Welcome to the city of the dead. No admission charged. In the current times of crisis a visit to Poble Nou Cemetery is a free if slightly morbid excursion for a sunny day. Pick up an itinerary at the gate, which will offer you a route through this necropolis of neo-Gothic and neoclassical extravagance.
Or if you prefer to go straight for the kill, the map will lead you into one of the farthest forgotten corners of this dead zone, where you can appreciate the Kiss of Death [El petò de la mort].
This sculpture  by Jaume Barba has an erotic charge that could have inspired Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal , as the work conjures up a similar, creepy seductiveness in the way Death plants its icy, mortal kiss on this kneeling youth’s cheek. The sculpture, unusual in that the figure of Death is traditionally depicted in such scenes as a winged angel rather than this gelid skeleton, is intriguingly anachronistic in a pre-Raphaelite kind of way. Details such as Death’s hollow ribs and tunic are exquisitely rendered three-dimensionally to allow the cavities and spaces to play as strong a role as the form.
Other sights to see in this cemetery – designed by Antoni Genesi and the first to be opened outside Barcelona’s walls as part of a plan to improve urban hygiene in 1775 – include a work by the Italian sculptor Fabiesi, depicting an angel carrying a maiden up to heaven. It was created in 1880 for the pantheon of Pere Bassegoda.
Also worth a look is the obvious cult worship which the tomb of young Francesc Canals Ambrós, alias “el Santet”, still enjoys. Though he died at twenty-two, the famously kind “little saint” is still supposedly responsible for all kinds of miraculous cures.
El petò de la mort [The Kiss of Death] by Jaume Barba, 1930. Cementiri de l’Est, C/ Taulat, 2, Poblenou.