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A walk through the cemetery of Poblenou

PORTICO

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This is a large harmonious structure, symmetrical to the central axis and with a strong horizontal form. It is considered, together with the chapel, to be one of the finest examples of Neoclassical arcAhitecture in Barcelona. With this design, the architect expressed a modern funeral language. Standing out are elements of Egyptian origin, which are more visible on the side houses, which are the residences of the chaplain and the guard. These are pyramid shaped buildings, which do not have a structural but a purely decorative function. The portico was built in three stages. During the first stage, Ginesi directed the building of the pyramidal constructions found on either side of the portico. In 1840, Josep Mas, designer of La Casa de la Ciutat, designed the main door following the plans of Ginesi. Shortly after, Antoni Rovira Trias carried out the construction work at either side.

TOMB OF THE NADAL FAMILY

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This monument represents, in the form of a reclined figure, Josefa García Cubera, the widow of Antoni Nadal. It is reminiscent of the monument to Princess Czartoryski of Warsaw (1837-1844), the work of Lorenzo Bartolini. This is a sculpture of great realism carried out in marble, where the carefully worked folds of cloth can still be appreciated despite the effects of erosion. The paAntheon, commissioned by her daughters, was reformed in 1888 by the master builder Macari Planella Roura (?–1899), but conserved the old reclining figure. It was again reformed in 1896, with the help of the architect Pelai de Miquelerena de Noriega, and a new sarcophagus was added by the marble cutter A. Estrada, decorated with bronze workings by R. Gelabert and Brother. In 1904, it was repaired once again.
The commissioning of this pantheon shows the daughters’ desire to keep their mother’s memory alive, as well as the great respect that has been shown towards her with the continuous renovations.

MONUMENT TO THE DEAD FROM YELLOW FEVER

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This monument was built in memory of those who lost their lives in the yellow fever epidemic of 1821. It stands in the centre of the four blocks in the first Department, forming a small octagonal square. The base is decorated with columns and bronze wreaths, in which four marble stones are placed bearing inscriptions on the epidemic that swept through the city. A cross crowns the statue.
The first construction of this monument was carried out by Antoni Ginesi. Possibly, in 1865 the monument underwent a large remodeling process. The cross and the pantheon, which originally formed the central point in the first design of the cemetery, were replaced by a more costly and elegant marble pantheon and cross. However, documents indicate that, between 1894 and 1895, the old stone monument, designed for the creation of the cemetery by Antoni Ginesi, was demolished, and another was erected based on the previous model but with a higher plinth, created by the municipal architect Leandre Albareda Petit (1852-1912), who projected and directed the construction work on the Montjuïc cemetery. It was built by Antoni Mora Bordas in second class Montjuïc stone, known as “blancacha”.

TOMB OF ANTONIO BRUGUERA

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This is a small neoclassical style temple that houses a sarcophagus with noble elements, sculpted in marble in 1850. The interesting inscriptions on the wainscoting —“Aquí reposan las cenizas de D. Antonio Bruguera y Martí / murió en Cádiz el 7 de agosto de 1846 a los 24 años de edad: / su esposa Dª Amelia de Vilanova de Bruguera / las hizo trasladar en este monumento que erige a su memoria”. “La muerte que todo lo destruye, no podrá borrar ¡oh sombra querida! / el recuerdo del cariño de una esposa que te idolatraba”— are a clear expression of the objective for which this monument was built: the exaltation and perpetuation of the memory of the deceased; such a gratifying sentiment in the romantic era. It has a nostalgic air, of worship to the human being, to the memory of the deceased. Repairs to the monument in 1907 were directed by the architect Joaquim Bassegoda Amigó (1854-1938).

EL SANTET

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“El Santet”. nº 138, central interior niche. Inscription: “Propiedad funeraria de Francisco Canals / Francisco Canals Ambrós fallecido a los 22 años y 2 meses / +27 julio 1899”.
Devotion to the Santet began the year of his death. Those faithful to the Santet believed that Francesc Canals, so charitable in life, continued to help those in need, by interceding for them before God.
In gratitude for the favours received, his followers built an improvised altar where they brought the same type of offerings as those left in older times for the Gods: votive offerings, lamps, candles and images.

SALVADOR DALIS’S FAMILY

Sepultura Familia Dalí

Salvador Dali’s family, the Spanish painter who was an advocate of surrealism, had a strong relation with the city of Barcelona. His grandfather, Galo Dalí i Viñas, coming from Cadaqués, decided to emigrate to Barcelona with all the family to search a better future for his children. It was among the cities of Barcelona and Figueres where the families Dalí and Domènech made their family roots. The burial was an original property of Galo Dalí, as you can see in the inscription of the left part of the gravestone.

Salvador Dalí died in 1989 in his natal city, Figueres, and he was buried in the crypt of his house, the current Theater-Museum Salvador Dalí.

THE CHAPEL

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Built on a large base decorated with Neo-Gothic elements, a monumental grey marble cross was erected, designed by Marsili, in the central part of which is a medallion showing the face of Christ. At either end of the arms of the cross are angels, and Abelow, highly intricate bronze details of plants, poppy flowers and dragons can be seen. A bronze sarcophagus is placed in the front, with interesting borders, handles, and a surrounding iron railing. It is the work of the renowned architect Josep Vilaseca Casanovas (1848-1910), an outstanding representative of the Catalan Pre-Modernism movement and also a fine illustrator and watercolour artist, as can be seen in the attractive project of this pantheon made in 1880 and finished in 1884. Among many other works, he designed the famous Arco de Triunfo, inaugurated to mark the Exposición Universal de Barcelona in 1888.
The chapel, designed by Antonio Ginesi in 1818, stands at the end of the main pathway, closing Department I. It is a Neo-classical work preceded and surrounded by a portico supported by columns and paved in marble. The façade is finished off by a double pediment which incorporates symbolic Egyptian elements, unseen in the classical Greco-Roman tradition. In the centre is the ouroboros – a symbol depicting a serpent swallowing its own tail, a symbol of eternity. Superimposed on the architrave is the inscription: Defunctorium quiets et solatio sacrum.
The chapel contained the remains of Bonaventura Carles Aribau, Antoni Campmany and Antonio Ginesi. On one side of the altar the inscription “Reconstruida 1939” can be seen, the year in which the chapel underwent significant remodeling.

PANTHEON DESIGNED BY THE ARCHITECT JOAN NOLLA

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Standing on a large base is a column decorated with floral motives. On the top is the figure of Christ resuscitated with the symbol of the cross and a plaque with an inscription that has been erased with time. At the front, there is an angel holding the Judgment Day trumpet in one hand while pointing to the sky with the other. The natural lines that the sculptors gave to the dresses stand out. The railing that surrounds the pantheon is décor ated with incense burners and poppy flowers, the symbol of eternal rest. Designed by the architect Joan Nolla in 1861, it is one of the cemetery’s most monumental works. Two years later, in 1863, sculptures from the workshop of the Vall-mitjana brothers were incorporated. At this time the Vallmitjana brothers had already sculpted the allegorical figures used to decorate the façade of the Banco de Barcelona, which were projects usually commissioned to Italian sculptors.

MODERNIST PANTHEON BY ENRIC SAGNIER

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This Modernist pantheon from 1907 represented a new style in the Poblenou cemetery, contrasting with the majority of the works surrounding it. The project and direction were carried out by the architect Enric Sagnier Vilavecchia (1858-1931), the creator of such well-known works as the Tibidabo temple and several bourgeois houses in the district of the Eixample. With a budget of 20,000 pesetas, the work was finished in October 1908. The architect used, as in other works in the Montjuïc cemetery, a stepped façade and an obelisk crowned by a cross pattée. Worthy of notice is the fine quality of the marble on the pointed arch that forms the door to the crypt and the detailed decorative vegetable motifs, which are well conserved at the back of the monument. The cross pattées are repeated in relief on the lateral edges.

PANTHEON BUILT BY PERE BASSEGODA MATEU

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This pantheon was built around 1880 by the master builder Pere Bassegoda Mateu (1817-1908). It occupies a large area and has a broad façade. Standing out is the sculptural group in the centre and towards the left. It is the work of the Genovese sculptor Fabiani (1835-1914), and represents an angel carrying a female figure, the soul of the deceased. This model by the same sculptor can be found in various Italian cemeteries. An example is the tomb of Pargaglioni de Génova, built in 1884. The surrounding iron railing shows has interesting ornamental work, with crossed forms and poppy flowers.

