For better or worse, Barceloneta’s Clock Tower (in catalan Torre del Rellotge) is one of those sights that often goes unnoticed. We say ‘for better’, as the visitors that do happen to pass by are rewarded by seeing a monument that is slightly off the tourist trail, and we say ‘for worse’ because so many people get very near, but its existence passes them by.
In the middle of the 18th century Barcelona’s port was developed significantly, and it was decided that a lighthouse should be constructed in order to guide ships into the port when they arrived in darkness. In 1772 the clock tower was built, in the area known as the Moll dels Pescadors (Fishermen’s Wharf), and at the time it served the purpose of the lighthouse.
In the middle of the 19th century, with the improvements that had been made to Barcelona’s port, the lighthouse was no longer needed, but instead of demolishing it the decision was taken to maintain it, replacing the top with a clock. As an interesting anecdote, the Barceloneta’s Clock Tower is one of the points of reference that the scientist Pierre F. Mechain used in his measurements during his expedition to measure the length of the Meridian arc from Dunkirk to Barcelona, which eventually gave rise to the decimal metric system.
It’s a shame that the immediate area around the tower isn’t accessible to the public, but it can be seen from various points around the port, so you won’t have any problems finding a viewpoint from which to take a photo.
You will be able to enjoy a good view from the top floor of the Maremagnum shopping centre by the port, and from this point you’ll also have the opportunity to get some good photos, both of the clock tower and of the rest of the area, including the boarding point of the Las Golondrinas that go past here, the Cable Car crossing the port and the Port Vell (Old Port).
Moll dels Pescadors (Fishermen’s Wharf) s/n, Barcelona.
It’s not possible to visit the clock tower itself.
How to get there?
Metro: Barceloneta (line 4).
Buses: lines 39, 45, 59, D20, V15, V17 and tourist bus.
By foot: located in La Barceloneta, it’s possible to arrive on foot from all central areas of Barcelona.