Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Barcelona 2

A few weeks back (though it seems ages ago!), I was in Barcelona. This was my second visit to the beautiful city, but this time I was taking no chances on the Sagrada Familia -- bought my ticket online, well in advance. On my first visit to Barcelona in 2012 the queues to get in the fabulous Gaudi building were huge and daunting, so I just slowly walked around the building viewing its amazing exterior.

This time, though, I was able to see all the interior details. The bronze doors leading in to the church were intricate and fabulous. I love irises.

A Gaudi trademark salamander in bronze.

Gaudi was inspired completely by nature, and the columns within the church were like tall trees in a forest.

The stained glass was incredible and colour-themed for the time of day (i.e. pinks and yellows for dawn; yellows, oranges and greens for midday, etc.)/

A real treat, and worth every penny of the price, was an elevator trip up the Passion Tower (the highest of two visitor accessible towers). One took the elevator up and then walked down - 400 steps - with viewing stops along the way.

As well as being able to see architectural features and construction, 

the city and sea were on show.

"God's Easter Eggs". Gaudi paid attention to every detail - even features that could only be seen by the angels.

 The three dimensional mosaics were just gorgeous.

400 stairs down to exit into the church. There was a rail to hang on to on one side -- I did not look down that's for sure! Frightening, especially to one suffering from vertigo, but I did it with no regrets! I would definitely have regretted NOT seeing this!

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Barcelona 1

My recent break to Barcelona started with a walking tour around the Gothic Quarter. I had earwigged on part of a walking tour during my first trip to the city in 2012 and was so impressed that I hung on to the Travel Bar leaflet and simply looked them up once my recent trip was planned. I highly recommend the tour, and also the friendly bar that is headquarters to a number of tours.

It is impossible to walk through the Gothic Quarter without taking note of gargoyles; this picture features a unicorn and (middle right) an "elephant" -- crafted by someone who had obviously never seen an elephant before!

One lovely building houses a Moorish ceiling, a fantastic piece of architecture.

This same building, the Viceroy's Palace, is also home to a modern bronze door - also a fantastic piece of work. The St George door was created by Josep Maria Subirachs in 1975.

St George/Sant Jorda is the patron saint of Catalonia and appears in lots of carved embellishments around the Gothic Quarter. 

Rambling around the old city of Barcino history is written on its very walls: the various rulers made their mark by building on top of other buildings; the castle is a mish-mash of architectural styles and building methods. 

In the foyer of an apartment building one can view Roman columns that were formerly part of a temple to Caesar.

 The tour guide spoke of  festivals in Barcelona and how there was always a celebration of Catalonian sport -- castelling. During any festival their are competitions of "castellers", i.e. human towers. Although I did not see any castelling while I was in the city, I saw the gorgeous sculpture by Antoni Liena i Font, "Homenatge als Castellers" (Homage to Castellers), which commemorates the height of a human tower that was created in an adjoining square.

The stainless steel sculpture is 26.5 metres high and was unveiled in 2012.