Barcelona Journals

Barcelona - a kind of capital

A March 2000 trip to Barcelona by davidx

Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudi) Photo, Barcelona, Spain More Photos
Quote: I had flown to Gerona and stayed there two nights. I went to Barcelona for two or at most three nights and left reluctantly after five with lots still not done.

Barcelona - a kind of capital

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Overview

Plaça Catalunya Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
If Catalunya were a state, Barcelona would doubtless be its capital. Officially, it is not a state, but a part of Spain. However, that is not how it feels. Spanish seems to be very much a second language, and the flag of Catalunya flies far more commonly than the Spanish flag flies in Madrid. It has a patron saint, St George. It feels like a state and Barcelona feels like the capital. I guess the Sagrada Familia would be nominated by most people as the single most important sight. I readily admit that I did not expect to like it and I have never seen a photo that does it justice. The real thing I found breathtakingly beautiful and was moved to see some more of Gaudí's works. However, eve...Read More

Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)

Attraction | "Barri Gòtic"

Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Barcelona would be well worth a visit for the Barri Gòtic even if Gaudi and co had never existed! It has a wealth of older buildings, more indeed than in a number of places where old buildings form the only attraction. The old cathedral has to be mentioned first. Its vast size does not detract from its appeal as a splendid Gothic building, and the streets to one side of it are narrow, picturesque and interesting. On the other side is a huge square where local people were dancing in great circles on a feast day. The interior is well worth a look and the cloisters are great. But stay awake - I was set up for a scam here. Something must have gone wrong and I ended up OK, but not ev...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2002

Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter)
La Rambla To Via Laietana
Barcelona, Spain 08002

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Pedestrian Mall

Attraction | "La[s] Rambla[s]"

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Pedestrian Mall Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
First of all, you may wonder why the s in brackets, but if the inhabitants use most forms of terminology who am I to adjudicate? It seems like a single road but is actually made up of five separate ones, the name of each of which starts with Rambla. Anyway, one or five, there it is or there they are. Huge numbers of residents of the city walk on it in informal processions in the evenings and at Sunday lunchtimes, and most of the many tourists attracted by the city will be there at some stage of the evening. There are trees throughout the route and under them are the stalls, most of which sell either flowers or caged birds. Going up from the bottom, you will encounter some a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2002

La Rambla (Las Ramblas) Pedestrian Mall
Central Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain

Museu Marítim

Attraction | "Museu Maritim, Drassanes"

Quote:
The objects on view in the museum are extremely interesting, and the galleon is excellent. As a replica of a 16th century royal galleon, it doesn't match Stockholm's Vaasa, but is neverthless enjoyable. To me, what really makes the museum is the building itself, which is unique. There may have been similar ones elsewhere in the Mediterranean, but this is the only one to have survived in its 13th and mainly 14th century form. Oddly enough 18th century additions have not survived! It was originally the Drassanes Reials [Royal ship-building yards] which made ships for the joint kingdom of Aragon and Catalunya. It consists of a succession of Gothic naves with a gable roof supported by stone pil...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2002

Museu Marítim
Avinguda Drassanes, 1
Barcelona, Spain 08001
+34 93 3429920

Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudi)

Attraction | "Modernisme - Gaudí and Domènech"

Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudi) Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Antoni Gaudí y Condor - 1852 - 1926 Luis Domènech y Montaner - 1850 - 1923 I guess you could call them contemporaries. I am dealing with only one building by Domènech, the Palau de Música Catalana, which was built in the early years of the 20th century. It is amazingly different from anything else I have seen and every visitor to Barcelona with the slightest interest in either archittecture or music should take the guided tour. You may or may not like it (personally, I think it is great) but you will not fail to find it interesting - and experts were involved in all aspects of its construction. The concert hall itself is topped by a mighty stained glass dome and every detail...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2002

Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudi)
Park Guell, Carretera Carmel
Barcelona, Spain 08024
34 93 2193811

Montjuic Hill

Attraction | "Magical Montjuic"

Montjuic Hill Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
Starting outside the Metro at Plaça d'Espanya, you can see the Palau Nacional well above you. Montjuic is the hill that rises from there. There is a bus, but unless you are in a desperate hurry, walk up. You do not need to be superfit as there is a terrific chain of escalators all the way up. Far from being an ancient palace, Montjuic dates from an exhibition in 1929 and the Palau now houses the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya; a collection of Gothic church art on one side of the building. The collectoin is attractive enough, but on the other side lies what is probably the world's finest collection of Romanesque frescoes, mostly taken from ancient Pyrrenean churches for safe-keeping. In...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 26, 2002

Montjuic Hill
Southwest of City Center Overlooking the Harbor
Barcelona, Catalonia

Montserrat

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Attraction | "Montserrat - wonderful rock scenery but - - -"

Montserrat Photo, Barcelona, Spain
Quote:
It does not take long to go by the local rail line from P de Espagna to Montserrat and you can buy a ticket which includes the cable-car up to the monastery. From near the top it is possible to take two separate funiculars, one down to a short walk to a shrine and the other up to an exhibition and to the start of some walks. This is the part I should reccomend. I was not in a fit condition that day but the idea of walking from there was most appealing. The rock scenery is really something and it looks as though it is possible to have a stroll along the top of the world. I cannot say that the lower funicular was worth the money as far as I was concerned. Shrines are not particularly my scene so ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 23, 2002

Montserrat

Barcelona, Spain

Take good care

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Barcelona is all too well-known for petty theft, and it would be madness not to take some simple precautions. In my view, anybody who does so ought to be OK, and it would be terrible if anybody failed to come and see this great city out of fear. However, two particular experiences of mine may be instructive to others. The first was on the Metro when I first arrived at Sants station. With a largish case and a shooting stick, on account of my heart condition, I must have seemed pretty vulnerable and I was 'marked' for robbery by a firm hand on the back at the exact moment that the train was drawing up. The person involved then walked away and left me to the mercies of his friend in the train w...Read More