The beautiful church of Saint Mary of the Sea, in the Ribera area of Barcelona. It is Catalan Gothic, and the church was built between 1329 and 1383. A very tall and very elegant church, a beauty.
This, by the way, is for My World Tuesday. Much more my world than yesterday’s beautiful but bellicose airplanes. Please click here to see more photos.
A few more details of Gaudi’s Casa Batllo, aka the bone house. It is one of Barcelona’s main tourist attraction.
To see more of Gaudi’s magnificent works, just click on the Gaudi label below.
I still don’t have much time to browse your blogs, but, as I am finally going back to work tomorrow, after 100 days of convalescence, I should, strangely enough, have more time.
2 new blogs coming up soon!!!
Not many straight lines to be seen in this building! It is the Casa Batllo, on Passeig de Gracia, a house renovated by Antonio Gaudi. We will bring you more of this unique place in the next few days.
This is, by the way, post 500. We’ve come a long way.
We passed the Palau de la Musica yesterday, and I just can’t resist showing you the facade.
This is for My world Tuesday. Click here to see more.
I am having a very busy week, barely any time to browse your blogs. Will be back asap.
We went to Lourdes, on the french side of the Pyrenees mountains this weekend, a good 500 km from Barcelona.
What to say about Lourdes? 17.000 inhabitants, over 400 hotels, 6 to 8 millions visitors a year. Which makes it the second most touristic place in France, just after Paris.
They all come to see the place where a young girl, Bernadette Soubirous, had apparitions of the Virgin Mary, in a grotto along the river Gave. The grotto is on the photo above, and Bernadette has been canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.
Miracles have also been reported, over 6000, but the Catholic Church accepts only 67 of them, and calls them ‘inexplicable’.
Friday morning. The weekend starts in a few hours, and we will be off to Lourdes. Sabbath also starts today by sundown for some. Which makes it a very good day to show you one of Barcelona’s finest gems, the Sinagoga Mayor, also called Shlomo Ben Adret synagogue. Just happens to be one of the oldest in the world, parts of it dating back to the 3rd century, roman times. It is situated in El Call, the old Jewish quarter. The word Call comes from the Hebrew Kahal, community.
According to historians, there have been Jews in Spain since before the Diaspora, AD 70. In his Letter to the Romans, dated A.D. 54, St. Paul reveals his interest in coming to the Iberian Peninsula to preach .
This below was the Kotel Mizrah, the eastern wall, facing Jerusalem.
On August 5th, 1391, after an uprising in the Old Town, the Sinagoga Mayor and other Jewish property were confiscated by the King of the time. The Synagogue ceased to be, and was forgotten. It was found again in 1996.
Nowadays, you can visit it (2euros donation for the upkeep), and it is like traveling back in time.
Strangely enough, in the same street, literally 10 meters away, there is this sign saying that Saint Domingo de Guzman opened the first Barcelona convent of his Dominican order in 1219, in the building next door.
And Santa Eulalia, Barcelona’s holy patron, was martyred 2 streets away.
More information on the synagogue here.
Well, everybody, have a wonderful weekend, and a good shabbes!
This was the old Hospital de Sant Pau i de la Santa Creu, until it moved to it’s present location in the early 20th century. Now it hosts some parts of the university, a public library, a garden, some cafes and other offices. Very nice place for a drink in the evening. Parts of the building go back to the 10th century.
The Lloctinent, or Lieutenant, later called the Viceroy, was the representative of the Kings of Spain in Catalunya. He had his own Palau, palace, just next door to the Royal Castle in Barcelona.
Want to know more? Here is what Wiki has to say. It is in Catalan, please use your usual translation devices if you don’t read Catalan.
And this is the Royal Palace, with King Martin’s watchtower.
The W Hotel, as seen from the old port.
Once again, sorry about not being able to visit your blogs at the moment, as we still don’t have internet. I still manage to spend half an hour in an internet cafe, aka here as locutorio, but that’s about it. We’ll be back ASAP, God and the IP willing!
And also a very warm welcome to the latest followers of this blog! Hope you enjoy it!
As my health is quite poor at the moment (gonna be fixed soon!), haven’t been out for a photoshoot in ages. Therefore, thanks to the guy or girl who invented the notion of archives!!!
