Spain: Barcelona & Gaudi

Barcelona Travel Blog

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Barcelona: Picasso's work on building walls.

My last entry as my Spanish trip draws to a close, ends at the city of Barcelona.

A few hours northeast of Valencia is the bustling city of Barcelona. The second largest city in Spain, Barcelona is a vibrant and diverse city. Well-known for its nightlife, football (soccer) FC Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter, and Gaudi's works of art and architectures that simply littered the city, Barcelona is a must-see Spanish city. We only had 3 days in this city and they were packed with itineraries  of places and sights that we were eager to see.

Barcelona: Cathedral

Checking out the Gothic Quarter and Las Ramblas were our primary stop when we reached Barcelona.  And while we walked, we found artworks of Gaudi and Picasso open and free for everyone see along the streets and sidewalks. This city is a work of art in itself with its abundance of art incorporated into its every nook and cranny! - in this case, building exterior walls, park and street lights. The Gothic Quarter was another maze to get lost in.  Las Ramblas was beaming with life and activity.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007: Sagrada Familia was --- hmm... how do I say it without upsetting Gaudi's fans? --- It was unusual.

Barcelona: Gothic Quarter
Honestly, when I have to describe this famous Gaudi's work to a child with no knowledge of art and architecture, I'd have to describe it as "imagine a building with pointy towers made of mud that slowly drips down and as it drips down to the ground, images of people and figure come out  and forms." The construction of this unique temple began in 1882, and a year later, Gaudi was appointed as the Project Director of Sagrada Familia. What most people forget about Sagrada Familia is: it is incomplete! Gaudi never finished it; therefore, with the approval of the city of Barcelona and its residents, and with the help solely from private funding, they are "completing" Sagrada Familia, based on Gaudi's designs. Artistically, the smooth and natural form of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia is incomparable to the new addition of the structure.
Barcelona: Gothic Quarter
The contrast is deafening. The new addition stands out like a sore thumb and is completely out of place from the rest. Needless to say, we paid the exorbitant amount of entrance fee to enter Sagrada Familia, and if I knew how empty it is inside (construction was everywhere), I would've passed and admired Sagrada Familia from the outside where Gaudi's original work can be seen the best.

After Sagrada Familia, we hunted for more Gaudi's works - buildings he designed that populated all over Barcelona. Just walking down Barcelona streets, you will see Gaudi's work. We saw Gaudi's "bone house" and past the Arc the Triomf, we visited a park, the name which I don't recall at the moment, to see another of Gaudi's work - this time, a fountain.

Barcelona: Gothic Quarter
It was beautiful! And in the park, I saw the most adorable fountain ever! It is made of marble with 5 little kids playing! I think after all the wonderful art I've seen in the city - it was the fountain of little children that captured my heart the most.

In the Gothic Quarter, we visited the Santa Maria del Mar. I was excited to visit this church. It was built in Catalan-Gothic design during the 14th century, dedicated to the seafarers of that time. An imposing structure of large stones from the outside, it was difficult to see the church at its entirety due to the limited space of its surrounding. Inside is spacious and it feels empty but rightly so with its huge interior, octagonal towers, large bare surfaces, and soaring lines. This church needs no gold-covered ceiling or white marble carved designs. With its colored stained glass perched high above the church walls and plain gray-colored stone walls and columns, the church is filled with striking radiance once sunlight passes through them.

Barcelona:
This church is dramatic! I highly recommend this church, more so than Sagrada Familia!

Not content seeing Picasso's work (we visited Malaga's Picasso Museum), we checked out Barcelona's Picasso Museum. Like in Magala, cameras are not allowed in the gallery - you have to check it in! I am not a great fan of Picasso's work. Maybe his older style, I do, but hs later years, were not my type of art. However, my sister is and so we checked it out. The Boqueria is another not to be missed place in Barcelona. This marketplace sells fresh produce and offers the best and fresh selection of food! I love open markets. It's the gastronomic traveler in me.

That night, we saw a flamenco show in Montjuic and dance and drink the night away at clubs along Avd Diagonal and Barceloneta. Unfortunately, because we just had too much fun partying, photos of that night's revelry will remain private for privacy and conservative reasons. ^_^
ellechic says:
Yup! Santa Maria del Mar is my favorite church!
Posted on: Mar 11, 2008
jteddyb says:
I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about Santa Maria del Mar! For me, it's the truly special church in Barcelona
Posted on: Mar 11, 2008
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Barcelona: Picassos work on build…
Barcelona: Picasso's work on buil…
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Barcelona: Sagrada Familia
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Barcelona: Sagrada Familia inside
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Barcelona: Sagrada Familia- inside
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Barcelona: classic Gaudi design
Barcelona: classic Gaudi design
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Barcelona: Arc de Triomf
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Barcelona: view of Arc de Triomf
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Barcelona: most adorable fountain…
Barcelona: closer view
Barcelona: closer view
Barcelona: Santa Maria del Mar
Barcelona: Santa Maria del Mar
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Barcelona: Santa Maria del Mar
Barcelona: Santa Maria del Mar
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Barcelona: Santa Maria del Mar
Barcelona: Santa Maria del Mar
Barcelona: Picasso Museum
Barcelona: Picasso Museum
Barcelona: Picasso Museum
Barcelona: Picasso Museum
Barcelona: La Boqueria
Barcelona: La Boqueria
Barcelona: Boqueria
Barcelona: Boqueria
Barcelona: Boqueria
Barcelona: Boqueria
Barcelona: Boqueria
Barcelona: Boqueria
Barcelona: Las Ramblas
Barcelona: Las Ramblas
Barcelona: Las Ramblas
Barcelona: Las Ramblas
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila
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Barcelona: Puerta de Avila - Flam…
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila - Flame…
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila - Flam…
Barcelona: Puerta de Avila - Flame…
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Barcelona: Puerta de Avila - Flame…
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1,532 km (952 miles) traveled
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photo by: fivepointpalm