Image by Sylvain Sonnet Getty Images
Northwest of the Parc de la Ciutadella, Passeig de Lluís Companys is capped by the Modernista Arc de Triomf, designed by Josep Vilaseca as the principal entrance for the 1888 World Expo, with unusual, Mudéjar-style brickwork. Josep Llimona did the main reliefs. Just what the triumph was eludes us, especially since the exhibition itself was a commercial failure. It is perhaps best thought of as a bricks-and-mortar embodiment of the city’s general fin de siècle feel-good factor.