Barcelona, a photo a day

Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf. Built 1888, for the Universal Exposition. A very familiar monument, passing in front really often. But… last saturday, I spotted this…

There are 2 of them, and I don’t know why they’re there.

Update: Ken just sent this to me.
On the triumphal arch, you will find attached some stone  bats. It was
the emblem of King Jaume I. (1213-1276) (James of Aragon). Under Jaume
I., Barcelona flourished economically and he liberated Valencia,
Menorca and Mallorca from the Moors. On 31 December 1229 his troops
conquered the city of Medina Mayurka. The bat was his lucky charm. The
city of Medina was later called Ciudad de Mallorca and in 1717 it was
renamed again in Palma de Mallorca, as the city was called in Roman
The bat is still the emblem of Valencia and was for example also part
of the first crest of FC Barcelona.

Fodor’s Barcelona Guidebook says:
“Jaume i’s affinity for bats is said to have stemmed from his Majorca
campaign, when, according to one version, he was awakened by by the
fluttering rat penat (literally, “condemned mouse”) in time to stave
off a Moorish attack.  Another version attributes the presence of the
bat in Jaume I’s coat of arms to his gratitude to the Sufi sect that
helped him successfully invade Majorca, using the bat as a signal
indicating when and where to attack.”

Moltes gracies, muchas gracias, thanks Ken!

5 responses

  1. JM

    I love this arch! Great details.


    October 19, 2011 at 11:33 am

  2. Well, so the bat is full of meaning, but this one makes me LOL!


    October 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm

  3. I'll bet you were going “batty” trying to figure out what these were doing on the Arch! 🙂

    Funny how we can drive by a place for years and not really see all of it. I do that all the time!


    October 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

  4. I like them!


    October 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

  5. wow breathtaking view!This arc is beautiful!
    *** Your blog looks so wonderful in Summer mood!
    Adorable header!


    October 17, 2011 at 6:30 am