The 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (also 1929 Barcelona Universal Exposition, or Expo 1929, in Catalan: Exposició Internacional de Barcelona de 1929) was the second World Fair to be held in Barcelona, the first one being in 1888. It took place from 20 May 1929 to 15 January 1930 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was held on Montjuïc, the hill overlooking the harbor, southwest of the city center, and covered an area of 118 hectares (291.58 acres) at an estimated cost of 130 million pesetas ($25,083,921 in United States dollars). Twenty European nations participated in the fair, including Germany, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Romania and Switzerland. In addition, private organizations from the United States and Japan participated. Latin American countries as well as the United States were represented in the Ibero-Americana section in Sevilla.
The previous 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition had led to a great advance in the city's economic, architectural and technological growth and development, including the reconstruction of the Parc de la Ciutadella, the city's main public park. A new exposition was proposed to highlight the city's further technological progress and increase awareness abroad of modern Catalan industry. This new exhibition required the urban planning of Montjuïc and its adjacent areas and the renovation of public spaces, principally Plaça d'Espanya.
The exposition called for a great deal of urban development within the city, and became a testing-ground for the new architectural styles developed in the early 20th century. At a local level, this meant the consolidation of Noucentisme, a classical style that replaced the Modernisme (in the same vein as Glasgow Style / Art Nouveau / Jugendstil, etc.) predominating in Catalonia at the turn of the 20th century. Furthermore, it marked the arrival in Spain of international avant-garde tendencies, especially rationalism, as seen in the design of the Barcelona Pavilion, created by German Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Exposition also allowed for the erection of several emblematic buildings and structures, including the Palau Nacional de Catalunya, the Font màgica de Montjuïc, the Teatre Grec, Poble Espanyol, and the Estadi Olímpic.
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|Name||Exposición General d'España (section: Exposición Internacional de Barcelona)|
|Area||118 hectares (290 acres)|
|Opening||20 May 1929|
|Closure||30 January 1930|
|Previous||Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco|
|Next||Century of Progress in Chicago|
|Universal||Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 in Sevilla|
The idea of a new exhibition began to take shape in 1905, promoted by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, as a way of bringing out the new Plan of links designed by Léon Jaussely. It was initially proposed that the Exposition should be constructed in the area of the Besòs River, but instead, in 1913, planners selected Montjuïc as the site. While originally planned for 1917, the exposition was delayed due to World War I.
Puig i Cadafalch's project was supported by the Fomento del Trabajo Nacional, especially Francesc d'Assis, one of its leaders, who took charge of negotiations with the various agencies involved in the project. Thus, in 1913 the organization created a joint committee for organizing the event, consisting of representatives of the National Labor Development and the City Council, be appointed commissioners of the organization Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Francesc Cambo and Joan Pitch i Pon.
In 1915, the committee presented a first draft by Puig i Cadafalch, which was divided into three specific projects, each commissioned to a team of architects. Puig i Cadafalch and Guillem Busquets reserved the area at the base of the mountain, Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Manuel Vega i March planned the area atop the mountain—designated the International Section, and Enric Sagnier and August Font i Carreras Miramar developed a Maritime Section.
The principal difficulty of the project was the amount of land required. The exposition would need at least 110 hectares, and the Barcelona City Council had only 26 by 1914. Thus, using an 1879 law, they resorted to land-expropriation. In 1917, development work began at Montjuïc, with assistant engineer Marià Rubio i Bellver. Landscaping was done by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, who was assisted by Maria Rubio i Tudurí Nicolau. Their design was distinctly Mediterranean, with classical influences, combining the gardens with the construction of pergolas and terraces. Likewise, a funicular was built to allow access to the top of the mountain, as well as an aerial tram, which connected the mountain with the Port of Barcelona. However, the aerial tram did not open until 1931, after the fair was closed.
Construction, while somewhat delayed, was completed in 1923, but the introduction that year of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera delayed the actual exposition, which finally occurred in 1929, coinciding with the Ibero-American Exhibition in Seville. Also, the delay made obsolete the goal of promoting electrical industry, so that in 1925 the event was renamed the International Exhibition in Barcelona. The change of objective led to the reorganization of the exhibition, so that it was devoted to three aspects: industry, the sports, and art. In this new period, the organization fell into the hands of Pere Domènech i Roura, the Marquis de Foronda, and Director of Works.
