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Of all the bizarre pavilions at the Expo, Spain's pavilion is hard to miss. That's a good thing, because it's one you don't want to miss, either.
Covered in rattan mats, the exterior of the pavilion looks like a mountain made of wicker. Inside the mountain is a virtual tunnel that brings Spanish football matches and Pamplona's running with the bulls to life.
Audio hall inside Spain Pavilion [China.org.cn]
Human flamenco dancers perform live on-stage in front of the screen, blending the real with what looks real. The floor shakes as a stampede of horses runs by, creating an as-if-you-were-there experience.
Spain Pavilion Commissioner General Maria Tena commented on the building's technological brains and aesthetic beauty to represent Spanish life and culture.
"That's one of the attractions of this pavilion. It gives the image of Spain as very modern, very strong and at the same time very traditional," she said.
In addition to the pavilion's architecture and use of technology, the pavilion is being talked about for other reasons. In fact, it's a wonder it was kept a secret for so long. Inside the pavilion sits a giant, 6.5-meter cooing baby. His name is Miguelin.
"Miguelin means the future of our cities and some of the future is already in the Spanish cities. And we want to share that with the world. So the dreams of Miguelin are the future of our cities," she said.
So what exactly does Miguelin dream about? Tena says the baby has dreams for cities with cleaner air, gender equality, better education and health for all. While Spain hopes the pavilion will help to achieve this, it also hopes it will help to achieve closer ties with China.
"We are making this big pavilion because we want to be friends with China, with the Chinese people and we want them to know us better," Tena said.
During the trial opening of the Expo, one-fourth of the guests visited Spain's pavilion. While Tena considers that number a great accolade, she added, "What we consider a real success is that the relations between China and Spain increase...[so that] we can do business together, but also that we are friends."