Barcelona, a photo a day

old town


Let’s get lost…


… in the streets of the Barri Gotic…

El bar rojo


A 5 years old Jpeg photo, from a non-DSLR, 3 MP camera. The so-called red bar, just behind the city hall. Nothing that a few tweakings can’t save from Jpeg hell, with the help of Saint Lightroom and Saint Photoshop, alleluia!


Portaferrissa, which means ‘iron gate’, was one of the main entrances to the fortified city of Barcelona in the 13th century. What remains is a 16th century fountain, with this fresco.

The life of Pi

The small art market on Pi Square, the small and lively place just behind Santa Maria del Pi church.

The Grill Room

One of the better looking restaurants in town.

Salo de Cent

The historic main hall of the city hall, called the Salo de cent, the hall of the hundred (hundred councilors ruling the city in medieval times). 2 of my friends are getting married here this year, in May and November. 

Market day…

…is from Monday to Saturday, in any of the numerous markets in town. The quality is so much better than in any supermarket or mall!

Another balcony…

I love balconies in Barcelona, so full of shapes, colors… Here is one I spotted in the old town.

Big Brother…

…is right behind you! His name is Pablo P.

The Queen Regent

And her hall in the Barcelona City Hall.

Pretty in pink?

Spotted in the old town.

The city hall

Yet another view from the inside of the Barcelona city hall.

Our World Tuesday.

Having far too much to do, and days having only 24 hours, I see myself forced to slow down this blog’ s activities. I might still be able to publish a post a day, will probably prepare them in advance, but this will be it for a while. Please keep visiting, you’ll always be welcome! And I will try to browse your blogs on weekends.

Saló de Cent

This is the main room of our City Hall, called the Saló de Cent, the Hall of the 100. So called after the main government council of Barcelona in ancient times, the council of the 100. The Council was established in the 13th century and lasted until the 18th century.
Its name derives from the number of its members: one hundred (Catalan: cent).
In 1249, James I created the fundamental structure of the municipal government of Barcelona: a board of advice of 4 members, helped by 8 counselors and an assembly of probi homines (leaders), all them members of the mà major (Catalan for senior hand, or the upper class formed by wealthy merchants).
After several modifications, by the year 1265, the municipal organization gained its more permanent structure: the municipal authority rested on 3 counselors elected by a Council of one hundred individuals.
In year 1335, Peter III the Ceremonious permitted the Consell de Cent to use the royal insignia of the four (red) bars.
The importance of the Consell de Cent is supported by many examples. For instance, in year 1464 it proclaimed Peter V of Aragon (known as Peter the Constable of Portugal) as count of Barcelona. Another example is the rejection by the Consell de Cent of Martin the Humane’s foundation on January 10, 1401 of the General Medical School in Barcelona with the same prerogatives as the University of Montpellier, because they felt this encroached on their municipal jurisdiction. This ultimately led to the creation of the University of Barcelona in 1450.
The Consell de Cent was abolished by Philip V of Spain with the Decretos de Nueva Planta upon his occupation of Barcelona after the Siege of Barcelona in 1714.
A main street in the city of Barcelona, the Carrer(street) Consell de Cent (where we used to live), is named after this institution (before 1978 it was known as Calle Consejo de Ciento, in Spanish).

 The first meeting was held in this hall on August 17th, 1373.

And here is an interactive panoramic view of it.

Ratted out!

Yet another fun graffiti found in the old town!

A window to…

The weather is so nice at the moment, that I would love spending my days just looking out of the window and watch the world go by… My employer says: no.

On a darker note… There are some huge forest fires in the north of Catalunya, right on the french border, thousands of hectares of woods and bushes burning. Our thoughts go to the 4 dead and the many injured and evacuated. We start actually smelling the smoke from here, 100 km away, brought by the very strong winds in the area.

Our world on Tuesday, the good and the bad.

Barri Gotic

One of the narrow streets of the old town, the Barri Gotic. Oh do I love getting lost in there…

Welcome to the…

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (Any time of year)
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the Captain,
“Please bring me my wine”
He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine”
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (Such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax, ” said the night man,
“We are programmed to receive.
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave! ”

Well, this one is in Barcelona, and you can leave whenever you want. I suppose. Our World Tuesday!