So… This is just another of Gaudi’s amazing mosaics, to be found in Parque Guell.
This might be just a normal building in Gracia, with normal flats inhabited by totally normal people, but isn’t it just lovely?
It is raining, which means that we have our very own watery wednesday here in Barcelona.
Photo taken in Parque Guell, A small fountain near the entrance, designed by Gaudi.
Please click here to see many more nice and watery photos!
This beautiful neoclassical building is one of the 2 big bus terminals in town. Formerly a train station, it was built in 1861 (100 years older than me, therefore). And it isn’t just a bus terminal, no no no! There is also a police station, a gym, a nice park, and the station hosted table tennis during the 1992 Olympics.
Where can you go from here? Well, pretty much everywhere in Spain and Europe and further away, from Portugal to Ukraine, from Paris to Morocco, from Dublin to Moscow.
Sorry for not being able to visit your blogs at the moment, as my computer has a bad case of trojan-itis, and is at the hospital for the moment. Will bring him oranges and a book later. The book? The Odyssey, of course.
The Casa Bruno Quadras (or Cuadros) was built in 1883, a few years before the 1888 Universal Exhibition in Barcelona. The architect Josep Vilaseca combined the prior style of modernisme with all kinds of architectural elements inspired by other cultures in an eclectic building which amazes everyone who walks along La Rambla. The Casa Bruno Cuadros’s balconies and the top-floor gallery are replete with Egyptian imagery. The façade features elaborate sgraffito work and stained-glass windows as well as reliefs of umbrellas and fans made of cast-iron. Orientalist motifs impregnate the outer walls which features intricate carpentry, enamelled glass and paintings of people taken from Japanese prints. The Casa Bruno Cuadros’s most opulent decorative element is the ornate Chinese dragon on the corner of the façade. It was used to advertise the shop, together with the umbrella below it. The building was refurbished in 1980, and a bank now has its premises in the stunning umbrella shop of Barcelona.
La Casa Fuster. Should you be looking for a better place to stay on a romantic holiday in Barcelona, I suppose this is the place!
It is one of the best examples of modernism. Built in 1908 by Gaudi’s contemporary Lluis Domenech i Montaner, it was a gift from the Señor Fuster to his wife, with the underlying intention to make the city of Barcelona more beautiful. Nice guy!
Now, for the last 10 years, it has been a hotel. Click here for more info.
People love flowers. Most people anyway.
So, some people put some flowers in their houses. Some people put LOTS of flowers in their houses. Some even put giganormous lots of flowers in their houses, around their houses, on top of their houses.
And you know what happens then??? They win prizes! And then, they get some signs tu put on the walls of their houses, saying ‘this is a most flowered house’. Or so. I don’t know if they win anything else than the admiring glances of their neighbors or passerbys. Or occasional tourists like us.
This said, this is a photo of one of these most flowered houses, in Sitges, in the city center. This house won many prizes, for many years. They were about twice more of these signs, but I somehow had to frame this photo, and I still wanted the signs to be recognizable.
One small thing though… It was winter, 2 months ago. Not a single flower to be seen, anywhere… So… I’ll be back!
Do they do the same where you are? Do they win prizes?
An interesting office building near the Arc de Triomf. Not quite sure what’s in it, I seem to remember it being a bank.
The Arc de Triomf at night.
No internet at home, as our router went out in a puff of smoke. So, I´m posting from an internet cafe around the corner. Wont be able to browse any of your lovely blogs today, sorry!!!
The Christopher Columbus tower at the bottom of the Ramblas last night, in a tropical environment suited for him. His Spanish name is Cristobal Colon.
During our stroll through Ciutadella Park the other evening, we came accross this lovely little fountain, boys having fun.
The Sagrada Familia cathedral seems to harbor a photo shoot for every opportunity, be it Eric Tenin, a normal post, Skywatch Friday… Let’s see what I can think of tomorrow.
Anyway, this is what you get when you bend backwards.
This is part of Skywatch Friday, as mentioned before. Please visit the other participants here
5 years ago today, Eric started the whole thing called City Daily Photo Blogs. We, for our part, are happy to have joined much later, 307 days ago. Here is to you, Eric, even the Sagrada Familia Cathedral seems to be celebrating this special day!
