Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – The Barcelona Pavilion

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – The Barcelona Pavilion

Barcelona, Catalonia – Spain

The Barcelona Pavilion (Catalan: Pavelló alemany; Spanish: Pabellón alemán; “German Pavilion”), designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Lilly Reich, 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 furniture specifically designed for the building, including the Barcelona chair. It has inspired many important modernist buildings.

Mies wanted this building to become “an ideal zone of tranquillity” for the weary visitor, who should be invited into the pavilion on the way to the next attraction. Since the pavilion lacked a real exhibition space, the building itself was to become the exhibit. The pavilion was designed to “block” any passage through the site, rather, one would have to go through the building. Visitors would enter by going up a few stairs, and due to the slightly sloped site, would leave at ground level in the direction of the Poble Espanyol.

The Pavilion was not only a pioneer for construction forms with a fresh, disciplined understanding of space, but also for modelling new opportunities for an association of free art and architecture.

Mies placed Georg Kolbe’s Alba (“Dawn”) in the small water basin, leaving the larger one all the more empty.

he chose the place where these optical effects would have the strongest impact; the building offers multiple views of Alba.

Between 1983 and 1986, a group of Catalan architects reconstructed the pavilion permanently, based on historical drawings and rediscovered footings on the site. The reconstruction has been a popular tourist destination, but it also has been controversial among architects, critics, and historians.

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HOTEL MARQUÉS DE RISCAL – Elciego – Rioja Alavesa

In the City of Wine of Marqués de Riscal located in Elciego, Álava, is the architectural jewel that we see in the photo. Designed by Frank O. Gehry, also author of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the hotel blends with the vineyards that surround it from its daring avant-garde design. The play of lights and colors offered by its façade, depending on the light it receives at different times of the day, is truly unique.


The Alhambra is a monumental complex on an Andalusian palatine city located in Granada, Spain. It consists of a set of ancient palaces, gardens and fortresses initially conceived to house the emir and the court of the Nasrid Kingdom, later as the Castilian royal residence and his representatives. Its artistic uniqueness lies in the interiors of the Nasrid palaces, whose decoration is among the peaks of Andalusian art, as well as in its location and adaptation, generating a new landscape but fully integrated with the pre-existing nature.

Duna de Bolonia: The Spanish sand dune hiding Roman ruins

One of Europe’s largest sand dunes has already revealed a necropolis and an entire Roman settlement. As the dune continues to shift, who knows what more may be discovered.


Near the southern tip of Spain’s Cádiz province, where Europe lunges into the Strait of Gibraltar as if reaching out for the North African coast, the Duna de Bolonia is one of the continent’s largest sand dunes. Rising more than 30m high and sprawling 200m wide, the white mound spills into the azure sea and appears as if someone has dumped a massive pile of sugar atop the surrounding Estrecho Nature Park‘s protected green forest.

Like all sand dunes, Bolonia is a constantly moving ecosystem that shifts with the winds. But as climate change has intensified the hurricane-force gusts coming from the east, the dune has increasingly migrated inland towards the ecologically important cork and pine forests and scrubland – revealing remnants of the many past cilivilisations who have passed through here in the process.

Video: Spain’s hidden Roman ruins

In recent years, archaeological excavations have identified ancient burial tombs that were once hidden deep within the dune’s depths. Experts aren’t sure just how many chambers lie underneath, but because the sand has helped to preserve bones and the structure’s foundation, the necropolis remains remarkably intact, yielding artefacts like jewellery and arrowheads.