After the rain

One of many passages in Barcelona’s old town.
Click here to see other participants at James’s Weekend Reflections meme.

Our irish pub

Having both lived in Ireland, now and then we feel the urge for a nice Sunday roast, complete with roast potatoes, carrots, beans, parsnip, mash, and a nice piece of beef. And some Yorkshire pudding filled with gravy, which is not that Irish. So, this is where we go, Paddy Flaherty’s, probably the best of the many many Irish pubs in town.
And here’s what you get:

And a Guinness to get it down, of course! Or some uisce beatha, whiskey.

Saint Filipo Neri

Probably the nicest square in the Barri Gotic, the plaza San Filipo Neri.

The holes in the walls near the door are bullet holes, remains of the civil war in Spain in the 30es.


 Nice glockenspiel spotted from the top of the cathedral.

Santa Eulalia: gold

Santa Eulalia: the cloister and the powder room

A last look at the magnificent 13th century cloister in Barcelona’s Saint Eulalia cathedral, and the garden within…

…and the 13th century urinal (yes, you read it right), which has now a section for the lady in need as well.

Golden Fleece

Back to the cathedral. Some of the sumptuous stalls in the choir, with the emblems of the  Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The order held it’s 19th chapter in the cathedral in 1519. More about this order here.

And happy spring to everybody!!!

Santa Eulalia 2

The cathedral’s inside.


It has been a while I hadn’t been back inside our cathedral, and I ad almost forgotten how beautiful she is. Above, some of the 13 geese living in the Gothic cloister. 13, because Santa Eulalia was 13 when she was martyred by the Romans under Emperor Diocletian, and they subjected her to 13 different tortures. That’s European history for you.
Why geese? She was a geese shepherdess.

 Many more interesting things in the cloister, even a 13th century urinal… Will show you much more during the coming week!


A very nice candle shop, just behind the cathedral shown yesterday. I will come back to the cathedral and it’s inside in a few days.

Our World Tuesday, right here.

Time for school

The entrance to a catholic school in the old town. Nice, no?

My Bar

Well, not really mine, or ours, just a nice place to have a drink. With a bit of HDR.

Art deco?

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

Santa Eulalia’s geese

Barcelona’s holy patron is Saint Eulalia, also called Laia. She was a geese shepherdess in the village of Sarria, now a part of Barcelona. She was a martyr, was killed for her faith by the Romans, says her hagiography.
Nowadays, the cathedral in the old town is named after her. And in the cloister are living 13 geese. Why 13? Eulalia was 13 when she became a martyr.

Our World Tuesday. Please click here.

Due to some spam comments lately, I had to change the settings a bit. No anonymous comments allowed for the time being, just as a protective measure. And because it’s really annoying.

El Cafeto, aka post 951

One of our local cafes. This is our world on Tuesday.

Christmas lights

Many tourists (and photographers) in town, all of them admiring the Christmas decorations on Plaza Catalunya

Happy anniversary!

Our yearly Christmas market, the Fira de Santa Lucia, is 225 years old! Congratulations!

Our World Tuesday, right here.

SOOC versus HDR

A few more trade secrets… Above, a photo processed with Artizen, a High Dynamic Range program.

In image processing, computer graphics, and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or just HDR) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image than current standard digital imaging techniques or photographic methods. This wide dynamic range allows HDR images to more accurately represent the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, ranging from direct sunlight to faint starlight, and is often captured by way of a plurality of differently exposed pictures of the same subject matter.

The two main sources of HDR imagery are computer renderings and merging of multiple low-dynamic-range (LDR) or standard-dynamic-range (SDR) photographs. Tone-mapping techniques, which reduce overall contrast to facilitate display of HDR images on devices with lower dynamic range, can be applied to produce images with preserved or exaggerated local contrast for artistic effect.

Sounds complicated, but it isn’t really. Basically, it allows you to recreate on your photos what you’ve really seen. Up to a certain point, of course.
There are many places where you can learn more about it, for example here. If you want to start doing it, I would suggest a little free program called EasyHDR. Or Photomatix.

And you can find many fantastic examples right here.

Below, the original SOOC, or Straight Out Of the Camera picture.