Some of the incredible and so organic stonework on the flanks of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. I am almost enclined calling it needlework. Please click on the picture to see the finer details, it’s worth it!
Latest updates on Sagrada Familia and Barcelona. Although the cathedral wont be finished this century, the nave is almost finished and will be inaugurated in October this year by the Pope.
More info about it here, as usual.
Weather: it is absolutely freezing, day temperatures barely above freezing. The snow has gone, almost overnight. A lot of fuss for 2/3 inches of snow. But maybe not for the 70.000 people or so still without electricity, heat and hot water.
More photos about yesterday’s snowstorm here.
This is a turret on top of a former textile factory (yes, even factories are nice here). The factory became a warehouse, then stables and garages for the national police force.
It is now one of the many (73 at the last count) museums in town, the Caixaforum. Modern art, temporary exhibitions (right now one about the great Federico Fellini).
Puig i Cadafalch completed the Casaramona factory in 1911, culminating his art-nouveau period with it. The building features the simplicity and clarity of the thoroughly worked-out masterpiece: its bare brickwork is topped by Catalan vaults resting on castiron columns and enclosing light-filled, spacious workshops. Its response to the triumph of the horizontal that was characteristic of the local Gothic style is presented through the rhythm of its battlements on the one hand, but also and more particularly through the bold aspect conferred on the building by its two slender towers. It was awarded the City Council’s prize for the best industrial building in that same year.
The architects Arata Isozaki, Francisco Javier Asarta, Roberto Luna and Robert Brufau all played their part in the refurbishment and extension work.
This is what is commonly called Gaudi’s masterpiece, Casa Mila, better known as La Pedrera, the stone quarry. A view of one of the staircases. More info here.
To finish the series dedicated to Parque Guell, here are some of the visitors and musicians.
The Parque Guell, 17ha or 42 acres, was originally meant as a city. As every city, it has a main square, with a fantastic view over the city and the Med.
And there is a public bench. Just one. Well, it is the longest in the world, 826 meters, half a mile. The bench is in the shape of a sea snake, and decorated with broken tiles, in a technique known as trencadis. Here is a view of a part of it.
And some more detailled views of the tiles.
I have a couple of days off, the weather today is awesome, so we decided to go to Parque Guell, on a photo shoot. Parque Guell, or Guell’s park, was built between 1900 and 1914 by Antonio Gaudi, and named after Count Eusebi Guell, Gaudi’s patron. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Well, the park is a fantastic place. We took over 230 photos, so we do have plenty to show you, a bit later.
Let’s start with the dragon, aka the lizard, aka the thing. You’ll find his picture in absolutely every single guide book about Barcelona. I was a bit reticent showing it earlier, as I didn’t really want this blog to be just another tourist thing. But it didn’t happen, so here it is.
You’ll almost have to queue to get a picture of the dragon alone, as EVERYBODY wants to be on a picture with it. Anyway, 10 minutes, and a bit a cropping to get to this. Enjoy!
Much more about the park in the next few days, or here, as soon as I choose and post something.
I am starting today a small series about the MNAC, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. The Museum is celebrating it’s 75th anniversary, with an exhibition called ‘Convidats d’Honor’, guest of honor. It’s a kind of best of the museum’s pieces, and it is worth the visit, believe me!
The first piece we want to show you is this wonderful catalan art nouveau dressing table, the finest we’ve ever seen. Wouldn’t you love to have it in your boudoir??? We would! Without the people in the mirror though.
The header, by the way, is another rendition of the museum’s cupola. The best way to see it is to sit down on one of the too comfortable sofas put there for this purpose. Lean back and enjoy, in other words!
Street lamp near the Arc de Triomf, Passeig Luis Companys. This area was totally transformed for the 1888 Universal Exposition. Nowadays, it is a popular place for gigs, concerts, exhibitions.
A very small part (compared to the rest, anyway) of the nave in the Cathedral of the Holy Family, better known as the Sagrada Familia.
Further derails of the Palau.
Reflections on the Palau de la Musica Catalana, the Palace of Catalan Music. It is a very interesting building, modernist but with a lovely touch of art nouveau. Covered with glass…
There is much more to say about the institution, as it is unfortunately in the centre of the biggest scandal to shake Barcelona in the last 10 or 15 years. Apparently the management of the Palau used many millions of euros for their own… needs, travels, cars, houses, etc. Are they in jail? No, they just had to surrender their passports… As I said, BIG scandal. And a big loss for the wonderful Catalan culture.
Found near Barcelona’s Cathedral, in the Barri Gotic.
Sorry, friends, don’t have much time to browse your blogs lately, as I am a bit under the weather at the moment. Will be back a bit more, as soon as I am better.
If I had to define the “natural” color of Barcelona, and generally Catalunya, I would choose this fantastically rich blue you can find everywhere here. This is another door, in a small village just north of Barcelona, along the coast. I think it is the door at number 69.
What would be the defining color of wherever you live?
Another detail of this magnificent hospital, one of the pavilions. Please click on the label below the post to see the other photos.
Yesterday, I hesitated quite a while…. Which doorway for the theme day, as I have a good choice of pictures to choose from. Was hard.
Anyway, here is another one, in Sant Pol de Mar as well. Part of a church compound, I believe. Much simpler than the one yesterday, but simplicity has it’s beauty.
This is one I discovered this afternoon in Sant Pol de Mar, on the Costa del Maresme, north of Barcelona.
Click here to view thumbnails for all participants of thos month’s theme day.
Welcome back to Passeig de Gracia, the street full of weird and wonderful buildings.
This is Casa Amatller. Built between 1898 and 1900 by architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, for the chocolate king Antoni Amatller, and inspired by 17th century dutch townhouses. The sculptures are by Eusebi Arnau. Another fine example of modernism. Very very touristic, of course, very long queues to actually visit the building. Haven’t had the time yet to do it, but I will, asap. And I’ll take some pictures, promised!
I don’t usually do this, but… A BBC reporter is starting a daily photo blog… here.
!st day of the month, theme day. Today’s theme is contrast.
Contrast of colors, shapes… And also, after the huge crowds of the last weeks, it is very nice to be able to have a quiet stroll in the evening. What you see here is a bit of Gehry’s Fish, the Mapfre Tower, the Barcelona Casino, all on the beach promenade near the Port Olimpic.
No, it isn’t, believe it or not! This is the Casa Batlló, built for a middle-class family (!), and remodeled by Gaudi. Not a lot of straight lines in there, very organic! Locals call it the bone house.
The building itself is situated in Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona’s Champs Elysées, and is an absolute tourist magnet, as you can imagine! For myself, I just love it! Then you wonder where Hundertwasser got his ideas from!
Here is a detail of the house:
Want to know more about it? No problem, just click here! Wiki will help!
The Casa next door is about as crazy. More about it… later, in another post.
“And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9)
This is the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor, the Catholic Temple of the Sacred Heart. It is the highest point in Barcelona. Whatever the heat in town, you can be sure it will be nicer up here, 512 meters higher (and even higher if you pay the 2 euros to take the lift which brings you almost to the top of the church).
About the name Tibidabo itself: this phrase, meaning I will give to you, was said to Jesus by the Devil as they looked down from an exceeding high mountain upon all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The name of Barcelona’s hill thus refers to the popular tradition that it was in fact the exceedingly high mountain itself. In other words, the Devil tried to tempt Jesus by showing him Barcelona… Barceloneses think very highly of their town!
Surprisingly, there is a popular amusement park just next to the church. Sign of times, I suppose.
If you want to know more about it, please click here.
Escriba, finca de pastas alimenticias. Founded in 1820. It is situated a short distance from the Boqueria market, still on the Ramblas. It is today a fine food and pastry shop. Both pastries and shop front look gorgeous! Today, I’ll show you the shop front, the pastries will come later, I promise!
It is a rather posh shop. LOL!
This is at the entrance of the Arxiu Municipal, the City Archive.
I was not able to find out who did this, but his idea of justice was like this: the idea of justice soars high, like a swallow, but in real life, it is rather like a turtle, slow and earthbound.
My coup de coeur, aka blog of note for today is for the beautiful small town of Sintra, near Lisbon. It is a world heritage site, and it is fantastic. Please click here to see more of it! It is a glorious eden!
Another very hot summer day in Spain. Well, this photo was taken on a wet, cool and windy day in April. The longer I stay in Spain, the more I love rain! They promised us some for today, but nothing yet but heat, sun and more heat.
