Angels barcelona: program / àngels barcelona

Convent dels Àngels | MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona

The Convent was built to house a community of Dominican Tertiary Sisters, which had settled in the land adjoining the Verge dels Àngels chapel in 1497. The actual temple was built between 1562 and 1566. The church was designed by the master Bartomeu Roig in Gothic style, at the height of the sixteenth century.

The complex has a simple façade, with a Renaissance style portal, and two rooms: a gothic nave, which housed the inner rooms and the adjoining Peu de la Creu chapel from 1568-1569, and is the only chapel built in the Renaissance era remaining in Barcelona.

The Convent dels Àngels complex is currently listed as part of Barcelona’s Architectural, Historic and Artistic Heritage. It includes the sixteenth century church and convent. In the eighties, the convent and its surroundings were extensively renovated as part of an urban renewal process that was part of the project “Del Liceu al Seminari”. The restoration, led by the architects Lluís Clotet, Carles Díaz and Ignacio Paricio, added some new elements to the complex: a buttressed building built onto the chapel to reinforce the church, and the mediating building that faces the façade and completes the Plaça dels Àngels.

MACBA Study Centre

Since 2007, the MACBA Study Centre takes up part of the convent complex: specifically, the third floor of the gothic nave and the mediating building that was built in 1992 and rounds off the western facade of Plaça dels Àngels.

The total floor area of the spaces used by the MACBA is 2,733 m2, distributed through the basement, the ground floor and the upper floors. The project to adapt the Study Centre space was also designed by the architects Lluís Clotet and Ignacio Paricio.

The space in this building is structured into an elongated, narrow shape, and four alcoves that organise the building envelope and are reflected in the form of five arches in the façade. The entrance stairs are located at each end of the building. The reception area is on the ground floor, along with a space set aside for activities and exhibition. On the first floor houses classrooms that are fully equipped with audiovisual equipment, and office space for seminars and teachers. The second floor contains office space and an area for the Archive, and the third floor houses the Library, lit by a skylight. This timber and metal structural element is extraordinarily slender, endowing the space with a quality that contrasts with the walls that hold it up. In the gothic nave, which houses the reading room, the ceiling is resolved using the same type of trusses. Part of this third floor is shared with the FAD, the institution that takes up the remainder of the floors in this part of the building.

La Capella

Capella MACBA, which comprises the church, the Capella del Peu de la Creu chapel and the adjoining spaces, was transferred to the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona in May 2003, so that it could be used as an exhibition space. This required a further renovation, in order to optimise its conditions. The church covers 350 m2 at ground floor. It consists of a single nave in five sections, with side chapels between buttresses and a polygonal apse. A false transept created in the 1986 refurbishment extends the final section and includes the stairs for accessing the choir on one side, and an auxiliary exit door on the other.

The Capella del Peu de la Creu, which has a floor area of 150 m2, is adjacent to the church and was also built in the sixteenth century, although in this case it was built in the Renaissance style. The chapel was expanded and reinforced during restorations in 1992. The refurbishments included adding new building on the side, to buttress the chapel, which currently houses municipal public service offices. A die-shaped lobby was also built, which is linked to the chapel and the buttress. The upper floor, with a 400 m2 floor area, contains the choir, the installations room and the outdoor terraces.


Background information when reading The Angel’s Game

A Short History of Barcelona

This article relates to The Angel’s Game

Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city after Madrid, is the capital of the
Autonomous Community of Catalonia in the North East of Spain (map) and a major economic center for finance, business, media, arts and international trade.  Its location on the Mediterranean coast brings it mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers.  With a population of 1.6 million it is the eleventh most populated city in the European Union and the sixth-most populous urban area (after Paris, London, Ruhr Area, Madrid and Milan) with almost 5 million people living in the Barcelona metropolitan area.