The green door

Saw this nice door today, and I thought that would be just perfect for Monday Doorways!

Some of you wanted an update on yesterday’s general elections in Spain. Well, Mr Mariano Rajoy will be the next prime minister, his party, the Popular  (or populist) Party having won the absolute majority. The socialists are out.
What I think of it? 1 winner, 46 million losers. We’re the next Greece.


Icecream anyone?

Theme of the month: fences

Fences. Here is a medieval one, complete with gargoyles. Happy belated Halloween, everybody!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Market scene, aka post 900

This is a mediterranean photo. Although the photo was taken in Barcelona, the food depicted can be found all around the Med, Turkey, Italy, Israel, Algeria, and further away. I read years ago in the National Geographic that people living on a mediterranean diet (they mentioned olive oil, lots of garlic and some red wine) live longer. It is probably true, and what is even better: the food is delicious!

900 posts! Who would have thought…

Pintxu d’embotit catala

This weekend, we’re having here the mercat dels mercats, the market’s market, the best of all markets around. I love what they did to these sausages!
Private message to the All Blacks: very well done, mates!!!

A really royal square

Every time I go to the Plaza Real in the old town, probably the most beautiful square in Barcelona, I try to take some satisfying photos. Never works. Until now!

Here is a 3D rendition of the same photo.

Playing around

Been playing around lately with a panorama maker program. Here is something I did yesterday afternoon on the Rambla, 5 photos put together, 18.5 MB… Click on the picture to see it bigger, it is really worth it!

Merce 2011: the enchanted city hall

This year again, our city hall was transformed into a feast of light, colors and music. A very good computer operated animation on the whole facade of the building.
My apologies to all the people whose heads I cut of while cropping these photos. Hope it didn’t hurt too much.

More photos here.

Our World Tuesday

Second post about the Museum of Ideas and Inventions. This is a dunk-mug. Fabulous!

The sun is moving, your plants don’t get enough light? This is the solution!

This is supposed to be, believe it or not,a bicycle. Yes.
 Finished with the gap between 2 mattresses!!!!!
Our World Tuesday, right here.

The Museum of Ideas and Inventions – MIBA

We spent a very entertaining hour at the tiny but great Museum of Ideas and Inventions…
Now, did you ever wonder how they do the weather report??? Here it is!

What would you call this? A mop-rophone?No, we didn’t buy one.

Take a boiled egg, put it in the egg cuber, push the thinggie on top…

Last (for today) but not least…. This is a seat you can use when you need a suppository. Just pull the lever. 

Post 844: real life

It is one of those strange times in the year when summer is more or less over, when people are leaving in droves, filling planes and ships to go back to their real lives. But still, the beaches are still so incredibly packed, the crowds are still so numerous. Sometimes we wish we’d not be living in a 3 Mio people town.
Anyway, if you’re just back from holidays, or if you’re about to going back, have a safe return to real life.

School started again today. And we had a little rain for an hour to celebrate, woey-hey! Been a while!

This is for the second avatar of My World Tuesday, renamed Our World Tuesday, after the passing of  it’s founder.

Theme of the month: perspective

Callin’ out around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?
Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the street.
Dancin’ in Chicago (dancin’ in the street)
Down in New Orleans (dancin’ in the street)
In New York City

All we need is music, sweet music,
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swingin’ swayin’, and records playin,
Dancin’ in the street

Oh it doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there.
So come on every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

There’ll be dancin’, they’re dancin’ in the street.
This is an invitation, across the nation,
A chance for folks to meet.
There’ll be laughin’ singin’, and music swingin’
Dancin’ in the street

Barcelona, Baltimore and D.C now,
Can’t forget the motor city,
All we need is music, sweet music
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swingin’ swayin’, and records playin,
Dancin’ in the street

Oh it doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there.
So come on every guy, grab a girl,
Everywhere, around the world

They’re dancin’, dancin’ in the street
Way down in L.A., every day they’re dancin’ in the street
Lets form a big strong line, and get in time,
We’re dancin’ in the street.
Across the ocean blue, me and you
We’re dancin n the street

Being young? Just a matter of perspective! Perspective: this month’s theme day!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

… and now over to the weather report…

Facing the Corte Ingles, on the Portal del Angel, there is probably, according to several of our guidebooks, the tallest thermometer in Europe.

