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The Mies Van Der Rohe Pavillion - Barcelona

I found myself visiting Barcelona and this time, my feet were directed towards Montjuic. I had been there previously, but this time was different. The underground metro stopped at the Espanya station and I climbed outside to Montjuic. How beautiful! The plaza is very large, there is a lot of traffic and the Palace of Montjuic is there, lying on the hill, watching how everything below is taken care of.

I walked between the Venetian towers along the Avenue de la Reina Maria Cristina. I rode up an escalator (what a great invention!) and reached the top. After turning right, at last I see it! It almost goes unnoticed but in the space where we see it is the most important building in the history of modern architecture.

The building where we find ourselves in front of is the pavilion that Mies Van der Rohe conceived to represent Germany at the International Exhibition of 1929 in Barcelona. In January 1930, when the exhibition was closed, workers dismantled the pavilion and some of the materials were taken to Germany. But it made such a mark on the architecture of that time, which was organized several years after its reconstruction.

And here I find myself, enjoying its beauty as can be done since it reopened in 1986. It is located in the same place Mies Van der Rohe had chosen carefully for the original building, away from large buildings that were constructed to represent countries. He precisely sought a more discreet place to build a small pavilion which was intended to represent the democratic and progressive character that Germany wanted to project after the first World War.

And now that I have the building before my eyes I can only say I’m impressed. I recognize it is a little smaller than I imagined. But it’s so beautiful, that even though I paid an €4.60 entrance fee, it’s worth it, now I do not know where to start. The exterior is so relaxing that it makes you want to sit here for hours although the inside was also calling my attention, so I’m also keen to enter.

I decided to take some photos outside where there is a patio and a small shallow pond adorned with pebbles at the bottom. What a wonderful texture!

Photo by blancarleal

The crystal clear water, framed by pristine white marble, contrasts with the wall that leads to the interior. It’s another kind of marble, darker this time, which led me to the door.

Well, now that I’m inside, the feeling is strange, I think I’m still outside. The lofty and sturdy marble walls accompany the glass walls and the feeling is indescribable. It looks like I’m inside and outside at once, and I have a feeling of amazing lightness!

At the end of the room, I discovered another small pond. This one is surrounded by dark marble, and on one side, the statue of a young woman is positioned and reflected again and again. You can see the statute reflected as you look at the marble, in the water, and on the glass.

The rear part is surrounded by plants and I have a feeling of freshness that is sitting with me even with the day’s heat.

I would have loved to sit on the chairs that were in the interior, but it is not allowed. It would have been a great pleasure to sit on the original Barcelona chair, which probably sat the King Alfonso XIII during the original exposition.

I enter, I leave, I leave, I enter, I look, and I take photos. It’s unbelievable that I have to climb back down again in the metro, How disappointing! I did not want to stop taking photos, unfortunately I had finished my roll and I had no choice but to keep the LC-A in the bag and leave. Oh! But what do my eyes see? Here comes a group of friends and one of their bags carried a brand new red Sardina. “The Captain” shone on the white marble and was glad that someone would immortalize the simple and rigorous geometry of the work of Mies Van der Rohe.

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written by blancarleal and translated by lislisdotnet

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish.