Located at the foothill of Montjuic, on a strip of land between the hill and the Parallel Avenue, Poble Sec has always been a workers district, the three chimneys of La Canadenca at the Paralell, are a symbol of the industrial past of the area.
Poble Sec has its origin in the 19th century non regulated settlements of those who could not afford to live inside the city limits. Its regulated urban development started in 1887 and its name comes from the former lack of fountains and natural water souces in the area (Poble Sec means dry village).
The Parallel Avenue, opened in 1894, was the popular area for entertainment at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th. There are still cabarets and theaters along the avenue, among which El Molino, a copy of the Parisian Moulin Rouge, with a pitoresque mill on the facade and the Arnau theater on the other side of the Parallel.
The proximity of Montjuïc is one of the greatest charms of Poble Sec, but it also accounts for the main inconvenience: its slopes. Walking up the hill we can easily get to the hill's facilities, but for a more laid-back climb you can take the funicular (cable train) at the Parallel avenue. Anyway you climb it is a good idea to have a bite in Poble Sec before you go up. The district has plenty of nice little bars and restaurants, while on the hill there is a more limited offer.
Poble Sec still keeps the quiet familiar atmosphere of a non pretentious workers village and it is the cradle of the very popular composer and singer Joan Manuel Serrat.