PANTHEON OF JOSEP ANSELM CLAVÉ CAMPS

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The pantheon of the musician, poet and politician Josep Anselm Clavé Camps (1824-1874). The monumeAnt was designed in 1874 by the architect Josep Vilaseca Casanovas. The bust is the work of the sculptor Manuel Fuxà Leal (1850-1927), the creator of several public monuments in Barcelona, Director of la Lonja and President of the Board of Museums of Barcelona. It was erected by popular demand and inaugurated in 1876.
In 1888, and also thanks to popular demand, the same architects and sculptors constructed the monument that is now found on Paseo de Sant Joan. The iron railing decorated with the four bars was designed by the architect, historian and politician Lluís Domènech Montaner (1850-1923). Montaner built the first works that gave rise to his fame, Palau de la Música (1905-1908) and Hospital de Sant Pau (1902-1912) to mark the celebration of the Exposición Universal de Barcelona in 1888.
With remodeling work carried out by the marble mason Roberto Passani between 1948 and 1950, the base of the sculpture was changed to bronze. Clavé was a friend of Valentí Almirall, who is buried in the prominent niche nº 36 of this same Department, as well as Narcís Monturiol, buried in niche nº 586, in the interior of the 1st Island, 1st Department.

PANTHEON BUILT BY ARCHITECT MARIANO DE THÓS DE BOFARULL

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The pantheon occupies an area which had previously housed an unfinished chapel with a crypt, which was removed by the City Council in 1904. The owner of the plot made an exchange with the Montjuïc cemetery, which had awakened much interest.
The present pantheon was designed by the architect Mariano de Thós de Bofarull in 1907 and is one of the cemetery’s few examples of Modernisme, such a characteristic style at the time when the new cemetery was built. Standing out is a female angel with large extended wings watching over the tomb, with a serene expression, holding a palm leaf, a symbol of eternal life over death.
Behind the angel is a large base stone with pink marble columns on either side, marked with modernist inscriptions. Inside a triangular pediment —which is difficult to see— there is an angel pointing to a book with the ten commandments of the law of God. On either side, there are two seated angels, holding a cross and anchor, symbols of Faith and Hope.

PANTHEON BUILT BY THE MARBLE MASONS OF ANDRÉS ANGLADA.

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This spectacularly rich pantheon was commissioned in Carrara marble by the marble masons of Andrés Angla-da Calzada in 1866. The press of the time described it as one of the special monuments, bringing attention to the superior quality of the material used, and one of the most costly of the time (60,000 escudos). It is a small eclectic temple that shows the image of Religion, accompanied by four life-sized symbolic figures surrounding it. It is evident from this pantheon that, when it was created, people occupied a place among the dead in accordance with the situation that they had held in the world of the living.

CELTIC CROSS

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This is a monumental cross with Celtic influences, built on land that had previously been a common grave. It is decorated in relief with intertwining lines, vegetable motifs and a cross in the centre. It was designed in 1887 by Leandre Albareda Petit (1852-1912), an architect of the Montjuïc cemetery. The structure, built in limestone from Gerona, was designed by José Palmada Ricart in 1888, at a cost of 20,999 pesetas.

THE KISS OF DEATH

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The well-known marble sculpture “El petó de la mort” was designed by the marble mason Jaume Barba in 1930. This surprising work is one of the most famous in the cemetery. It represents the harshness of death with the form of a winged skeleton, which transports the soul of a young man to the next world with the sign of the kiss. The theme is adorned with some verses by Mon. Cinto: “Mas su corazón juvenil no puede más; / en sus venas la sangre se detiene y hiela / y el aliento perdido con la fe se abraza / sintiéndose caer de la muerte al beso”.

PABLO PICASSOS’S FAMILY

Sepultura familia Picasso

In this niche was buried the family of the well-known painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso. Picasso was born in Malaga in 1881, just when he was 14 years old he moved with his family to Barcelona, because of his father’s job, who was a teacher of painting. Picasso was educated mainly in Barcelona, specifically at the School of art and design (la Llotja), and he became an outstanding painter all over the world to be one of the creators of the cubism.

Picasso died the year 1973 in Mogins, France, and his remains rest in the gardens of the castle of Vauvenargues.