Barcelona, a photo a day

modernism

Palau de la Musica

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A beautiful and flamboyant modernist building, dating back to 1905. It was built for choir music, very trendy a century ago. If you mind the longish queue, it is one of the must to visit! Here is the Wiki article about it.


Parque Guell, the entrance

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Parque Guell

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No, no moon photo today, but one from Parque Guell, which used to be free, but isn’t anymore. Oh well, it is really, I mean really, worth a visit.


Casa Batlló

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Some detail of Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, on a screen. Surreal.


Cafe at Gaudi’s

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A nice place to a coffee, is the little bar at Casa Batllo, on Passeig de Gracia


Gaudi-esque

I confess, I don’t know anything about this building on Gran Via, except that it wasn’t built by Gaudi. Should anyone know more, please let me know. I would guess it is from the same time frame, around 1890-1915.


Palau Guell

I was asked about the spires on the header of this blog. No, they are not part of a church, they are on the roof of a private house, the Palau Guell, or Guell Palace. A private house with a difference, as it was built for Eusebi Guell by his good friend Antonio Gaudi.
Here is the entrance:

Now, the interior of the house is very dark and gloomy, hard to get a good shot without a flash or a tripod (forbidden). Here is what I could manage…

It gets a little lighter on the upper floors.

Many more of those spires on the roof, with a fantastic view over the old town.


Passeig de Gracia

Barcelona’s Champs Elysees is the Passeig de Gracia, with it’s many many noble mansions. Wouldn’t you want this house on your Christmas wishlist???

AND A VERY HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY TO EVERYONE!!!

Casa Amatller

This stunning building on Passeig de Gracia is Casa Amatller. Built in the Modernisme style and designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, one of the great Catalan architects at the beginning of the 20th century. It is just next door to Casa Batllo, of which you can see a small part in the upper right corner. You can see much more of it here.


Gaudi did it

The lamps on Plaza Real were designed by Antonio Gaudi himself.


Palau de la Musica, the bar

After a short interlude on the beach (really hot here), back to the Palau for a quick drink. Right in front of you, through the door…

That’s right, here it is. Enjoy your champagne!


World Heritage

The Palau de la Musica Catalana… So many things to say about this absolutely magnificent building, a must see, should you ever come to Barcelona.

The Palau de la Música Catalana , (English: Palace of Catalan Music) is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement that came to be known as the Renaixença (Catalan Rebirth). It was inaugurated February 9, 1908.
The project was financed primarily by the society, but important financial contributions also were made by Barcelona’s wealthy industrialists and bourgeoisie. The Palau won the architect an award from the Barcelona City Council in 1909, given to the best building built during the previous year. Between 1982 and 1989, the building underwent extensive restoration, remodeling, and extension under the direction of architects Oscar Tusquets and Carles Díaz. In 1997, the Palau de la Música Catalana was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Hospital de Sant Pau. Today, more than half a million people a year attend musical performances in the Palau that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song).

And once a year, you can visit it for free… So get ready for a small series about this marvel!


Here be dragons

After Tuesday’s post, I realized/remembered that Barcelona is actually full of dragons! The modernists loved them, Gaudi made some,  the most famous one being the one in Park Guell. So here is one which figures on the monumental vases on both sides of Passeig Lluis Company. There are many many more, you jusr have to know how and where to find them. We will!

The title of this post refers to the Hunt-Lenox Globe, a map made around 1503-1507, the world’s third-oldest world map. In modern day China, called East India on the map, it says HC SVNT DRACONES, or here are the Dagroians, described by Marco Polo as living in the Kingdom of “Dagroian”. These people… feasted upon the dead and picked their bones” (B.II. c.14).

Dragons appear on a few other historical maps.

