If you enjoy getting off the beaten path, consider a visit to the Bunkers Del Carmel on your next trip to Barcelona. One of the city’s hidden gems, the Bunkers Del Carmel sit atop the Turó de la Rovira, a hill in the district of El Carmel. The bunkers offer a spectacular panoramic view of the city and the ocean beyond.
The Bunkers Del Carmel were built in 1938 by the democratic Republicans during the Spanish Civil War, to defend against air raids by the fascist Nationalists. The bunkers housed large 105mm cannons, mounted on concrete platforms. After the war was over, and the Nationalists were victorious, the anti-aircraft guns were removed and the bunkers were abandoned.
It didn’t take long before the homeless settled the bunkers. Between the 1940s and 1950s, the bunkers’ population grew into a shantytown known as the Cannons. As much as seven percent of Barcelona’s population was living in the Cannons neighborhood at its height.
When Barcelona was named the host city of the 1992 Olympic Games, the city council decided to move all of residents still living in the bunkers into apartments, in an attempt to clean up the city.
The Bunkers Del Carmel remained abandoned and relatively unknown until the location was used in a photo shoot for the promotional poster of the 2012 film “Tengo Ganas de Ti,” depicting the main character sitting on a motorcycle with the view of the city behind him. Certain scenes in the movie were filmed at the bunkers as well. As the popularity of the site grew, city officials approved a renovation of the bunkers to make them more appealing to tourists.
While there is no bad time to visit the Bunkers Del Carmel, it is particularly stunning at sunset. Get off the beaten back and enjoy one of the best views of Barcelona.