Legend has it that the city was founded by either the mythical Hercules, or around 250 BC by the Carthaginian general Barcas (father of Hannibal).  The Romans fortified the town as a military camp in about 15 BC.   As the western Roman Empire collapsed, the Germanic Visigoths grew in strength and, by
the fifth century, had conquerored most of Gaul (France) and Iberia (Spain) including Barcelona.  Three centuries later the dominance of the Visigoths had been replaced by the might of the Moors (North African people who were early
converts to Islam).  But not for long – in 801, Louis, son of Emperor Charlamagne, reconquered the area and it became part of a buffer zone, known as
the Spanish Marches (map),
which separated the Iberian Peninsula, controlled by the Moors, from the Frankish Kingdom which extended across much of Western Europe (map).

By the middle of the 12th century, the Counts of Barcelona had expanded their
territory to include all of Catalonia including the ancient kingdom of Aragon.  The territory known as the Crown of Aragon, with its center in Barcelona, reached its height in the 13th century having conquered Sicily, large chunks of Southern Italy and Athens in Greece.   Barcelona’s power declined in the mid 15th century when Isabella of Castille married Ferdinand of Aragon which, after considerable infighting, eventually united the majority of Spain under one monarch.  Their daughter, Catherine of Aragon would later marry into the English House of Tudor (thus validating, in the eyes of European royalty, the rather dubious origins of the Tudor dynasty).  The subsequent annulment of their 24-year marriage by her husband, Henry VIII, led to England breaking away from the Catholic Church and a souring of relations between Spain and England which continued through various wars and a number of centuries.

Books you may know that are set in and around Barcelona

  • The Shadow of the Wind

    The Angel’s Game

  • The Cathedral of the Sea
    by Idelfonso Falcones, set in 14th century
    Barcelona at the height of the Inquisition.

  • Homage to Catalonia
    , George Orwell’s personal observations of the
    Spanish Civil War, published in 1938.

  • Homage to Barcelona
    by Colm Tóibín, nonfiction.


Interesting Links

BookBrowse member Margaret Ristagno lives in Barcelona, and recently blogged about one of Catalonia’s most popular traditions – The Day of the Book:

  • A brief history of Catalonia’s Day of the Book
  • A photo tour of Barcelona on St Jordi’s Day/The Day of the Book

Filed under Places, Cultures & Identities

This “beyond the book article” relates to The Angel’s Game. It originally ran in July 2009 and has been updated for the
May 2010 paperback edition.

Go to magazine.

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Angels of Barcelona – Excursions in Barcelona guide prices

Interesting Facts
February 25, 2020

Barcelona Angels. Where can you see the Angels of Barcelona? Myths and legends about the angels of Barcelona

Barcelona Angels

The largest number of angels per square meter can be seen above the main entrance to the Cathedral of Barcelona. 76 angels occupied the four arches of the Cathedral. There is a street in Barcelona
Angela, Angel Square, their image can be seen almost more often than the image of St. George – the patron saint of Catalonia …. Let’s talk about angels.

Perhaps the most famous and most photographed angel is the Angel of Death (Kiss of Death) at the Poblenou Cemetery in Barcelona (Cementerio de Pueblonuevo). Located at:
Av. d’Icària, – Avinguda Ikaria without a number. We can include a visit to this “quiet corner” in one of our

Of course, one can argue – what kind of angel is this – Death? But if the word “angel” is translated from Greek as – “messenger, herald” – or “a being that communicates the will of God and possesses
supernatural abilities”, then our graveyard character is quite suitable for the title of an angel.

Angel of Death. (Kiss of Death) Barcelona
Barcelona. Angel Square

Place de l’Angel in Barcelona was formerly known as Wheat Square – grain was traded here. But in 978, when it was decided to transfer the relics of St. Eulalia to the Cathedral, it was
here, in front of the fortress gates of Barcelona, ​​the magnificent procession slowed down: the relics became so heavy that even a dozen strong men could not move the stretcher decorated with flowers.