  • The T-O Psalter world map (ca. 1250 AD) has dragons, as symbols of sin, in a lower “frame” below the world, balancing Jesus and angels on the top, but the dragons do not appear on the map proper.
  • The Borgia map (ca. 1430 AD), in the Vatican Library, states, over a dragon-like figure in Asia (in the upper left quadrant of the map), “Hic etiam homines magna cornua habentes longitudine quatuor pedum, et sunt etiam serpentes tante magnitudinis, ut unum bovem comedant integrum.” (“Here there are even men who have large four-foot horns, and there are even serpents so large that they could eat an ox whole.”) The latter may refer to the dragons of the Chinese dragon dance.
  • The Fra Mauro Map (ca. 1450) has the “Island of Dragons” (Italian: Isola de dragoni), an imaginary island in the Atlantic Ocean. In an inscription near Herat, Fra Mauro says that in the mountains nearby “there are a number of dragons, in whose forehead is a stone that cures many infirmities”, and describes the locals’ way of hunting those dragons to get the stones. This is thought to be based on Albertus Magnus’s treatise De mineralibus. In an inscription elsewhere on the map, the cartographer expresses his skepticism regarding “serpents, dragons and basilisks” mentioned by “some historiographers”.
  • A 19th-century Japanese map, the Jishin-no-ben, in the shape of Ouroboros depicts a dragon associated with causing earthquakes.

Art deco?

One of the cafes behind the City Hall, with a very art deco style.


L’Hivernacle

In Ciutadella Park, between the Zoological and the Geology museum stands this building called the Hivernacle, or winter glasshouse. It was designed by Josep Amargós in 1884. The structure is an excellent example of the iron and glass based architecture from the same period that saw the construction of the Eiffel Tower.

Underneath, a fish-eye sight of the side of the Hivernacle.


No photos!!!

The bar at the entrance of the Palau de la Musica. Nice, no? You might notice the ‘no filming’sign on the side. Well, no photos either, as we have been firmly told by one of the minders. We played the not-knowing tourists, of course… Well, we didn’t know, we noticed the beauty of the place, not the ugly little signs next to the trash cans.


Woman and Bird, by Joan Miró i Ferrà

What used to be Barcelona’s slaughterhouse is now a very nice park, with lots and lots of palm trees, and this sculpture by the famous barcelones artist Joan Miró i Ferrà. It is called (in Catalan) Dona i Ocell, woman and bird. He created it in 1982, just one year before he died, aged 90.
It is 22 meters high, made of concrete, and covered in ceramic tiles styled by Joanet Gardy Artigas.

I chose to publish the photo on a big scale, so you can appreciate how big this thing actually is.


Poble Espanyol

The Spanish Town (Catalan: Poble espanyol; Spanish: Pueblo español), where we met the Illustrious Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha, is an outdoor open-air architectural museum, located on the mountain of Montjuïc.
It was constructed in 1929, for the Barcelona International Exhibition, that was held in Barcelona that year.
Josep Puig i Cadafalch had the idea for the museum: a town in which the architecture, style, and culture of various locations from around Spain were preserved in a single place. The aim was to produce an ‘ideal model’ Spanish village, a synthesis of monumental Spain. The architects that designed the town were Francesc Folguera and Ramon Reventós. In total, the town was built in 13 months, and although it was only needed for 6, for the exhibition, it was not demolished and was kept open as a museum.
The museum occupies a total area of 42,000 m² or about 138,000 ft² and contains 117 buildings, with streets and squares reproducted to scale.

The tower above is a copy of the Torre de Utebo, near Zaragoza.


The water tank

The Poblenou water tank, built in 1906. I don’t know much more about it, but I suppose the style can be called modernist, as it has been built very much during the same period of time.
Even water tanks are beautiful in Barcelona, yeah!



Just ring the bell…

…at Casa Batllo!

Weekend Reflections? Right here!


United Nations University

The first United Nations University of Southern Europe and 11th in the world will open in Barcelona in 2012. It will be located in the historic Hospital de Sant Pau, an Art-Nouveau set of pavilions that was used as a hospital until two years ago. The UNI-IIAOC Institute will promote research and training in education, migration, youth and the role of media.
And this, my friends,  is part of the rather magnficent entrance. Being a student in there… Nice!

Details

 Gaudi’s genius. Beauty that goes well into details. Here are some from Casa Batllo, on Passeig de Gracia.


Casa Batllo

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!!!


Straight lines?

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.