Further development of the event allowed for a great stylistic diversity in the buildings of various architects, some loyal to the Noucentisme prevailing at the time, others reflecting recurring historicist and eclectic trends that persisted since the late 19th century, with particular influence from the Spanish Baroque, in particular the architecture of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia. Despite this diversity, most buildings—at least the official ones—had a common theme of monumentality and grandiosity. In contrast, buildings in the International Section, home to pavilions representing other countries and institutions, had a more contemporary aspect, parallel to the current state of the art of the period. This particularly included Art Deco and rationalism.
The exposition was opened by King Alfonso XIII on 19 May 1929. Led by Mayor Darius Rumeu y Freixa, baron de Viver, and Manuel de Álvarez-Cuevas y Olivella, President of the Organizing Committee. It was attended by some 200,000 people in the general public and by many Catalan political, economic, and cultural figures, including the Prime Minister (and dictator) Miguel Primo de Rivera.
In terms of cost, the exhibition lost money, with a deficit of 180 million pesetas. Its success was relative; during the event the stock market crashed in New York, on 29 October 1929, which reduced the number of participants in the event. At the social level, it was great success as it allowed for a large influx of people and achievements for the city of Barcelona, especially in the fields of architecture and urbanism.
The Exposition Center, el recinte de l'Exposició, was built to designs by Puig i Cadafalch with two different types of buildings: palaces, the sections devoted to the official competition; and flags, representing countries, institutions and companies. The exposition's main axis began at the Plaça d'Espanya, where four large hotels were built, through the Avenue of Americas (now the Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina), which housed the grand buildings of the Exposition, to the foot of the mountain, the site of the "Magic Fountain", the Palaces Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia, and a monumental staircase.
The Avenue of the Americas was decorated with numerous fountains, as well as glass columns—illuminated by electricity—designed by Charles Buïgas, which caused a great sensation. On both sides of the avenue were the main buildings of the Exposition: Palace of Costumes; the Palace of Communications and Transport; and the Palace of Metallurgy, Electricity and Locomotion. Today, these buildings are used as exposition spaces in the Barcelona Trade Fair. Along the avenue was Mechanics Square (now the Plaça de l'Univers), at the center of which stood the "Tower of Light", and the sculpture El Treball, by Josep Llimona.
The Plaça d'Espanya was included in Ildefons Cerdà's plan for the expansion of Barcelona, the Eixample. It was to be a major point of communication in the route between Barcelona and the towns of Baix Llobregat. After a first draft by the urbanized square Josep Amargós in 1915, the square was finally built to plans by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Guillem Busquets, and then finished by Antoni Darder i Marsa. It was fully complete by 1926. They designed the square as a monumental rotary, to be surrounded by a Baroque colonnade. The design was influenced by Bernini's St. Peter's Square in Rome. Dividing the square from the Avenue of the Americas Ramon Reventós designed two bell-towers, known as the Venetian Towers, which were heavily influenced by St. Mark's Campanile in Venice.
At the center of the square another monumental fountain was built, designed by Josep Maria Jujol. Its ornate decoration is an allegory of Spain, surrounded by water. Three niches with sculptures symbolize the three principal rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, the Ebro, Guadalquivir, and Tagus. Around the central sculpture, three decorated columns symbolize Religion (a cross with Ramon Llull, Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Saint Ignatius of Loyola), Heroism (a sword with Pelagius of Asturias, James I and Isabella), and Arts ( a book with Ausias March and Miguel de Cervantes).
The famous Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, designed by Carles Buïgas, was constructed in 1929 on Avinguda Maria Cristina at the foot of Montjuic, and amazed the public with its light and water displays. Today, it is still an emblem of the Catalan capital, and musical lightshows are often performed there during the annual festival of La Mercè, as well as during every weekend. It enchants the public with a backdrop of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Originally, four columns were built in this location by Puig i Cadafalch to represent the Catalan flag, but these were removed by Spanish dictator Primo de Rivera's orders.
|Switzerland||United Kingdom||United States||Yugoslavia|
As the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929 was taking place simultaneously in Seville, no Spanish American countries participated. From the remaining countries, the official participants were Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs (later Yugoslavia); most of these countries had their own pavilions, except for Austria, Czechoslovakia, Finland and Switzerland. Apart from these countries, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in an unofficial capacity. Each country had a week dedicated to it throughout the course of the event, with a highlight of the German week being the flight of the Graf Zeppelin airship over Barcelona, on 16 May 1929.
