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Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium (89A)

The Olympic stadium was designed by the architect Pere Domènech i Roura, son of the Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and opened in 1929 on occasion of the Universal Exhibition of Barcelona. On 19 July, 1936, the People’s Olympics were to open in the city, but they were cancelled because of the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War the same week-end.

In 2001 the stadium was officially named the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium, in homage to the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, who was shot on October 15, 1940, in the castle of Montjuïc, only a short distance away from the stadium. 

In its remodelling for the 1992 Olympic Games, it was completely emptied, with only its shell maintained. New stands were raised to extend its capacity to 55,000 spectators. The team of architects Correa-Milà-Margarit-Buixadé was complemented by the Italian, Vittorio Gregotti. The front is work of the sculptor, Vicenç Navarro, and the statues over the main gate are by Pau Gargallo.

The stadium was the setting not only for the athletics contests, but for the opening and closing ceremonies. The mythological story of Hercules separating the continents of Europe and Africa, so creating the Mediterranean Sea, and the foundation of the city of Barcelona was performed. For a few seconds the whole world held its breath, as the athlete Antonio Rebollo fired his flaming arrow from the centre of the stadium to light up the bowl with the Olympic torch. And we will certainly never forget the song “Barcelona”, sung by the extraordinary voices of Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury. 

The Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium is one of the four stadiums in Spain classed as a “Five-Star Stadium” by the UEFA, which qualifies it to hold international football matches. As well as sporting events, the stadium has been the scene of major musical events since 1990.

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