Practical guide / Sants-Montjuïc / Parc de Montjuïc / Anella Olímpica de Montjuïc

Anella Olímpica de Montjuïc

Barcelona lived through a magical summer it will never forget. When the city hosted the 1992 Olympic Games, the city became the world's capital during a fortnight which will be etched forever in people's memories. The Olympic Ring on Montjuïc was the nerve centre of the festivities.

Today, the Olympic Ring is much more than a place commemorating thrilling sporting achievements. This area in the middle of the Parc de Montjuïc, houses a series of amenities used every day by the city's community which are also admired by its visitors. Next to the imposing Olympic Stadium, the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, and the sports complex, the Palau Sant Jordi, stands the striking communications tower designed by the Valencian engineer and architect Santiago Calatrava. A 136-metre-high, steel sloping structure, its outline is reminiscent of an athlete's body and its base is covered in broken mosaic trencadís tiles, in clear reference to one of the techniques used by Gaudí. The orientation of the tower means that the shadow of the central needle projected on to the adjacent Plaça d'Europe acts as a sundial.

The Bernat Picornell swimming pools are a favourite meeting point for Barcelonans who want to keep fit, and, next door, is the University of Sport, the headquarters of the National Physical Education Institute, the INEFC, which was designed by Ricard Bofill and reveals the architect's taste for classical forms based on columns and a triangular frieze.