The landscaping of Montjuic mountain left works like the Teatre Grec, an open-air theatre inspired by ancient Greek theatres (particularly the Epidaurus), designed by Ramon Reventós. Located in the site of an old quarry, it has a 460 m2 semicircular area, with a diameter of 70 m and a 2,000 person capacity. It is currently the site of a summer festival in Barcelona, the Festival Grec.
The theatre is situated within Laribal Gardens, designed by Forestier and Rubió, where the famous "Cat Fountain" is located at the entrance to a building by Puig i Cadafalch which has been convertred into a restaurant (1925). There are many sculptures in the gardens, with works by Josep Viladomat, Enric Casanovas, Josep Clarà, Pablo Gargallo, Antoni Alsina, Joan Rebull, Josep Dunyach, etc. In the Miramar zone the Montjuic swimming pool was built, as well as a restaurant which in 1959 became the first RTVE studio in Barcelona.
At the top of the hill, next to the International Section, the Olympic Stadium was built by Pere Domènech i Roura within the sports section. It had a surface area of 66,075 m2 and a 62,000 person capacity, making it the second biggest stadium in Europe at the time, after Wembley. It contained fields for the practice of football and other sports, as well as athletics tracks and installations for various other sports such as boxing, gymnastics and fencing, as well as tennis courts and a swimming pool. The main façade was monumental in atmosphere, with a dome and a tall tower topped with a shrine. It was decorated with sculptures, most notably the "Horse riders making the Olympic salute", two bronze equestrian sculptures by Pablo Gargallo. The building was remodelled by the architects Vittorio Gregotti, Frederic de Correa, Alfons Milà, Joan Margarit and Carles Buxadé for the 1992 Summer Olympics.
One work which had great public success was the Poble Espanyol ("Spanish Town"), a small showground containing reproductions of different urban and architectural environments from the entire national territory, in an atmosphere which ranges from the folkloric to the strictly archaeological. It was designed by the architects Ramon Reventós and Francesc Folguera, with the artistic advice of Miquel Utrillo and Xavier Nogués. The exhibition is divided into six regional areas: Castile and Extremadura, Basque Country and Navarre, Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Aragon and Galicia, around a Grand Plaza and surrounded by walls (a replica of the walls of Ávila). With a surface area of 20,000 m2, it contains 600 buildings, of which 200 can be visited. Among the monuments reproduced some of the most notable are the Mudéjar belltower of Utebo (Zaragoza), the palaces of the marquis of Peñaflor (Seville) and of Ovando Solís (Cáceres), the cloister of Sant Benet de Bages and the Roman belltower of Taradell.
Just as in 1888, the 1929 Exhibition had a great impact on the city of Barcelona at an urban level, not only in Montjuic district, since improvement and refurbishment works were carried out throughout the city: Tetuán, Urquinaona and Letamendi squares were landscaped; the Marina bridge was built; the Plaça de Catalunya was urbanised; and the Avinguda Diagonal was extended to the west and the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes to the southwest. Various public works were also carried out: street paving and sewer systems were improved, public bathrooms were installed and gas lighting was replaced with electricity. The tradition of ongoing fairs, the Fira de Barcelona, was established.
At the same time, several buildings were remodelled, such as the City Hall, where Josep Maria Sert painted the Salón de Crónicas, and the Generalitat, where the flamboyant bridge over Bisbe street was built. The post office and the Estació de França (France Station) were completed after having spent several years under construction. The Palau Reial de Pedralbes was also built as a residence for the royal family, designed by Eusebi Bona and Francesc Nebot. During this period the first skyscraper in Barcelona was also constructed: the Telefónica building on the corner of Fontanella and Portal del Ángel, designed by Francesc Nebot.
Finally, they improved the city's communications, with construction during the 1920s of the Barcelona El Prat Airport, the removal of level crossings within the city, the improvement of links with the city's peripheral neighbourhoods, the Sarrià train being moved underground (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya), the electrification of public trams and the extension of metro line 3 to Sants, connecting the Plaza de España with the Exhibition district. The construction of all these public works lead to a great demand for workers, causing a large increase in immigration to the city from all parts of Spain. At the same time, the increase in population lead to the construction of various workers' districts with "cheap housing", such as the Aunós Group in Montjuic and the Milans del Bosch and Baró de Viver Groups in Besós.
The Archaeology Museum of Catalonia (Catalan: Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya; abbreviated as MAC) was created under the Museums of Catalonia Act in 1990 by the Department of Culture of the Government of Catalonia.
