El Poble Espanyol

Just a sample of the beautiful buildings inside El Poble Espanyol

As a former dancer, I thoroughly enjoy dance performances. What better dance to see in Spain than Flamenco?

cat chilling @ El Poble Espanyol

Even the cat finds a peaceful place to nestle. There is no wheeled traffic at El Poble Espanyol, nestled in the natural surroundings of the hill at Montjuïc.

El Poble Espanyol is a fake town that was built in 1929 to showcase various regions of Spain for the Barcelona International Exhibition.  The goal was to create a model Spanish village with the main characteristics of all the towns and villages in the peninsula.  This design included 117 buildings, streets, and squares reproduced to scale.  The facades were only meant to survive the six-month duration of the exhibition, but the area was so successful that it still stands today.

El Poble Espanyol is quite charming with large open squares, small alleys, and quaint storefronts. Some of the stores and studios have resident artisans painting, sculpting, creating stained glass, working with leather, and more.

woman building guitars @ El Poble Espanyol

A woman builds guitars inside one of the shops

leather worker @ Poble Espanyol

Artisan working with leather in another storefront










shards of glass around edge of Poble Espanyol

Even the security system (shards of colored glass on top of the exterior wall) is artistic

One of the strangest physical features of El Poble Espanyol was the shards of colored glass on top of the high walls to act as artistic barbed wire. How creative!

The place has enough twists and turns to require a map. We circled through a few times enjoying the architecture before we found the small alley in the Andalusia region with the Flamenco show at El Tablao de Carmen.

tapas at flamenco show

Sangria and tapas of manchego cheese, cured meats, and bread — delicious!

Since we had just eaten a huge lunch, we opted not to do the 3-course meal. Instead, we enjoyed tapas and sangria.


female flamenco dancer

The teenage flamenco dancer

male flamenco dancer

Manuel Jimenez “Bartolo” is the artistic director at El Tablao de Carmen and started flamenco at age 8.  Sounds like Mr. HalfFull has some serious catch-up to do!








The performance highlighted the various forms of flamenco — music (guitars and drums), song, and dance.  The dancers performed with such emotion and absolutely commanding claps.

The tabalos have historically served as an artistic school and a springboard to fame for young artists.  So in addition to the more seasoned performers, we also saw a girl who seemed like she was just a teenager, but she too, was an expert performer with seriousness beyond her years.

pretend flamenco dancer

Mr. HalfFull pretends to be a flamenco dancer

We thoroughly enjoyed the performance, so much so that Mr. HalfFull was striking poses in the street on the walk home. His ferocity was compellingly hilarious! He was also inspired to learn to play flamenco guitar. We’ll see when that happens…

  • What types of dance do you enjoy doing and/or watching?
  • When do you think Mr. HalfFull will take up the guitar?
  • Has a performance inspired you to learn a new skill?

sculpture garden @ El Poble Espanyol

I found some dancers in the sculpture garden!  But I think these were perhaps ballet or modern, not flamenco.

hand rail statue in Cervantes Alley @ Poble Espanyol

Even the handrails are topped with sculptures like this one in Cervantes Alley

Poble Espanyol

Gorgeous view up in El Poble Espanyol

Ms. HalfEmpty is a 30-something introverted realist, perhaps a pessimist. But she’s trying to see the world half full on halfempty4now.com, which she started in February 2011. Her worldview may not be all bad, as it probably helps keep her husband, Mr. HalfFull, grounded and out of trouble!