In a semicircle on the sides of the back of the stage are the figures of 18 young women popularly known as the muses (although there are only nine muses in Greek mythology). The monotone upper bodies of the women protrude from the wall and their lower bodies are depicted by colorful mosaics that form part of the wall. Each of the women is playing a different musical instrument, and each is wearing a different skirt, blouse, and headdress of elaborate design. In the early days of the Palau, many critics found these figures unsettling or even eerie, but today they are widely regarded as perhaps the best sculptural work in the concert hall. The upper bodies were sculpted by Eusebi Arnau, and the mosaic work of their lower bodies was created by Lluís Bru.
The dominant theme in the sumptuous sculptural decor of the concert hall is choral music, something that might be expected in an auditorium commissioned by a choral society. A choir of young women surrounds the “sun” in the stained-glass skylight, and a bust of Anselm Clavé, a famous choir director who was instrumental in reviving Catalan folk songs, is situated on the left side of the stage, under a stone tree. Seated beneath this statue are sculpted girls singing the Catalan song Les Flors de Maig (The Flowers of May).
The Lluís Millet hall is a salon located on the second floor of the Palau that is named after one of the founders of the Orfeó Català. The hall is a popular gathering place for concert-goers and also serves as a teaching area for visitors touring the building. From floor to ceiling the hall is two stories high and affords views of the intricate mosaics on the two rows of columns outside its windows that are much better than those available from the street.
It is ornated by several bronze busts of musicians related to the Palau: Lluís Millet and Amadeu Vives (Orfeó Català founders), Pau Casals, Eduard Toldrà (founder and first conductor of the Orquestra Municipal de Barcelona, Just Cabot (Orfeó Català president) and pianist Rosa Sabater.
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!!!
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
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.
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.
For the invisible man we posted yesterday, it must be quite easy during summer: I suppose he just takes his clothes off, puts on some suncream, and keeps the hat, supposing, of course, that he really is invisible. If he isn’t, no big problem: enough people roam the streets totally naked in the summer in Barcelona. Legally.
Must be much more difficult for this Dragon Man, in his very fancy, and seemingly very hot costume.
And a warm welcome to Regina from Kilauea, Hawaii, our 250th follower!
Yes, we saw him, with our own eyes! In the Parque Guell!
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.
Another detail of this magnificent hospital, one of the pavilions. Please click on the label below the post to see the other photos.
“‘On the 14th of April in the year of the Lord 1401, the Infant of Aragon, Jaume, Count of Prades, in the name of the Lord King of Sicily Marti, son of the Lord King of Aragon of the same name, laid one of the first stones of the Hospital of the Holy Cross”‘
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.