Barcelona

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in Europe, Spain, Travel | 0 comments

Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful city with of a strong sense of character and culture fused with a relaxed beachside feel.

With breathtaking architecture, seaside fun and an abundance of delicious food and wine it’s hard not to love Barca.

We stayed in an apartment in the Gothic quarter which I would definitely recommend, it was a great neighbourhood and easy to get around.

 

courtyard

Inquisitive ducks in the Cathedral of the Hly Cross and Saint Eulalia courtyard

 

courtyard

Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia courtyard

 

Gaudi Town
Barcelona is home to many unique and quirky buildings thanks to it’s infamous architect Antoni Gaudi, said to be half madman half genius.

 

Palal

Palau Guell

 

Palau Güell (above) is a mansion Gaudi designed for his friend and Catalan industrial tycoon Güell.  Güell gave Gaudi complete financial and creative control.  They both lived in Parc Güell at one stage, also designed by Gaudi, which was actually an unsuccessful housing venture.

Gaudi’s architecture can be seen all over Barcelona, right down to street lamps in Plaza Reial.  He also loved mosaics and they are found all over Parc Güell as well as Casa Batlló, a private house he designed.

 

The dragon like roof of

The dragon like roof of Casa Batllo

 

The front of Casa Batllo

The front of Casa Batllo

 

The main theory about Casa Batlló is that the  feature at the top to the left represents the lance of St George, the patron saint of Catalonia and Gaudi’s home, which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.

Gaudi was a passionate Catalonian and the flag is found on many of his designs.  He even refused to speak Spanish which saw him jailed at one point.

 

The central light well

The central light well

 

The central light well of the house shows the way Gaudi designed everything for practicality as well as aesthetics.  He placed wider windows at the bottom where the light was not as strong and also kept it the same lightness the whole way down by having the tiles get darker towards the ceiling.

 

The d

Casa Mila

 

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera meaning The Quarry, which is what people thought it resembled.  Here Gaudi used columns instead of weight bearing walls allowing for a much more open space.

 

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

 

Sagrada Familia is probably the most famous and recognisable of all Gaudi’s works.  The construction of the church began over 100 years ago and is still not finished.

There are three main facades: the nativity showing the birth of Jesus; the passion showing his death; and the glory celebrating his life.  Gaudi was such a perfectionist that where you see dead babies at a mans feet, Gaudi actually cast real dead premature babies.

Gaudi eventually went a bit crazy over this building and became an unkempt recluse, so much so that when as an old man he was hit by a tram no one helped him, assuming him to be a beggar and not realising who he was until days later.

 

Hiring a scooter

Wayne’s favourite part of visiting Barcelona was hiring a scooter to zip around the city like a local.  It was so much fun and gave us complete freedom, we ended up checking out beach side Badalona which we otherwise wouldn’t have, and would duck up to the top of a hill to watch the sunset.

There were a few hairy moments, like when we accidentally got on the highway or entered a four lane round-a-bout, but with the wind in your hair and the ocean by your side everything seems pretty damn perfect.

 

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