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If you want to feel wistful and romantic on your afternoon stroll in Barcelona, there’s a special park for you. It’s Parc del Clot in Sant Martí. Reminiscent of the Roman arches, this park was actually built in the 1980s. It’s a central and lively center for the Clot neighborhood to play sports or to relax.
To me, this park makes me revisit the town of Segovia and its soaring arches — a 2,000-year-old aqueduct that overtakes the the old center. But, the arches in Parc del Clot are on a much, much smaller scale.
And, I learned later it’s relatively not that old. The arches are actually former walls of RENFE’s train workshop (Spain’s national railway company), which was constructed in the 19th century. New trains were built and repaired in this once-industrial area of Sant Martí.
Since the workshop had long shut down, the space was abandoned. Then it was sold to the Barcelona City Council in 1972. Finally, the park was renovated in 1986. The designers decided to maintain part of the framework, the stone walls that delimit the space on different sides of the park.
Only one of the walls was transformed into an aqueduct 25 meters long. The water cascades and trickles into this small lake.
The use of this park is completely maximized. It’s evident that local neighbors love Parc del Clot. Any weekend that I come here, it’s being used for birthday parties, handball games, and strolling. It’s a connection hub between the market and the district City Hall.
It also joins two major city streets: Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes and Avinguda Meridiana. It also is attached to the Mercat del Clot and the trendy Clot bars.
One of my favorite parts of the park are the modern “corridors”. These white square metal frames form a long passageway from one side of the park to the other.
It’s also multileveled. The corridor becomes an overhead crossing, where you can get a view of the esplanade, the main area below.
And this is what you see on a typical weekday morning. But on the weekends, it’s packed with locals Kids are playing basketball or football. Retired folks are hitting racquetballs against a wall. Teenagers are perched on the steps, watching people and sharing gossip.
The park also has three children’s playgrounds, a dog park, a petanca court, ping pong tables, and several fountains.
One one side of the park, there’s a small pavilion with a bronze sculpture in the middle. It’s by an American artist, Bryan Hunt.
It’s the architectural elements and the varying elevations of Parc del Clot that keep you visually interested. You just can’t stop exploring. You’ll find curious landmarks to see, steps to scale, bridges to cross, and ramps to climb. It also has well-manicured grassy hills and lush Mediterranean vegetation.
Where to find it
Carrer dels Escultors Claperós, 55, 63, 08018 Barcelona
Other parks in Barcelona
If you’re interested in parks that kids will love, perhaps you might like these other parks in or near Barcelona:
- 12 Things to do in Ciutadella Park – my complete guide to all the activities to do in Barcelona’s most central park
- Parc del Oreneta – They have a mini train ride that little kids will love
- Greenery, Gravel, and Metal: Poblenou’s Modern Park – a huge park with lots of green and minimalism. They architect who designed it also designed the Torre Glories
- Park Guell – the most famous and touristic park in Barcelona, a colorful wonderland
- Get lost at the Parc del Laberinto in Horta – a park with a labyrinth inside. So much fun!
- Parc de Francesc Macia – a park in Malgrat de Mar with oversized fun sculpture that kids can climb, like a massive croissant or an eraser!
Spectacular parks like these add to your quality of life. Don’t you agree?