Wednesday, June 19, 2019

May 22 Barcelona Spain

May 2019 - Barcelona Spain

We walked out for breakfast in a local cafe before starting our our loosely planned day.

To see what we ate and drank click here.

Sunshine again!

Interesting bottles in a window.

Absinthe is historically described as a distilled, highly alcoholic beverage. It is an anise-flavoured spirit derived from botanicals, including the flowers and leaves of Artemisia absinthium, together with green anise, sweet fennel, and other medicinal and culinary herbs.

Sidewalk news stand with a Barcelona themed mural.

We were here in November.

Built of red bricks in the New Moorish style, the Arc de Triomf rises majestically at the end of the Passeig Lluís Companys. In 1888, the triumphal arch served as the main entrance to the World's Fair. The arms of the city of Barcelona and of the 49 Spanish provinces were placed around the arch.


The two pillars of the arch feature bats carved in stone, which were the emblem of King Jaume I, who ruled over a period of prosperity in Barcelona.

The friezes along the sides of the arch include allegories of agriculture and industry by Antoni Vilanova and of trade and art by Torquat Tassó.

This map wasn't here in November.
Running from  Arc de Triomf to the Parc de la Ciutadella.

Better photos of  the Castle of the Three Dragons (Catalan: Castell dels Tres Dragons, Spanish: Castillo de los Tres Dragones), is the popular name given to the modernisme building built between 1887-1888 as a Café-Restaurant for the 1888 Universal Exposition of Barcelona by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. This name was probably adopted from the 1865 play by Serafí Pitarra.



Blankets for sale, spread along the path.

We were back here because we had missed the Gaudi fountain. And wouldn't you know it was fenced off and under construction so the water wasn't running.
It is a large fountain designed by Josep Fontserè (with possible contributions by the young Antoni Gaudí).

The Cascada (waterfall or cascade in Spanish)was first inaugurated in 1881 without sculptures or any meticulous details, and was thereby criticized by the press, after which this triumphal arch was thoroughly amended by the addition of a fountain and some minor attributes, which required six years of construction from 1882 to 1888, and was put on display at the Universal Exhibition. It was erected by Josep Fontsére and to a small extent by Antoni Gaudí, who at that time was still an unknown student of architecture. Fontsére aimed to loosely make it bear resemblance to the Trevi Fountain of Rome. Two enormous pincers of gigantic crabs serve as stairs to access a small podium located in the centre of the monument. In front of it a sculpture (designed by Venanci Vallmitjana) of Venus standing on an open clam was placed. The whole cascade is divided in two levels. From the podium on a path leads to the Feminine Sculpture and to the northeastern corner of the park, and upon following the route down the stairs the fountain's pond is rounded and the southern tip of the artifact is reached.

Mamut, the giant elephant near the zoo.

Joaquim Vayreda i Vila (23 May 1843 – 31 October 1894) was a Spanish landscape painter. He was originally influenced by the Barbizon school, but later became one of the founders of the Olot school.

The Catalan Parliament, which is located in Barcelona, is housed in a building with imposing architecture with a turbulent history dating back to the 18th century, when it was built as a military arsenal for the repressive citadel. It has been the seat of parliament since the reinstatement of democracy and civil liberties.

Governor's Palace, the Palau del Governador, which is now a school; the chapel, a building that is now a military church; and the arsenal, the seat of the Catalan Parliament. The architecture of this parliament building still looks very much the same as it did when it was designed by the architect and military engineer Próspero de Verboom. Built between 1716 and 1748, this robust and imposing structure has two storeys and an attic space set out on a cross-shaped ground plan with a central dome and four inner courtyards. The building is made from stone quarried on Montjuïc and terracotta tiles, and is decorated with the busts of eminent figures associated with Catalan art. These date from the extension carried out at the beginning of the 20th century when the building was converted into the municipal art museum, the Museu Municipal d'Art, following a failed attempt to move the royal palace here.

John, zooming backwards from here.

Next on the agenda - The Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar was built during the 14th century on a site which was once occupied by a Roman Amphitheatre. The church took 55 years to build and is a rare example of pure Catalan Gothic architecture (most churches and cathedrals are a combination of styles). The simplicity of design and almost total lack of adornment give the church an atmosphere of unsurpassed serenity.

During the 14th century the La Ribera neighbourhood was located by the beach and was home to a mix of sailors, harbour workers, fishermen, craftsmen and merchants. Unlike Barcelona Cathedral, which was being built at the same time and was paid for by the king, the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar was principally funded by local people. Rich merchants provided the majority of the money whilst sailors and porters (bastaixos) transported tons of stone from the quarries on Montjuïc.

The story of the construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is told in the novel The Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones. The author really manages to bring the medieval streets of Barcelona to life.

In the heart of the Ribera district, and next to the church, the Fossar de Les Moreres is a sombre reminder of Barcelona’s turbulent history.

The site has been a burial ground since medieval times and in 1714 citizens who died defending the city during the siege of Barcelona were buried here in a mass grave.

Because of this the plaza has become an important symbol of Catalan nationalism.


The graveyard continued to be used until the start of the 19th Century when Poblenou cemetery was built.

Later houses were built on the site which were torn down in 1989 and replaced by a plaza paved with red bricks representing the blood that was shed during the year long siege.

In 2001 a simple red oxide coloured steel memorial was installed, topped by a torch which burns night and day in homage to the dead.

There is also a large marble plaque with an inscription (part of a text by Frederic Soler) which reads:
Not one traitor is buried in the Fossar de les Moreras, even when our flags are lost it will be an urn of honour.

Such a gorgeous day to be outdoors.

The Face of Barcelona or El Cap de Barcelona (1991–1992) is a surrealist sculpture created by American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein for the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Links to previous posts about this trip:


  1. Too many tourists many locals say, yet Barcelona keeps on doing things to attract tourists. It is certainly one of my favourite large cities. Great photos, as always.

  2. So many fascinating details to focus on. One could spend hours exploring the details of the Arc alone!


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