Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Barcelona, Spain

Bunkers of Carmel

These secluded and abandoned anti-aircraft defenses have become one the most scenic viewpoints in Barcelona. 

Anyone looking to get an incredible bird’s-eye view of Barcelona, Catalonia, need look no further than the hilltop ruins of the Bunkers del Carmel. 

Built as anti-aircraft fortifications in 1938, during the Spanish Civil War, the bunkers atop the hill of Turó de la Rovira were situated so that they could survey the entirety of the city. Large 105 mm cannons were mounted on the concrete and masonry defenses and helped protect Barcelona from further bombing.

After the war, the guns were removed and the bunkers were simply left to crumble. Yet the view from the site was too lovely to stay neglected for long and eventually the old bunkers became known as a beautiful, if a bit remote, place to take in the historic city.

In the 2000s, as the popularity of the site grew, the bunkers received a renovation as officials wanted to make it more appealing to tourists as well as celebrate the ancient Iberian settlement that is also nearby. The formerly secret site now regularly sees visitors, but is secluded enough that it is often still fairly private. Further restoration of the site began again this year, but the site is expected to reopen in April.