As I look back at my experience abroad, I realized that I spent a lot of time scrambling trying to do everything that I had forgotten to do. From museums, to Park Güell to trying all of the live markets. As I was focusing on all of that, I realize I had completely overlooked my favorite place. This place is the Bunkers del Carmel, the place I will miss the most. The uniqueness of the area, the beautiful views and the relaxing environment is something everyone should experience, but it hasn’t always been that way.
History of Bunkers del Carmel:
Bunkers del Carmel came from the Spanish Civil War in 1937. They were formally used as underground military bunkers. Dating back to ’37 the bunkers were used as part of an anti-craft battery against attacks from fascists. They also stored a great deal of guns and weapons used in combat.
When dictator Franco came into power as the Civil War ended, the guns were taken away and locals began using the bunkers as shelter. In the late 50’s-60’s the bunkers provided shelter to nearly 7% of Barcelona’s population adding up to nearly 3,000 people living in that area.
It wasn’t until the 1992 Olympic games when Barcelona’s biggest transition began that the city began to relocate the residents in the bunkers to flats and apartments around the city in attempt to clean up the city. The village was abandoned completely.
In the 2000’s locals began visiting the area to enjoy one of the prettiest 360 views of Barcelona. It was said to be one of Barcelona’s best kept secret until recently it has become very popular. It is a famous place for people to have a picnic, drink some wine, enjoy and watch the sunset.
When I first arrived in Barcelona, my friends and I stumbled upon this area by taking the wrong bus and it ended up being the best thing that could have happened. When we got back down, we realized that we had no idea how we even got there in the first place. But after research, we learned that it is pretty easy, but also confusing. Here is how to get to the Bunkers:
- You will need to take the 24 or the V17.
- You will get off at Gran Vista- Turó de la Rovira
- From there, you will walk uphill for about 10 minutes where you will stumble upon the slabs of concrete with paths and plants to explore.
- You can take the L4 or L5.
- Get off at either Guidardó I Hospital de Sant Pau or La Teixonera.
- The closest stop is Turó de la Rovira.
- From there you will walk on foot for about 15 minutes or hop on a bus to the top.
Here is a 360 view of the bunkers: