Barcelona from the Carmel Bunkers

Published on March 18, 2019 by Catalan Holidays

The city of Barcelona hides many surprises and mysterious places inside itself, such as the bunkers that can be visited in the Carmel neighbourhood.

They are located at the top of Turó de la Rovira, an excellent viewpoint to appreciate the spectacular views of the Catalan capital.

The Carmel Bunkers’ appeal to visitors is twofold. On one hand, they are located in a beautiful place to spend a day with the family and, on the other hand, they let you discover first-hand the most important historic events of the last 8- years: the Spanish Civil War.

Are you inspired to launch this virtual journey into the Carmel Bunkers?




1. How do you get there?

To reach the Carmel Bunkers on public transport, you must catch bus number 22 or 199, or Line 5 of the Barcelona metro. Both methods of transport drop you off very near to Turó de la Rovira, the place where these historic bunkers are located.

If you wish to go by car to the Carmel Bunkers, it is also very easy. In Turó de la Rovira there is a car park so that you can park your vehicle. The quickest way is to take Ronda de Dalt and leave at exit 4 Horta.


2. The history of the bunkers

The history of the Carmel Bunkers dates back to the Spanish Civil War. In the year 1938, an anti-aircraft battery settled in the area.

The objective of the anti-aircraft battery that was located in this place, was to confront bombings from Italian aircraft. This aircraft started testing a technique in Barcelona, called “carpet bombing”, also known as aerial bombing or saturation bombing.

This type of bombing sought to bomb a strategic area and not leave a single trace of people or military equipment to demoralise the enemy. This was done through a great number of unguided bombs, often combined with incendiary bombs.

In January 1939, the Republican government, already retreating, disabled the anti-aircraft battery but did not remove it. When the war finished the remains of the battery remained in the abandoned area.

In the post-war situation, in the middle of the 1940s, this area was used to create a temporary neighbourhood, making use of the battery’s constructions, as well as the command posts, officers’ rooms or the dormitory. These huts were commonly known by the name of “Los cañones” (The Cannons).

The remains of this historic past of the city of Barcelona can be appreciated by visiting this corner of Carmel. A place that also has a lot of history, including luxurious panoramic views.

Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona IV - Catalan HolidaysWikipedia

3. Panoramic views

From the bunkers, as well as reviewing the city’s historic past, you will be able to discover some spectacular panoramic views of Barcelona.

Turó de la Rovira’s 262 metres above sea level allow you to enjoy a panoramic, 360-degree view of the city. From there above you will be able to gaze upon Barcelona’s skyline, as well as the most emblematic monuments and buildings: Sagrada Familia, Agbar Tower, Mapfre Towers, etc.

This place is a gift to visit both in broad daylight and at dusk or at night. The enormous number of photographs posted on the internet is further demonstration of the tremendous attraction that this area is concealing. Since it was reclaimed by the citizens, Turó de la Rovira has become a magical place to look upon the sunrise and sunset.

Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona - Catalan HolidaysWikipedia

4. Exhibitions and Museums

To discover the historic past of a city that is hidden behind the Carmel Bunkers, the MUHBA (Barcelona City History Museum) has installed five information panels, edited two guides and organised guided tours.

Five information panels

The most relevant events that affected Barcelona’s Bunkers’ history is described on the information panels. Events related to the Spanish Civil War and with the installation of the huts in what would be known as the “Los cañones” neighbourhood.

Two urban history guides

To facilitate the self-guided visit to the bunker area, as well as the information panels, MUHBA has edited two urban history guides: “Defence/BCN 1936-1939” and “Barraques/BCN”. Each publication makes reference to the two main events related with this place: the anti-aircraft batteries and the construction of the hut neighbourhood known as “Los cañones”.

Guided tours

MUHBA has arranged various guided tours and itineraries to better accompany the discovery of the past that is hidden behind Turó de la Rovira and the Carmel Bunkers.

Specifically, there are three guided visits, that we will discover below:

• “Defence of the modern city”. This is a guided visit in the MUHBA Turó de la Rovira, lasting for one hour. Cost: €5.10.
• “Barcelona during the war and post-war. Perspectives from Turó de la Rovira”. A visit related to the development of the civil war in the city. It lasts for two hours and costs: €7.35.
• “Barcelona’s first balcony. The growth of the city seen from the three hills”. This consists of an itinerary that has, as a starting point, Turó de la Rovira and relates different episodes in the history of Barcelona that have impacted the area. The itinerary finishes in the Vallcarca Viaduct after three hours of tour. It costs €8.45.

Bunkers del Carmel in Barcelona III - Catalan HolidaysWikipedia

5. Restaurants near to the Carmel Bunkers

There is nothing better to finish a tourist visit than sitting down around the table of a good restaurant. We give you the following suggestions, near Turó de la Rovira.

El Mirador del Carmelo

This is one of the best restaurants in the city to enjoy some good tapas (Galician octopus, Iberian ham and Andalusian calamari, to name a few) and upscale views of the city.

Las delicias del Carmelo

This bar-restaurant is one of the most emblematic in Carmel and is one of the gastronomic jewels that is found nearest to Turó de la Rovira. It offers typical dishes of traditional cooking. Its charm made an appearance in Juan Marsé’s novel “Last evenings with Teresa”, published in 1966.

Where to sleep in Barcelona

Barcelona’s accommodation options are extensive. At Catalan Holidays we choose quality accommodation, designed for couples, families and groups of friends who want a degree of privacy and to be near the most interesting places along the Barcelona and Costa Maresme

Our proposed accommodations are apartments and holiday homes on the Costa Brava, the Coast of Barcelona and the Costa Dorada:

Holiday homes on the Barcelona coast
Holiday homes on the Costa Dorada
Holiday homes on the Costa Bravaproperties

On the other hand, have you thought of holiday rentals of houses with private pools y holiday rentals of houses that accept dogs or other pets. Through this link you have all our holiday homes in Catalonia.

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