It comes complete with a small weather station underneath.

So, last Sunday, 7.54 PM: 27 degrees C, or 81 F. Basically a very nice evening, with a little wind. Nice.

Just another museum.

Fed up walking around in the sun, too hot for the beach? Here is an idea: the Museum of Erotica, in front of the Boqueria market. You get a free drink,and Wifi, how’s that?

Watery temptation

August in Barcelona… Many many people spend hundreds (or thousands) of euros to be here now. As for us, the people actually living here, we’re just going to work, trying to escape the intense heat (over 41 degrees in the sun yesterday at 3 PM)  as much as possible… Going to the beach? Sure, in the evening!
Meanwhile, passing through Plaza de Catalunya, there are those temptingly cool looking fountains… Access forbidden, obviously. But if you go close enough,you can always enjoy a bit of the spray. Nice.

Watery Wednesday. Here.

With our longing thoughts to our friends and family in NZ, stuck in the snow. Guys, let’s swap for a day!

Welcome, strangers!

Had some visitors yesterday, officials from the wax museum on planet Spielberg Beta 3 Omicron… Welcome, strangers, this is my world!

Photo courtesy of Mandy

The clown

We’re having right now the annual festival of the area around the cathedral. For the 422nd year in a row! I suppose this guy is part of the festivities. Very nice outfit!

Down Under

Now… Why is this guy upside down, you might ask… Well, several reasons. 1- he is an artist, an acrobat. 2 – he is Australian, he probably thinks we’re upside down, not him. Therefore the strange pose. 3- that’s the way he makes a living.

And a big HELLO!!!!! to all our friends, family, followers and supporters in Oz and NZ!

Summer in the Born

Summer. Although the temperatures plunged rather ‘dramatically’ (not my words) in the last 3-4 days, it is still very nice, 27-28 degrees. So, you just leave your windows wide open, letting a bit of cool breeze coming in. There is always the danger of a mosquito or 2 (and I hate the M word!), but there are enough more or less natural defenses around.
Right, I am on holidays this week, so I might actually find the time to browsing your blogs and put a few witty (hopefully) comments… Been extremely busy and tired lately.

It’s hot!

It’s very hot in Barcelona at the moment, so this might be a good idea: a striptease workshop. Just take your clothes off and get comfy.

Oh wait… Might be getting even hotter!

This is not related to the previous at all: happy Independence Day to all my friends in the US. Good thing it’s on a Monday, so you have a long weekend!

Theme of the month: the color green

Someone’s window to a secret garden in the old town.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

Watery Wednesday

It is HOT!!! We’re having some hot air coming straight from the Sahara, and it’s been over 45 degrees in many parts of Spain. As we’re on the coast, we are getting a breeze from the sea. But still, yesterday Tuesday, we really got this feeling… You know, when you open the oven door, and the very hot air comes out. Basically, it is too hot to sweat.
So, the fountain on Plaza Catalunya nearby is extremely tempting!!!

Watery Wednesday! Check it out, and have a cool drink! We will!


And then there is this, at the end of Via Laietana, the hotel covered with hundreds of balls. Don’t know what they are, maybe lights, but I rarely go to this part of town at night. We will one day.

Post 750: the flower stalls on the Rambla

The lights on the Ramblas

These magnificent modernist lamps illuminate the Ramblas every night.

My World Tuesday

Someone forgot his sandals? Shoe shop? A beach feature???

No! Just a decoration on the wall of a really nice Mexican restaurant in town! Why not.

This is for My World Tuesday.

Watery Wednesday

One of our favorite oasis in town is the inner courtyard of the municipal archive, facing the Cathedral. A quiet and peaceful place, shady, watery…

Watery Wednesday, definitely another favorite place! You can go as well, just click here!

Man at work…

… and he’s good!

The umbrella shop

A detail of what was once an umbrella shop, on the Ramblas

Born for love…

Photo taken in the… Born, near Saint Mary of the Sea, Santa Maria del Mar.

My balcony world tuesday!

If you are a regular follower of this blog, you might have noticed that I love balconies, with or without asses! Here is a nice one, spotted in the Born-part of the old town.

