If you walk down to Torre Sant Sebastia you can take the teleferic that takes you up to Montjuic park. At Moll d’Espanya is the Aquarium of Barcelona, one of the biggest in the world with more than 11.000 creatures of the sea world. It is open 9.30-21.00 daily.
Then I headed back towards the center so I passed from the museum of history of Catalunya (pic 3)that faces Marina Port Veil. There were a dozen of people outside at the café but the museum was empty. It is opened 10.00-19.00 (closed on Mondays) and you can see the history of the area from the ancient times till the medieval period and then at the third floor the modern era. The entrance fee is 4 euros. By the way Port veil has a walkway that will lead you to the Aquarium or the IMAX cinema.
Finally, I visited the Monument of Columbus(Monument a Colom) at Placa del Portal de la Pau(Gate Of Peace) which is at the end of Las Ramblas. The monument (pic 5)(made by Gaieta Buigas in 1888) goes up to 60meters on an iron column with a stone base and obviously the statue (made by Rafael Arke) points to the sea but not towards America! At this site Columbus arrived in 1493 after his famous trip to America. He was born in Genoa but some local guides and books claim that he is from Catalonia! There is an elevator that goes to the top(daily 9.00-20.30) but I didn’t use it but I regret it because a good view of Las Ramblas as other travelers told me.
A few steps west of the monument is the Maritime Museum (daily 10.00-20:00, entrance fee 6,50euro) that is located at Drassanes Reals, a nice gothic building that used to be the Royal Shipyards. What you can see here is a collection of ships, things from ships like maps etc and some nice dioramas and paintings. The model of Santa Maria de la Victoria is my personal favorite but probably because I have read so many things about it. Don’t miss Austria’s Lepanto Galera
I don’t really know how was the area of the old industrial waterfront before 1992 but the renovation for the Olympic games brough in life a new seafront neighborhood.
First of all you can spot the Olympic port (pic 1) easily because of the twin towers which are the highest skyscrapers in Spain. They have 44 stores (pic 2)and one of them houses the hotel Arts while the other one (Mapfre Tower) has offices.
Behind the towers is the Parc del Port Olimpic with a nice fountain a modern sculpture at pl.dels Voluntaris Olimpics(pic 3). In front of the towers you will notice a giant whale made by bronze by F.Gehry the designer of the two towers.(pic 4)
There are several café/restaurants to relax and have a light meal or just a drink and although the prices are higher I enjoyed it because it’s always nice to have sea and sun on your feet isn’t it? (pic 5) At least try it once.
The Olympic port is busy during the night too because of the casino and the clubs but I preferred other areas of the city for having fun. The people walk next to the beach under the palm trees, it’s one of the reason I like Barcelona, because you can always stroll next to the sea. Of course many tourists come here for swimming at the golden sand beaches because the majority of the hotels are in walking distance. The locals prefer other nice beaches outside of the city.
There is a large white tower inside the olympic village, that was built as a communication tower for the coverage of the Olympic games of 1992. The form of the tower is based on Calatrava sketch of a kneeling figure making an offering.
The XXV Summer Olympic Games of 1992 were held in Barcelona. Close to the Palau nacionale, there is the Olympic village where one can see the olympic stadium and many important structures built during the olympic games.
Once you enter the casino, you will walk into the area where you can play on the gambling machines. Downstairs is where you play roulette etc. You will need to go to the desk to pay a fee, show your passport and get a ticket. However, because i was staying at the Gran Marina hotel, i was allowed in free.
Inside you can try; French Roulette, American Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Blanco and La Boule.
There is also some very nice nice restaurants inside with a nice selective menu, such as steak etc. More my style of food.
The 1992 Olympic Games set up a dramatic rebuilding of the city's waterfront. Previously the area had been an unfasionable area to live and spend time in but after the development of the area for the games, the area has grown into a popular and lively area with much sought after real estate properties. The sea front is now one of the more fasionable addresses in Barcelona.
The development plans also introduced 3-4 km of promenade and the beaches were cleaned up.
Spain's tallest skyscrapers, the twin towers of the Olympic Port were built around that time also. One houses offices while the other is the Arts Hotel.
The area is full of bars, restaurants and there is also a casino.
