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Los Angeles, California
May 1, 2006
You only have to see the picture of the famous stained glass dome in this amazing structure and you immediately know that you must visit the Palau de la Música Catalana. This building, like many others in Barcelona, has its own distinct style but it is home to some of the region's most beautiful music, both Catalan and classical European. The tour fee of €8 is well worth it. The tour takes approximately an hour and begins with a short history film of the music hall's conception and construction. Included in the tour is a demonstration of the hall's magnificent organ. Tours are available in various languages, and tickets can be purchased at the ticket office. My husband and I were fortunate to obtain tickets for a vocal performance the night before we departed Barcelona. I quickly snapped a photo of the famed glass dome from our seats prior to that performance. You can also gather more information at their website: www.palaumusica.org.
I can guarantee you that you will not have seen any concert hall quite like this one, and it would be a shame to miss it while you are in Barcelona!
From journal My First Impressions of Barcelona
November 20, 2005
From journal Setting our sights on Barcelona
February 18, 2004
Lluis Domenech I Montaner’s masterful, stunningly beautiful music palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is located easy walking distance blocks away from our Rec Comptal apartment and just one street south from the to me unpronounceable Urquinaona Metro station. One of the most depressing disappointments of our Barcelona visit is that we only got around to seeing this marvel on our last night. Fortunately, we strolled by just before a performance as the well-dressed crowd of patrons arrived at this landmark acclaimed for its aesthetic uniqueness and its acoustic clarity. Unfortunately, our photos simply came out so swamped with light and glitter that they do injustice to the amazing dazzle of this edifice illuminated and glittering against an early evening sky.
Our photographic souvenirs of this edifice as memorable and unique to me as the Sagrada Familia turned out so poorly in part because the Palau is literally bathed in light and its tiles are so sparklingly colorful. Not too consoling, as the sight of this edifice with jewel-like prisms of riots of color is one I just drank in so thoroughly I’ll never forget it.
Its history has been marred by two fires that caused severe damage and it has undergone expansion necessary to the practical demands of a flourishing musical enterprise for more dressing rooms, storage rooms, etc. Not a speck of its surface is unembellished by statuary or tile; dramatic colors dominate, especially its deep overall claret wine interlaced with gold and silver. Hemmed in still by other Barri Gotic buildings that flank it, at least one more side of it has been freed from impingement by another structure, so that even outsiders like us can see more, including peeks of the glorious chandelier in the lobby within. Definitely, a tour of this extravagantly beautiful temple of Modernisme is a must for a return visit. Tours in English are available every half-hour daily from 10am to 3:30pm except during August. You need to call the above number to secure a guided visit or to secure tickets to a concert.
Domenech I Montaner’s own crew of workmen in the arts of tile, glass and ceramics, painting and sculpture, from his Castell des Tres Dragons workshop in Ciutadella Park helped him bring to life in 1908 this auditorium for the Orfeo (the Catalan national choir) in artistic reinforcement of the renaissance of Catalan political and cultural aspirations. The steel structure provided by the engineer freed his artisans to embellish endlessly. And they did, particularly in the interior I’ve read. Photography of that interior is NOT permitted during the tours, so I can rationalize it wasn't TOO bad we didn't tour it, but it really was something I wished I hadn't missed.
From journal Bittersweet Barcelona -- Treasures