Balconies…  My world…on Tuesday! Only one click (here) away! Sheer bliss awaits you!

Weekend reflection bubble

Came across these guys who are blowing giant soap bubbles, and I said to myself: what a wonderful thing! Let’s post it!
What is reflected in the bubbles themselves are the 19th- early 20th century buildings on Calle Laietana, one of the old town’s main thoroughfares. And what is behind the bubbles are what remains of the very old roman walls from the original Barcino. Almost 2000 years of architecture in the photos.

This, of course, is for James’s Weekend Reflections. Click here, and have fun!

Asses on the balcony

Want to know more? Just google and look for images about… wait for it…KUKUXUMUSU! Some really really good designers!

Mr Singh’s fruit and vegetable shop

My Street Tuesday

Our street, at night, with the palm tree.

This is for My Street … I mean My World Tuesday. You know what comes next. I will ask you to click. Don’t ask, just do it. Right…HERE!


Do you need any…

 … scissors?

… bottle openers? This is the place to go, on Plaza del Pi!

This is My World, on Tuesday! Please click here to see more worlds from this world!

Who’s that guy?

Superman is in town!
 We’re not, off on holidays till the end of the week. See you soon!


No, this isn’t ancient Rome, this a bit of a more classical Barcelona, seen in the Barri Gotic, the old town.

It is not too late, you can still add your photo to yesterday’s Food for Thoughts meme, as it remains open till Saturday night, Spanish time.

Street signs

You can find these signs in several streets in the Barri Gotic, the old town. What do they say? Well, my Catalan is far from good, but from what I can understand, they describe what is happening, or what happened in the streets. The first in the second row says that people are celebrating here, the one before that people are “promenading” here from dawn to dusk… You get the general idea.

Well, That’s my World! Click here to see more.

Me gusta…chaos

Came across this unusual graffiti on an old wooden door in the old town. Me gusta… chaos means: I love chaos. What a statement.

St Piggy?

Our Lady of Bethlehem parish church… Sounds serious, catholic, etc. But… What is this strange window on the church??? OK, I can imagine who’s the guy with the beard on top, and who’s the one with the halo, underneath. But what of the thing in blue on the photo, wearing trendy shades? Can someone explain??? Don’t want to shock anyone with christian sensibilities, but any way I look at it, any way I turn or twist it, I only see a piglet! This is bizarre!

Porta Ferrissa

On the Ramblas, you can still find traces of the Porta Ferrissa, or iron gate, one of the gates on Barcelona city’s second wall, once the population was too important to be kept inside the old roman walls. It was built during the 13th century, and was destroyed in 1774 to open some new streets and to build some palaces.

Rambla del Raval

La Rambla del Raval is the center of the Raval area of the old town. This is very close to where we live. Nice place for a kebab or a mint tea, or a chat amongst friends! It is also here that you can find Botero’s Cat, El Gat.


One of the stalls at the colorful little market next to the Corte Ingles, in the old town. Some ladies forgot their legs.


Probably one of the tiniest bars I’ve ever seen. The entrance is 1m60 high, 5 foot 4. It is a meson. A meson is, according to Wordreference:  establecimiento de decoración típica donde se sirven comidas y bebidas, a place with typical decoration, where drinks and food are served. This one is lost somewhere in the maze of small streets composing the Barri Gotic, the old town. It wouldn’t be out of place in southern Spain.

If you’re going to Barcelona, be sure to wear a dolphin on your head.

And who might that be?

Well, Salvador Dali, of course!

Our little cat Rio posted some new photos on his blog. He is very clever!

The potter’s shop/ part 3 and end

Told ya I love this shop!

Happy Halloween to everybody!

Mercat Santa Caterina

El mercat Santa Caterina, St Catherine’s market. In the Old Town, it has been a market since 1848, and was Barcelona’s first covered market. Totally renovated in 2005 with brilliance by the architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, is a little marvel located in the district of Ribera. Beautiful architectural idea for this multicoloured ceramics roof having the shape of wave posed on an air structure of wood, which shelters all the stalls of the market.
The last time I was there, ready, my camera on hand, they had just closed. I’ll be back, to show you the inside!

