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.