The head office is located in the former Palace of Graphic Arts, which was built on the Montjuïc hill for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. The pavilion was initially to be dismantled once the event was over, but it was conserved and refitted by the architect Josep Gudiol before the museum opened its doors in 1932.Barcelona Pavilion
The Barcelona Pavilion (Catalan: Pavelló alemany; Spanish: Pabellón alemán; "German Pavilion"), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition. It is an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and its spectacular use of extravagant materials, such as marble, red onyx and travertine. The same features of minimalism and spectacular can be applied to the prestigious furniture specifically designed for the building, including the iconic Barcelona chair. It has inspired many important modernist buildings.Dragiša Brašovan
Dragiša Brašovan (Serbian Cyrillic: Драгиша Брашован) (May 25, 1887 - October 6, 1965) was a Serbian modernist architect, one of the leading architects of the early 20th century in Yugoslavia.Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys (Catalan pronunciation: [əsˈtaði uˈlimpiɡ ʎuˈis kumˈpaɲs], formerly known as the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuïc and Estadio de Montjuic) is a stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the city (and Barcelona's bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics, which were awarded to Berlin), it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics.The stadium has a capacity of 55,926 (67,007 during the 1992 Olympics), and is located in the Anella Olímpica, in Montjuïc, a large hill to the southwest of the city which overlooks the harbor.Expo '29
Expo '29 may refer to:
1929 Barcelona International Exposition, Barcelona
Chosun Exhibition, Seoul
Ibero-American Exposition of 1929, Seville
North East Coast Exhibition, Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandFestival Grec de Barcelona
The Festival Grec de Barcelona (or Grec Festival of Barcelona) is an international theatre, dance, music and circus festival. Over the course of its history, this long-standing event has become a major summer attraction in Barcelona.Georges Wybo
Eugène Adolphe Henri Georges Wybo (11 October 1880 – 1943) was a French architect who is known for the casino and the Hôtel Royal in Deauville, and for the department stores that he built for the Printemps chain.Independence Centenary International Exposition
The Independence Centenary International Exposition was a World Expo held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7, 1922 to March 23, 1923, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Brazil's Independence. The expo happened during Epitácio Pessoa's mandate and was regarded as an opportunity to show off the growing industries and the potential market from Brazil. The fair was constructed alongside of the Rio Branco Avenue in a landed area built just for the occasion.
A total of 14 countries from 3 continents participated in the exposition.
Over 3,000,000 people attended the event.Jan Holschuh
Jan Holschuh (Beerfelden, 9 August 1909 – Michelstadt, 2 August 2000) was a German sculptor and a designer.
He was one of the leading contemporary ivory carving artists. Many of his ivory sculptures are housed in the German Ivory Museum Erbach. During his lifetime, he produced more than 200 sculptures from elephant ivory, mammoth ivory fossil, and amber.
He won many awards, including the Grand Prix of 1929 Barcelona International Exposition and State Prize Munich in 1966.
After he finished studying ivory carving in Erbach, he continued his education in Königsberg, and then from 1931 to 1933 in Weimar. From 1934 until his return to Erbach, he was the art director of Royal Amber Works in Königsberg.List of German architects
The following are German-born or Germany-based architects listed according to their architectural style.Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (Catalan: Font màgica de Montjuïc, Spanish: Fuente mágica de Montjuic) is a fountain located at the head of Avinguda Maria Cristina in the Montjuïc neighborhood of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The fountain is situated below the Palau Nacional on the Montjuïc mountain and near the Plaça d'Espanya and Poble Espanyol de Barcelona. The fountain, like most of the surrounding developments, was constructed for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.
The Magic Fountain was designed by Carles Buïgas, who had designed illuminated fountains as early as 1922. The site where the fountain was constructed was the previous location of The Four Columns. The columns, representative of the Catalanism movement, were demolished in 1928 under the orders of Prime Minister Miguel Primo de Rivera and were re-erected in 2010 a few meters away from the original location.
Buïgas submitted his design a year before the exhibition, with many calling the plan too ambitious, with too little time to complete. The construction project utilized over 3000 workers. The first show took place on May 19, 1929, the day before the start of the Exposition. The fountain was badly damaged in the Spanish Civil War and did not operate until 1955, after Buigas oversaw needed repairs.In the 1980s, music was incorporated with the light show and the fountain, along with the Museu Nacional, was completely restored prior to the 1992 Summer Olympics, held at Montjuïc. Performances include film, classical, and modern music, such as The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, a Spanish zarzuela movement, "Barcelona" by Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, and modern pop songs. Performances take place at half-hour intervals every weekend, with weekends extended during the summer season.
