The European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018 will take place in a single facility, the Bernat Picornell Pools, inaugurated in 1969 and built to host the 1970 European Aquatics Championships (swimming, diving and water polo). The complex was designed by the architects Antonio Lozoya and Joan Ricart, and originally consisted of 3 outdoor swimming pools.
This facility is located in the Olympic Ring complex located in the Montjuic Mountain, near the Palau St. Jordi (indoor sporting arena) and the Olympic Stadium. It is relatively easy to get to the pools, on public transport, due to an efficient bus system departing from Plaça d’Espanya, or on foot, thanks to escalators that make the way up the mountain easier for pedestrians.
The Picornell have also been the scene of numerous aquatics sporting events for over five decades. In 1990, renovation works began for the 1992 Olympics. These dramatic changes, made under the surveillance of architects Franc Fernández-Valls and Moisés Gallego, included covering one of the pools to turn it into a training facility. During the Olympic Games, the Picornell Pools hosted the swimming events, the final stage of the water polo tournament and the 300m swimming event of the modern pentathlon.
The outdoor competition pool, with capacity for 3000 spectators, has seen many prestigious competitions including the World Aquatics Championships in 2003 (hosting swimming and synchronized swimming events) and 2013 (water polo). On that occasion, Spain’s women’s national team was crowned world champion, after beating Australia in the final.
Nowadays, the pools are open for public use all year round. Swimming lessons are available starting at age 3. The complex includes a spacious fitness room recently refurbished, 2 guided activities room, a cycling room and 3 Jacuzzi and Sauna areas.