The elegant stone clock tower is easily overlooked among the masts and warehouses of the Barceloneta dockside. Built in 1772 in an area then known as Molls dels Pescadors (or Fishermen’s Wharf) the tower which now houses the clock was originally a lighthouse, intended to guide ships into a cramped and busy harbour. By the middle of the nineteenth century improvements to the port meant that a lighthouse was no longer needed and the lantern was replaced with a four faced clock.
One of the structures that now overtops the clock tower is the steel Torre de Sebastià, the dockside station of the transbordador or aerial tramway which runs across the port to the Miramar viewpoint on Montjuïc. The Aeri del Port was planned as part of the International Exhibition of 1929 but technical difficulties meant that the service didn’t start running until 1931. Badly damaged in the Civil War of 1936 to 1939, the installation remained derelict until the late 1950s when the city council finally decided to repair rather than demolish it.
The Aeri de Port reopened in 1963 and has since had a full renovation in the 1990s. The transbordador‘s two cars each carry ten to twenty standing passengers and the journey, via the central Jaume tower, takes less than ten minutes.
Here’s one of the cars just leaving Montjuïc, seen from the hillside park.