The beaches were created by the demolition of the old industrial waterfront for the '92 Olympics. While there are certainly nicer beaches in Spain, the area is lively and the promenade is a nice afternoon walk.
This stadium which comfortably hold 65,000 was built originally for the 1929 Exhibition. It was completely refitted by Catalan architects for the 1992 Olympic games. The Galeria Olimpica has on display items from both the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Montjuïc was selected as the site for several of the venues of the 1992 Summer Olympics, centered around the Olympic stadium. Extensively refurbished and renamed the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys. The 65,000 seater stadium saw the opening and closing ceremonies and hosted the athletics events. Around it was build the Anella Olímpica (the "Olympic Ring") of sporting venues, including the Institut Nacional d'Educació Física de Catalunya (a center of sports science), the Piscines Bernat Picornell (the venue for swimming and diving events), and the striking, telecommunications tower, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava.
The sandy beach goes from Puerto Viejo towards the north, passing Puerto Olimpico on the way. And the beach that is the closest to the city is Playa Barceloneta. Usually overcrowded but still a great thing to have a beach and the sea so close to the center. In May the water is still quite fresh but Tobiasz and I used to come here in the morning, before the crowds joined in, to have a breakfast and read a book. It was a great start of the day.
Port Olimpic was built for the 1992 Olympic Games. It has it all: entertainment, leisure, business, commerce and dining in one place.
It's most recognisable feature are the impressive twin skyscrapers - Mapfre Tower and Hotel Arts Barcelona, and a steel fish designed by Frank Gehry between the two .
It's a great place for all beach activities, strolling down as well as having great dinner in one of the sea-view restaurants and enjoing the nighlife.
The Olympic Village was composed by two towers, currently the Mapfre Tower and the Hotel Arts. Both buildings were the second tallest buildings in Spain, after Torre Picasso, in Madrid, but they're the third right now after the construction of Bali Tower in Benidorm. Mapfre Tower has the highest helipad in Spain as well, at 154 metres high. The Hotel Arts building was designed by Bruce Graham and it hosts a 5 stars hotel and some luxurious apartments. There are a big golden fish between both skyscrapers made by Frank Gehry.
La Villa Olímpica estaba compuesta por dos torres, las actuales Torre Mapfre y el Hotel Arts. Ambos edificios fueron los segundos más altos de España, tras la Torre Picasso de Madrid, pero actualmente son los terceros tras la construcción de laTorre Bali en Benidorm. La Torre Mapfre tiene el helipuerto más alto de España, con 154 metros de altura. El edificio Hotel Arts fue diseñado por Bruce Graham y acoje un hotel de 5 estrellas y algunos apartamentos de lujo. Hay un gan pescado dorado entre ambos rascacielos hecho por Frank Gehry.
for me the greatest event of the olympics was the Basketball DREAM TEAM of the USA with Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Air Jordan!!!
general info about the Olympic games 1992 (copied somewhere ;-| ):
The year IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch brought the Olympics to his native Spain marked the first renewal of the Summer Games since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany in 1990.
A record 10,563 athletes from 172 nations gathered without a single country boycotting the Games. Both Cuba and North Korea returned after 12 years and South Africa was welcomed back after 32, following the national government's denunciation of apartheid racial policies.
While Germany competed under one flag for the first time since 1964, 12 nations from the former Soviet Union joined forces one last time as the Unified Team.
This was also the year the IOC threw open the gates to professional athletes after 96 years of high-minded opposition.
Carl Lewis earned his seventh and eighth career gold medals with a third consecutive Olympic win in the long jump, and an anchor-leg performance on the American 4x100-meter relay team that helped establish a world record. Gail Devers of the U.S., whose feet had nearly been amputated by doctors in 1990 as a result of radiation treatment for Graves' disease, won the women's 100 meters.
Other track and field athletes stumbled, however. After Olympic favorite and world champion Dan O'Brien failed to even make the U.S. team, Dave Johnson, the new favorite, settled for the bronze. Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka, who had dominated the sport for the past decade, was the heavy favorite, but he failed to clear any height.
China's Fu Mingxia, 13, won the women's platform diving gold, becoming the second-youngest person to win an individual gold medal. In gymnastics, Vitaly Scherbo of Belarus, competing for the Unified Team, won six golds. Cuba made its Olympic return rewarding, capturing seven boxing golds as well as the gold in baseball.