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Teatre Grec

It is not Greek, but rather one of the works produced for the 1929 International Exposition. Built on the site of an old quarry, the Grec Theatre has become one of the most iconic landmarks in Barcelona. The main venue of the Grec Festival, which is held every summer and fills the city with theatre, dance, music and circus, it is a real privilege to see a show at this outdoor theatre.

The ideal setting

Making use of the natural slope of a mountain to create an open-air stage with optimal acoustic conditions was a process used in classical Greek civilisation. And in Barcelona, you have the chance to enjoy a theatre with these very characteristics. The Grec, in Parc de Montjuïc, was opened as an outdoor theatre and one of the most spectacular places on the mountain. Although it might seem like it, it is not a relic left by the Ancient Greeks, but rather a construction that was painstakingly designed and built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exposition. The architects who came up with the idea were Ramon Reventós and Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí, who made use of an old disused quarry to create a theatre inspired by the  Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, in Peloponnese, in which the carved stone wall serves as a stage.

Major classical works have been performed here, although due to the Spanish Civil War it almost fell into disuse. In 1976, with the opening of the Grec Festival, it was given a new lease of life and since then, it sleeps in winter and awakens each summer to become the central venue of the city's biggest performing arts festival. The Grec is the venue where the festival of the same name opens each year and it hosts all kinds of musical and theatrical shows.

The theatre gardens

Its stunning gardens are also worth a visit. Surrounding the theatre with trees, shrubs, plants and flowers, and formerly known as the Rosaleda d’Amargós Gardens, they were restored in 2008 by Patrizia Falcone, who gave them back their early 20th century appearance, when they were designed by the French architect Jean-Claude Forestier. At the entrance to the gardens, which are accessible from Passeig de Santa Madrona, there is a stone stairway that takes visitors up both sides of the wall. The geometry of the flower beds, the pergolas, the ponds, the creepers, bursting with colour, the orange trees and the multiple flowers on the rectangular terrace, create a dreamlike space which is a perfect place to take a break.

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