But suddenly an angel descended from heaven. He pointed his finger at the relics and glared menacingly at one of the monks involved in the procession. It turned out. that this monk broke off his finger from the relics and hid it in
deep pockets of the cassock.

Under the indignant murmur of the townspeople and priests, the monk returned the stolen goods and the Angel allowed the procession to move on.
The square was renamed Angel Square, the gate to the city – the gate of Santa Eulalia, and in 1618 a sculpture of an Angel was installed here, which, unfortunately, has not been preserved. So now if
look at the facade of one of the houses on the square, you can find a new sculpture with a menacing look and a rebuking finger.

Barcelona AngelsBarcelona Angels

Portal of the Angel (Portal de l’Angel) – this is where one of the main gates of Barcelona has been located since the 13th century. At that time they were called Portal dels Orbs – Portal of the blind.
The road outside the gate connected Barcelona with the city of Gràcia. These gates opened before anyone else – at about three in the morning and closed last.

Beggars crowded here around the clock, because at night carts with handicraft goods began to leave the city. But from early morning, carts of peasants with food drove into the city, and where
there are many people – there they give alms more often. In our time, it is this fact, and even a suitable climate, that has bred homeless people and beggars throughout the territory of the old city – Barsino – and splashed out,

my God, homeless people by vocation, and not by the fact of poverty and lack of money in the tourist expanses of Eixample – the modern part of Barcelona.

But let’s go back to ancient times…. The peasants, having sold and unloaded the contents of the carts, still remained in the city to clean the toilets and load the carts with excrement – the best fertilizer for their fields.

The angel who gave the portal its name appeared in the flesh to Sant Vicente Ferrera, exactly at the moment when Ferrera crossed the gate line, entering the city. The angel reported that Barcino was under his
security. In 1466, the sculpture was installed near the gate.

Barcelona. Angel Portal

Now its copy of 1955 can be found on the wall of the bank at the very beginning of the avenue from the side of Plaza Catalunya. Barcelona Guardian Angel still guards the city and the area.

Curiosities of Barcelona. Angels

The figurines of these two angels completely destroy our idea of ​​the purpose of the Angels. Perhaps when they grow up, they will learn to play musical instruments,
Cupid’s arrows, sprinkle rose petals on a charitable path . . yes, you never know what is included in the winged duties.

In the meantime, they are learning to fly, and to make the flight easier, one angel inflates the other through the well …. (yes, in the Middle Ages, stonecutters had strange fantasies)

Barcelona Angels Barcelona Angels. Excursions in Gothic

Other city angels peek at us through the stained glass windows of old buildings or churches.

Barcelona Angels. Barcelona Angels. Excursions in Gothic

The main task of the Barcelona angels, scattered throughout the city in large numbers, is to maintain coats of arms (often – not from the birth of ancient families, but freshly baked, like the coat of arms).

Barcelona Angels. Gothic quarter Angels of Barcelona. Gothic Quarter.

The angels of the sacred mountain of Montserrat – four-winged – means cherubs, those who pour out wisdom. Perhaps that is why they have a place in
behind the altar chapel of the temple of nan Montserrat, in a place where people ask the Virgin Mary for a wash, each for his own. They remind that it is not necessary to ask for trifles, but to approach this action wisely.

Montserrat Angels Tours Montserrat Angels Tours

The angels of the Sagrada Familia trumpet the Apocalypse (left) and play musical instruments (right) rejoicing at the birth of Christ. Everything has its time.

If you come closer to the Sagrada Familia, you will surely be able to see that the faces of the musician angels have oriental characteristics – a narrow slit of the eyes. They took their places on
facade after the death of Antonio Gaudi, and the figures were sculpted by the Japanese sculptor Ittsuro Sotoo – a man who arrived in Barcelona, ​​saw a miracle under construction, became an assistant and colleague of Gaudi and
left in Barcelona.