Asignar imagen

This is for My World Tuesday. Please click here to see many more photo of my co-blogger’s world.
Also, a very warm welcome to Jules, aka follower 356.

The potter’s shop, part 2

Some more views from the potter’s shop. Don’t you just love the staircase!

Let’s tidy up the mess!

…or so the city fathers must be thinking.
The Ramblas is the most touristic place in Barcelona. It is a long promenade, around a mile long, crowded with tourist, flower shops, caricaturists, pet shops, cafes, restaurants and street entertainers.
I walked down the Ramblas a few weeks ago, and counted almost 40 living statues, living deads, guys with no head, fake Marilyns, panda bears and other strange creatures. Now, the city has decided it would be nice to include the Ramblas in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. So, how can we do that? Easy: let’s tidy up the mess! Therefore, 10 flower stalls will become one. And the street entertainers, the living statues? Well, they will have to pass a test proving their skills (the first one moving is out???), and their numbers will be reduced. There will be 15 designated spots. 15 entertainers will be allowed to perform from 10 AM till 4 PM, and 15 more from 4PM till 10 PM. Problem: what will happen to the other ones, the less skilled, the ones that moved during selection? They will join the 20.5 percent unemployed in Spain. Easy.

As for the touareg on the photo: buena suerte, amigo, best of luck to you, my friend.


An oasis in the big city… If you know how to find them, many places offer an escape from the crowds, the heat. This is my secret place, the city archive.

Gardens in the city

Some have small gardens, some have big gardens.

 I found all of them in the old town, the Born area.

The handy man

Many of my better pictures (in my opinion anyway) are crops. Cropped from bigger, but less interesting pictures. It helps to have a good resolution, of course.
This guy is selling hand puppets near Plaza Catalunya. And I just like the photo, which is the best reason for me to post it.


This is Luna. She lives a few streets away, and she’s awfully cute!

Y un cafe con leche, por favor!

Nice place discovered last week, just behind the ayuntamiento, the city hall.

Santa Maria del Mar

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. 

Palau de la Musica

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.

Merce 2010, the Hispano-Suiza

Closing the parade on friday was this fascinating Hispano-Suiza, probably from the late 1920es-early 1930es. Hispano-Suiza was a car company founded in Barcelona in 1904, making luxury cars. Here is what Wiki says to it.
Who’s the guy saluting? Your guess is as good as mine.

La Mercè 2010, the cavalcade

Yesterday was a holiday here, the feast of our Lady of Mercy, la Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Catalan, the big annual Barcelona holiday. 3 days of music, fireworks, giants, firebeasts, cultural activities… And a one hour long cavalcade. And oh joy, it started in our very street. Giants walking down the streets, with many drummers, pipers, flute players, etc. Here are some of the musicians. Much more to show you in the next few days!

It’s good to be the King!

We’re away for the weekend, to the beautiful city of Lourdes, in the french Pyrenees. But no worries, the King of the Frogs himself has gently agreed to keep you company, for a price (75 euros). Thanks, Froggie!

PS: please call him His Maj!


We’re away for the weekend, to the beautiful city of Lourdes, in the French Pyrenees. Jack Nicholson graciously agreed to keep you company meanwhile. Thanks, Jack!

Kahal, El Call, la Sinagoga Mayor

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!

The old hospital

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.


Map picture

Palau del Lloctinent, the archives of the Crown of Aragon

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.

Map picture

10 PM

10 PM, Cathedral Square, on a hot summer night…

We’re having officially the hottest days in over 30 years, so we envy all of you living in cold and rainy places… Just kidding! But we’d love a bit of rain, really!

Bubbles and squeaks

This afternoon, the old town was full of bubbles and delighted squeaks!

So… What if we burst the proverbial bubble?

Let’s see…

This is a part of James’s Weekend Reflections. Please click here to see more delightful reflections!

Post 365: the victim?

A relative newcomer on the Rambla scene, the golden boy. The victim. Depending on the time frame, he could be a victim of either King Midas, or of Goldfinger. Or, more likely, just another fashion victim.

This is our 365th post, the final post in our first year. Tomorrow, may 10th, we’ll celebrate, and start a new year! After the chinese new year, the Barcelona Nuevo Año!