Palau Sant Jordi

The Olympic Games represented a major change for Barcelona. One of the buildings that heralded the city's entry into the contemporary era was the Palau Sant Jordi, a large, covered sports complex used for all kinds of sporting, recreational and cultural events.

The Olympic Ring, on Montjuïc, was the central hub for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The sports arena, the Palau Sant Jordi opened two years earlier in 1990. It is one of the most outstanding buildings in a Barcelona that was beginning to renew itself and look to the future. The Olympic Ring, which you can explore for free, is home to the following Olympic venues: the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium, the Montjuïc diving pools and the Bernat Picornell swimming pools.

The new sports palace was designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. The dome was raised from the ground using innovative hydraulic technology and its imposing outline is reminiscent of a turtle, an organic element that ties in with Antoní Gaudí's work and its mountain setting. A masterpiece of engineering, the dome is underpinned by a base connected by a curving element which gives a harmonious feel to the entire site. The structure and materials used lend great versatility to this multipurpose venue, which can hold 17,000 people.

There is a medium-sized concert venue, the Sant Jordi Club, adjacent to the Palau Sant Jordi. It can hold 4,600 people.

Outside the building there are a series of sculptures by Aiko Miyawaki, a delicate ensemble of 36 concrete cylinders topped by metal rings and steel cables that gleam in the evening light.

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