The Fishing Boats at Port Vell, Barcelona

Open House at Port Vell Fishing Harbour, Barcelona.

A short set of image galleries taken at the fishing harbour, Port Vell, Barcelona – click on an image, below, to open the corresponding gallery.

Port Vell (the old port) is today mostly known for its shopping centre and luxury yachts. However, sandwiched between the Vela hotel and the Maremagnum there is still a small but important fishing harbour that exists in a bubble of time that has so far remained protected from all the luxury developments around.

These photographs were taken during one of many excellent Barcelona 48H Open House sessions, on an unusually windy and rainy October morning. The fishing port is not normally open to visitors, and the time-slots for the open house were quite busy. However, it was fascinating to see the operation of the port and the almost surreal contrast between the fishing boats and the surrounding commercial developments.


It is quite a visually chaotic environment, and difficult to isolate subjects well. As is often the case, the most productive source of fun images comes from the brick-a-brack rather than grand panoramas.


Although the port was not operating while we were visiting, there were people fishing from several of the quays.

In the background you can see several absurdly expensive luxury yachts undergoing maintenance. The large yacht sitting out of the water is the $70 million Wedge Too, designed by Philippe Stark, which I suppose is best described as being in stark contrast to the rather more down-to-earth fishing vessels shown above.

And, of course, the highlight of the visit was being greeted by the management!

Resident Cat (one of many!) at Port Vell Fishing Harbour, Barcelona.

Hopefully, the fishing harbour will continue. That said, large chunks of the surrounding port area have been given over to luxury yacht berths, and there is even a suggestion that the fishing harbour will be redeveloped with walkways to turn it in to yet another tourist attraction. We can only hope that this never happens.

All images taken with the Leica M typ 262 and 50mm f1.4 summilux, and processed in Capture One 10.

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