The origins of this curious hangout, located in the El Carmel neighbourhood of Barcelona, can be traced back to the Spanish Civil War when anti-aircraft fortifications were built on the hills on the outer edges of Barcelona. After the war, the weapons which sat upon the bunkers were dismounted and the area was abandoned.
However, during the eighties and nineties the area’s popularity grew as the younger generations discovered it, and enjoyed its remoteness which meant it was far away from the gaze of society – and their parents. Since then, the Bunkers del Carmel has become famous for offering one of the best panoramic views of the city, an impressive 360º view across Barcelona and its surroundings.
In recent years, the local government has banked on the site’s popularity and incorporated it into the Barcelona City Museum of History (MUHBA). Visitors to the Bunkers del Carmel are now greeted with information about the site’s history as well as information about the local flora and fauna. Despite this recent change, the area still retains an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ feel which offers a glimpse at a less touristic, more rugged side to Barcelona.
Part the Bunkers’ charm comes from the fact that the only way to get there is to walk from either the metro station or the bus stop, the latter being much closer. While this means the area isn’t accessible to everyone, it also means that only the most committed explorers will make it to the top.