Angels of the Sagrada FamiliaAngels of the Sagrada Familia. Excursions

Archangel Michael (on the right) – a heavenly teacher, teaches people how to act in life – kills a dragon.

Angels of the Arc de Triomphe. BarcelonaAngels of Barcelona Tours

We will find many angels both in cemeteries and in churches. Some support the slabs of the deceased priests, others raise the coat of arms of the Catholic order of this church to the top.

Barcelona Churches ToursBarcelona Churches Tours

In the gallery next to the Cathedral of Barcelona, ​​”Fallen Angel” was previously exhibited (unfortunately, it has already been sold). It was my favorite angel.

“Fallen Angel”. Barcelona

Catalonia, Barcelona from A to Z. “A”
Aborigines, Amatler
Absinthe in Barcelona
August in Barcelona
April in Barcelona
Arc de Triomphe


Back to blog


Portal de l’Àngel Barcelona UPDATED 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)


124 Reviews0002 Not bad


These reviews have been translated from English automatically.

Translations made using Google technologies can be displayed here. Google makes no warranties, either express or implied, with respect to translations, including warranties of accuracy and reliability, and any warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-counterfeiting.


Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia25 499 publications

Many tourists.

March 2018 • For two

Continuation of Avenida Gracia. east of Plaza Catalunya. With a large number of pedestrians and a small number of cars. On a small street poke a lot of shops with various goods, cafes, eateries. Lots of tourists. You can take a walk. The architectural surroundings will only help you relax.

Published July 21, 2018

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.

Igor Alexeev

Moscow, Russia112,635 publications

Tourist artery…

March 2018 • For couples

Avinguda Portal de l’Àngel – the famous tourist artery of Barcelona and for a walk in Barcelona… In demand, both for shopping and for gatherings in cafe-restaurants… For us, Portal de l’Àngel for the umpteenth time is the place to start the obligatory walk in the Gothic Quarter…

Published on April 8, 2018

This review reflects the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.

Alena L

Moscow, Russia39 publications

The most popular brands on this street

May 2016 • Traveling alone

Everything for shopping can be found here: popular clothing brands, home goods, shoes, electronics, cafes . Especially if you come for a short time, it is convenient to buy in one place, not far from the sights.

Published May 11, 2016

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.

okok o

M835 publications


sept. 2015 • With friends

Barcelona shopping area. There are many large and small shops with goods of various price categories. In many stores you can issue Tax Free. In addition to shops, I liked the houses along the entire street. Good combination of walking and shopping.

Published March 23, 2016

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.

Dmitry D

Moscow, Russia656 publications

Shopping area

Feb. 2016 • For two

Good area for shopping. Lots of average and slightly above average stores. level. Everything is very central and can be combined with a walk around the city

Published March 15, 2016

This review reflects the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.

Lana C

35 publications

Cozy hotel in the city center

apr. 2015 • With friends

Lovely hotel, not very noticeable from the street. An old building, comfortable rooms, good service, a cozy courtyard with a swimming pool. and great location, walking distance to everything)

Published April 6, 2015

This review reflects the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


Sydney and surroundings, Australia17,519 posts


Located in Ciutat Vella, this pedestrian street is part of the shopping area, we love how you can just walk around without worrying about traffic, it is very popular with visitors as you would expect.

Published December 23, 2022

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews.


Linz, Austria23 publications

Great hotel and location

June 2022

We chose this hotel because of its location. The hotel is centrally located with easy access to the metro and bus tour. We found a great tapas restaurant (Andurina, C Comtal 30) 5 minutes walk from the hotel. The hotel staff were very attentive, helpful, suggesting restaurants and attractions. The pool and courtyard were the most enjoyable, especially after a day of sightseeing in the intense heat. Be sure to visit Parc Güell and the Familia Sagrada!

Published September 19, 2022

This review represents the subjective opinion of a member of the Tripadvisor community and is not the official position of Tripadvisor LLC.