Art / Architecture, Barcelona
Casa Fajol o de la Papallona
This little- visited "Gaudi" ** gem is located near Placa Espanya and Parc Joan Miro. Although it is not open to the public, the reason for visiting is the enormous moth on the front!
Probably not worth a long trek to see unless you happen to be nearby (e.g for the magic fountains/Font Magica), nonetheless it is a magnificent piece of architecture.
(** NOT GAUDI - but Built by Josep Graner i Prat in 1912 - located at Llançà 20, Eixample, Barcelona, Catalonia
This is NOT currently visible on Google Maps Street-View because it is hidden by trees. Also, more recent photos show the building on the right has now been completed.
You probably know that nowadays' Barcelona was Barcino during the Roman Empire times. It was not a big city, not so important as Tarraco (now Tarragona), the province's capital at the time. But still Barcino had a quite big Forum and a few impressive temples and civil buildings. Unfortunately, virtually all of this was destroyed over the centuries and new building replaced the Roman ones, Only a few archaeological remains are still there. If you like Roman history, don't forget to have a look at the columns of the temple of Augustus inside a house in carrer Paradis 11, and the Roman mill wheel embedded in the pavement on front of this house.
You are bound to see a lot of famous art during a trip to Europe or just Barcelona. But after your trip to the Picasso Museum, head over to Mercado (Plaza Comercial, 3) or Iguapop(c/Comerc 15), two small galleries in El Born. Each hosts a constantly-changing repertoire of up-and-coming and local artists. Oftentimes you will recognize pieces from the galleries as the work of artists who also use the sides of La Boqueria and the backstreets of the city as their other canvases. Another excellent feature of the galleries is their beautiful bookstores. You will find amazing books from publishers like Taschen and Phaidon as well as an array of gifts, toys, and artwork for sale that are really some of Barcelona's best souvenirs. I like Mercado's store the best, but nothing compares to Iguapop's clothing selection. Highly recommended is Le Cool's Weird and Wonderful Guide to Barcelona, a small, red, Bible-like guidebook to everything off the beaten path in the city. Well worth it's 16 euro price tag. If these stores are right down your path, be sure to head over to the Macba bookstore, the grandaddy of Barcelona's art bookstores. They have a huge selection of books on art and the city as well. For more interesting and atypical souvenirs, the store below La Pedrera is also great and you don't have to pay to get in.
Of all my travels, Barcelona gets the award for best Graffiti. While most big cities' graff consists of some idiot's gang tag, or something to the effect of 'EMINEM RULZ', Barcelona has some really good, creative work being done. I met a guy from Paris who came down just to paint this wall, which is famous among graff circles. He let me watch him at work. I did not take pictures of the act for obvious reasons.
Here I just added few more of the great architecture building I was taken photos of while in Barcelona. I cannot name any or indicate its location, but if anyone who read this recognize any of this building, please feel free to let me know :)
Barcelona has one of the greatest architecture I have seen in Europe. It was just great to hang around and see all those beautiful buildings, old and new next to each other in peace and harmony. I added here some of my favourite photos of building in Barcelona.
By now you'll sure had realized I love history....
One of my favorite "hidden places" of Barcelona is Casa del Ardiaca, just next to the Cathedral. It's somewhat fun to define this place as "hidden", as it's just on the middle of one of the most touristy areas. But I'de bet that 99% of people passing by this small street, right the main entrance of the Cathedral, do miss it.
Nowadays the place is the site of some city historical archives. But while open, you can enter the lovely patio and have a rest in an beautiful place. If you enter the building (no probs if you politely ask), you can see some remains of the Roman walls.
Bigger remains of the city walls cam be seen at Via Laietana.
Just south of the Estació Sants, a large railway station, is a park which was established in 1985 on the site of Vapor Nou, a former textile factory. The local name for the factory was L'Espanya Industrial. This area was under construction when we were there. The modern design is by the Bask architect Luis Pena Ganchegui. This park includes a grand entryway of oversized white steps and fountains (which we did not see as it was still too cold) which lead down from street level to a large area of ponds, waterways, lawn, play areas, and modern sculptures. Nine large light towers (Watchtowers or lighthouses) are at the top of the steps. Housing projects surround this park.
The most prominent sculpture is 'The Dragon Without Saint George' by Andrés Nagel. The large structure in cast iron depicts a slain dragon coming out of the lake with outstretched wings and lowered head and tail. The sculpture also functions as a slide for children.
In the middle of what's now the Old Town, once were just fields. The Roman city was very small compared with the posterior Medieval city (and not to say the current city!)
If you pass by the square of Vila de Madrid, in the Gothic Quarter, you can see some burial monuments from the Roman times. The Romans liked to be buried along the main roads leaning to a city, so the people passing by could see the monuments and pay their respect to the deceased.
Thes were discovered some years ago, when they digged this square for some reason (I think they wanted to make an underground parking lot, but not sure). Fortunately the tombs and the old road were exposed, restored, and now you can see these, a few metres below the current street level.
Visitors often treat Avinguda Diagonal as a sort of wonder of urban planning that doesn't merit much attention. Not true!!! If you walk along the Diagonal through the Eixample (walk from about Monsèn Verdaguer towards the Esquerra) you can find all sorts of statues, fountains and architectural wonders that are not on a tourist guide map. Some of the sculpture pictures are below.
This city is a paradise of architecture. So, do not focus on your aim and look around. I walked a lot because of doing this but I had a chance to see this nice house.
We were walking to Parc Güell and following the signs. I saw the hose inside a garden and the sundial on top of it attracted me. I took some photos and then we lost the signs of Parc Güell. When we found them again, we couldn’t understand that they are for vehicles.
We had a proverb in Turkish to describe the situation. “Akilsiz basin cezasini ayaklar ceker.” which means “Feet get punished by the mistakes of the foolish head”
By the way, do not miss the signs to your aim.
I always liked to see art pieces, graffities and slogans on the walls. I feel that their intentions are so pure. Not to be in an exhibition hall keep them being hypocrite. So, I always take photos of these kind of work in every city I visited. Enjoy them and smile as a price for effort of the artist.
For me personally, this is really fun. I first discovered Botero in an exhibition in Singapore - so that started a little game for me ~ to see where I will bump into his sculptures when I am travelling.
In Barcelona, I have encountered 2 - The Horse, standing proudly in the El Prat airport and The Cat, in Ramblas del Raval.
"In 1957, Dr Bekhman, a Russian chemist, undertook a revision of the main pharmacological, biological and chemical studies on GINSENG, saying that the GINSENG from Korea possesses a clear tonic effect and a stimulating action on the central nervous system, increasing the capacity of the human being in his physical relationships.....
The stimulation of the libido by the Ginseng seems to follow an indirect route that goes via the brains' central neurones".
All human beings are born with a potential for sexual conduct; the particular type of conduct of each person depends on the interaction of the environment (opportunity) and on the genes (the genetic content).
All human beings have the capacity to respond in a positive way in the event of an erotic-sexual stimulus, of which ever nature it may be or from who ever it may come from.
There isn't only one given form of "natural" sexuality which is biologically given, but there is a whole spectrum of sexual possibilities, there is a great diversification, which gives rise to a variety of sexual practices......
.......Sex is not a fatality but a possibility for creative life. For this matter, we shouldn't try to reduce the human sexual diversity to a uniform way of behaving "correctly". It's necessary for us to defend sexual diversity and social pluralism, a pluralism where by new styles of life can fit in, and different desires and different moralities can be recognised."
Don Armand de Fluvin i Escorsa - 1997