The largest football stadium in Europe, in a country where football is indeed an important part of life, Camp Nou is home to FC Barcelona. Indeed, the official name of the stadium is Estadi del Futbol Club Barcelona, but it has always been known more as Camp Nou which literally translates to New Field in the Catalan language. Catalan identity is important for both Barcelona and the club - the club reinforcing the identity and something many Catalans are rightly proud of. The motto of the club, Més que un club, refers to the fact that for many, the club represents more than just a football squad. It is a culture, and in the times of the Franco dictatorship, a way for Catalans to express their national identity in times when this was officially forbidden.
The stadium was constructed between 1954 and 1957, and has been the biggest stadium of Europe ever since, with a capacity of 98,787 spectators. When entering the stadium, you notice that it is not new anymore, it is messy at times, with old concrete walls making up the main structure of the building. Following the steeply priced walking tour, you can see some of the inside parts of the stadium, like changing rooms and bath, a board on which the trainer can explain the strategy of the team, a small chapel, and press conference room. Then, you walk up exactly the same stairs used by players before a match, and the massive stadium opens up in front of your eyes.
Here, you can also find the dug-out for the teams and staff, the VIP seats, and the emblem of FC Barcelona on the holy grass of the pitch. The sheer size of the stadium is amazing, and much more colourful than from the outside. Furthermore, you can see the enormous display of cups won by the club over the years, the special room for the press to follow the match from, and a great view over the stadium from above. Once inside again, an extensive museum completes the tour with lots of pictures, old items on display, and explanations about the history of this illustrous club. Outside, a yellow bus with puppets representing some of the most famous players this club has even seen playing.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Camp Nou stadium (Spain). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Camp Nou stadium.
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