From being one of the most emblematic buildings in Barcelona in the early 20th century, this grand hotel and casino is now a series of ruins scattered throughout Parc Collserola.
Built in 1899 as a luxury hotel, and expanded in 1911 to include an extensive casino and amusement park, Casino de la Rebassada typified grandeur, excess, and a place where fortunes were made and lost. When the governor banned gambling in 1912, Casino de la Rebassada quickly fell into disrepair, and after progressive decline was finally closed and abandoned in the 1930s.
Used as a bomb shelter and barracks during the civil war, the collection of ruined buildings—most now partially destroyed and overgrown by the woodlands—is rumored by locals to be haunted by the ghosts of revolutionaries who were allegedly tortured and killed in this out-of-town location. It is suggested that it has stayed unrestored as nobody wants to dig in the building grounds or surrounding area for fear of the atrocities committed and buried here.
Although now privately owned, many parts of the ruins can be seen from the road, including the lion gates and majestic building fronts. Some of the half-ruined buildings can be accessed, and are now filled with street art, graffiti, and trash. It is possible to walk over the viaduct, and the outline of the old rollercoaster route can be seen between the trees. There are sculptures, wrought iron gates and arches hidden in the vegetation.
Know Before You Go
There's a great walk in Parc Collserola from station Baixador de Valvidera (S1/S2 Train from Barcelona, Zone 1 T10 ticket), which takes you past the casino ruin area. If you have more time, you can keep walking from the ruins and stop for a meal in traditional local restaurant Can Borrell and take the train back to the city from Sant Cugat (Zone 2 single ticket or Zone 2 T10). Some parts of the grounds are privately owned and not accessible to the public.