El Moll de la Fusta

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El Moll de la Fusta

Many centuries ago back in the time of the Romans, the city’s first port was located in this area. Later, as its popular name - Moll de la Fusta - indicates, it was used for storing and loading wood. Today, following its redevelopment for the 1992 Olympic Games, it is a pleasant walkway next to the sea and has been perfectly integrated into the city.

Life on the docks

Moll de la Fusta was officially called Bosch i Alsina in honour of the Catalan politician and entrepreneur of that name who had made his fortune in Cuba. Even so, and as often happens with emblematic spaces, its correct name is hardly ever used by anybody.

This coastal walkway brings you to the Palau de Mar, the Maremágnum shopping centre and the Columbus viewing point, as well as a number of other emblematic spots. At night, the docks are a lively place through which people pass on their way to the nearby entertainment areas of the Maremágnum centre, El Born and La Rambla. However, it has not always been like this: the poet Joan Salvat-Papasseit:

described how tough life was at the docks nearly a century ago:
Heus aquí: jo he guardat fusta al moll.
Vosaltres no sabeu
què és
guardar fusta al moll:
però jo he vist la pluja
a barrals
sobre els bots,
i dessota els taulons arraulir-se el preu fet de l’angoixa;
sota els flandes
i els melis,
sota els cedres sagrats.”
Nocturn per a acordió (1925)
("Behold: I've stored wood on the docks.
You don't know
what it is
to store wood on the docks:
besides I've seen it bucket
down
on the boats,
and under planks at a fixed price
for my troubles;
under pines from Flanders
and melis,
under sacred cedars.”
Nocturne for accordion (1925)

The prawn of Barcelona

On the upper level of the former docks, there used to be several restaurants but these have since disappeared. One of these was the Gambrinus Restaurant and its roof was capped with a gigantic 15-metre long prawn. This prawn was the work of the designer Mariscal and it is currently owned by Barcelona City Council, which decided to keep it at the original location even though the restaurant is no longer there. Today, it is one of the city's most curious icons. A little further on, and dominating the viewing point of Port Vell, pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s Barcelona Face sculpture fills the surrounding area with colour.

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