This is Frank Gehry’s Fish in the Port Olimpic. 35 x 54 meters of steel lattice and copper. It is situated in a zone full of restaurants, night clubs, Irish pubs, right on the beach. Just underneath is the Barcelona Casino.
More about Gehry here.
MY BLOGS OF NOTE
Oh yeah, I’d like to start something new (to me anyway) today. I’d like to invite you to have a look at blogs I like, now and then. Not necessarily CDP blogs, just… nice blogs.
Entirely up to you all, of course.
Here is my first… coup de coeur. Toronto, city dear to my heart, has it’s very own Daily Toronto Photo now. Check it out!
A good bit further north on our boat trip along the Barcelona coastline. This is the area called the Forum. Until the Olympic Games in 1992, this area was a dilapidated industrial zone, empty factories, lots of bad chemicals in the ground. It was totally revamped in time for the Games. The area is also composed of the old village which used to be here, Poblenou, and @22, a kind of gigantic techno hub. It is partly a huge building site.
What you see are several of the best hotels in Barcelona (the most expensive, anyway), literally 3 minutes from the nearest beach. Hilton, Princess, and so on. Just behind is one of the biggest shopping malls in town, Diagonal Mar, and the Barcelona Convention Center. And the blue wall on sea level is the beginning of the Port Forum, the other marina in Barcelona. Some of the huge yachts in there even have helicopters on deck.
Short trip to another big Catalan-speaking town: the beautiful Valencia. This is the Seu, or Saint Mary Cathedral. According to the Catholic Church, and Pope Benedict XVI, this silver box contains the Holy Grail. The real one. More info here. And here.
I didn’t see it, I think they show it on Easter Sunday only.
This is a special post for all my friends and followers in the Americas, on a very special day. 40 years ago today, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the Moon. I actually remember watching it on television. I was 8. This is the event which probably started my lifelong passion for science fiction.
Another traveler came back from his first trip to another unknown place, America. Barcelona is the place where he was received by the Catholic Kings of Spain.
A 7 meters high statue stands now on top of a 47.10 m high cast iron column, in the port area, just next to the ferry terminal and the Maritime Museum. It was erected from 1882 to 1888, the year it was dedicated.
Much more about the Cristobal Colon Monument here.
I will be away for a couple of days, leaving Spain, but not leaving Catalunya. Going to Catalogne, which is the french part of Catalunya. Same as the Basque country, a bit of it in Spain, the rest in France. Holidays!!!!! Seaside and mountains!
Anyway, not sure if I will be able to post “live”, and not sure I will be able to visit all your wonderful blogs either, but I should be back on wednesday or thursday.
This is one of the nicer lamps I’ve seen here so far. Is it an angel, is it a butterfly? One thing is sure: he is a painter. Enjoy!
Feet was last month’s theme. Well, I took this picture 3 weeks later. I was coming up from some museum’s underground, and that’s what I saw. Hope you like it as much as I do! My blog is pretty colourful, but I really like black and white as well. More of this later.
Another day, another World Heritage Site. Plenty of them around. Even our local hospital is one. But what a hospital! 18 pavillions, built between 1901 and 1930 by the catalan architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, situated in a rather lovely, but already a bit dry, park. It was built as a hospital city, the architect did it very much with its patients in mind, convinced that aesthetic, harmony and pleasant surroundings were good for the health.
The 18 pavillions are adorned with the medieval flourishes that characterise the architect’s style.
Unfortunately, as the buildings are getting too old for modern medicine, a new hospital is being built, made of concrete, steel and glass. Shame.
Even though the buildings are from the 20th century, there has been a hospital here since 1401.
And you can also see it in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
You want to know more? It’s here.
Another picture from Parque Guell. Gaudi made several of these round tile things, on ceilings. Quite amazing.
By the way, in Parque Guell, you will also find the longuest park bench in the world, over 800 meters, or half a mile, entirely covered with multicolored tiles, snaking it’s way through the park. I hope being able to post something about the bench soon.
This was taken in a park on the Avenida Icaria, in the area known as Poblenou. Poblenou was an industrial area, and was totally transformed in time for the Olympic Games in 1992. Lots of art everywhere, some a bit weirder than others. Well, I like this statue.