- Open Air
The last vestige of the former power plant popularly known as La Canadenca,
Metro: L2 (Purple) & L3 (Green) - Paral·lel
Bus: 21, D20, H14, V11 & 88.
Located on the edge of the district of Sants-Montjuïc, the gardens of Les Tres Xemeneies (the three chimneys) owe their name to the three imposing structures that were once part of the former power plant popularly known as La Canadenca, up until it was decommissioned. In the early 20th century, the Canadenca was one of the country’s most pioneering providers of electric power, making the most of the technological advancements and innovations in generating and transferring energy. The first chimney was built in 1896, but it wasn’t until 1908 and 1912 that the company felt the need to construct the second two towers, in response to high demand. After 1912, the power plant was used to receive, transfer, and distribute power through the southern part of the city.
Despite its prominence, the power plant is perhaps best known for the famous strike carried out by its workers between February and March of 1919, when Canadian engineer Frederick Stark Pearson acquired the company, marking a pivotal moment in the labor movement of the region.
The three chimneys, built of hollow red brick, now attest to the amazing industrial architecture of the late 19th century. In fact, all throughout the park, visitors can observe other fundamental elements of the times, including fragments of the antique machinery used by the company, now transformed into stunning sculptures.
Each chimney measures 236 feet high and up to 13 feet in diameter; today they have been integrated into the two-building complex used for the offices of the Spanish Electricity Grid.
The gardens are accessible from along Avinguda Paral·lel, in a grand brick-laid esplanade lined with benches and surrounded in some places with walls, serving additionally as an excellent canvas for street art. Deeper inside, a large structure makes an excellent stage on which to perform spectacles or host celebrations, and on the other side of the walls, the generous esplanade leads the way to a multi-use sports field. In addition, there’s also playgrounds, bocce courts, and ping pong tables, adding to the wide array of activities on offer, and officially establishing the Three Chimneys as an ideal urban space for enjoying the outdoors while playing sports, seeing live entertainment, or simply taking a relaxing break from a busy day.