The fountain sprays 700 gallons of water a second through 3620 jets to create its effect. The highest water spout is 170 feet.Montjuïc
Montjuïc (Catalan pronunciation: [muɲʒuˈik]) is a hill in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.Palau Nacional
The Palau Nacional (Catalan for ‘National Palace’) was the main site of the 1929 International Exhibition on the hill of Montjuïc in Barcelona.
It was designed by Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà under the supervision of Pere Domènech i Roura.
Since 1934 it has been home to the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
With a ground surface of 32,000 m², the Spanish Renaissance-inspired building has a rectangular floor plan flanked by two side and one rear square sections, with an elliptical dome in the centre. The fountains by the staircases leading to the palace are the work of Carles Buïgas.
Between 1996 and 2004, the palace was extended to accommodate the National Art Museum's entire collection of over 5,000 artworks.Palau Reial de Pedralbes
The Palacio Real de Pedralbes or Palau Reial de Pedralbes (Catalan pronunciation: [pəˈlaw rəˈjal də pəˈðɾalβəs]; English: "Pedralbes Royal Palace") is a building placed in the middle of an ample garden in the district of Les Corts, in Barcelona. From 1919 until 1931 it was the residence for the Spanish Royal Family when they visited the city. It houses the Museu de la Ceramica (ceramic museum), Museu Tèxtil i d'Indumentària and Museu de les Arts Decoratives (interior design museum), both part of the Disseny Hub Barcelona and is the permanent seat of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).Plaça d'Espanya, Barcelona
Plaça d'Espanya (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈplasə ðəsˈpaɲə]) or Plaza de España in Spanish, is one of Barcelona's most important squares, built on the occasion of the 1929 International Exhibition, held at the foot of Montjuïc, in the Sants-Montjuïc district.Plaça de Catalunya
Plaça de Catalunya (pronounced [ˈplasə ðə kətəˈluɲə], meaning in English "Catalonia Square"; sometimes referred to as Plaza de Cataluña, its Spanish name) is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city (see Barri Gòtic and Raval, in Ciutat Vella) and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.
Some of the city's most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l'Àngel, in addition to Ronda de Sant Pere, Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona's most popular attractions, and the flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre.Poble Espanyol
The Poble Espanyol (literally, Spanish town) is an open-air architectural museum in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, approximately 400 metres away from the Fountains of Montjuïc. Built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, the museum consists of 117 full-scale buildings, which recreate Spanish villages. It also contains a theater, restaurants, artisan workshops and a museum of contemporary art.Teatre Grec
Teatre Grec ([teˈa.tɾə ɡɾek], "Greek Theatre") is an open-air theatre in the Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
The theatre was built in 1929 by the Catalan architect Ramon Reventós in the style of the ancient Greek theatres as part of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.The main use of this theatre is in summer festivals such as the Festival Grec de Barcelona.Venetian Towers
The Venetian Towers (in Catalan: Torres Venecianes) is the popular name for a pair of towers on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina at its junction with Plaça d'Espanya in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. There is one tower on either side of the street.
The towers are 47m high, with a 7.2 metres square cross-section. The bottom section of each is built of artificial stone, the main section of red brick, and the top section is a colonnaded viewing gallery built of artificial stone, and topped by a pyramidal copper roof. They were modelled on the campanile of St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.They were originally envisaged in Léon Jaussely's city expansion plan of 1907, and designed by architect Ramon Reventós and built in the period 1927 to 1929, as part of the redevelopment of the area for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. Reventós was also involved in a number of other projects featured in the exhibition, such as the Greek Theatre (Teatre Grec), the Spanish Village (Poble Espanyol), and the buildings of the Montjuïc Funicular on the nearby hill of Montjuïc.
They serve an ornamental function, to mark the entrance to the exhibition district, now known as Fira de Barcelona, and the start of the grand avenue leading up to the Palau Nacional on Montjuïc, which houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Originally, the towers were open to the public, who could climb the internal stairs to the viewing galleries, but they are now normally closed. In later years, the western tower housed equipment for controlling the illumination of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, 350m away at the far end of Avinguda Maria Cristina, and the gallery of the eastern tower housed sirens for signalling possible emergencies; the disused equipment was removed during the 2013/14 restoration work.The towers are registered as protected structures by Barcelona city council, with a protection level of B:B, a structure of local interest.Following restoration work, the towers opened to the public for the first time since 1929, for a two-day period during October 2014.