Art / Architecture, 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.
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.
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.
Barcelona's architecture can be breathtaking. I suggest you to get lost in the city, and take a look at the building façades, the roofs, or even the small streets that surround the city. There are many impressive buildings, many street scenes that seem to be taken from a history book and many roofs decorated with bautiful brass statues. This is what makes this city so special. Put beautiful architecture in a jar and mix it with wonderful people, and you'll get a great city, you'll get Barcelona.
I have to say that this is the most hospital I have ever seen in my life ! Hospital de Sant Pau has been built around 600 years ago and yet is still fully operational as a hospital today.
After visiting Sagrada Familia and having lunch, we decided to walk around in the neighbourhoods and it lead us to this impressive structure. We found out on the map that it was a hospital ! We went inside for a quick tour because we thought that it might be an old hospital, not operational anymore, and to our surprise, it was still operating.
Hospital de Sant Pau is formed by different buildings. During our rapid visit, I felt uneasy, walking around with my camera and taking pictures of the architecture while people were going there to be treated for their sickness... I tried to be the most discreet possible !
Address : Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret
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.
Not all the modernist highlights in BCN are by Gaudi...
This modernist hospital, designated UNESCO monument in 1997 was designed by Domenech i Montaner.
Being a public hospital you can visit it for free, though there are guided tours too. It is a whole block of buildings, with some green areas in between.
In the main entrance, look up to the magnificient ceilings. Then you can admire the many pavillions with their fairy tale decorations, go inside, visit the tunnels net underground (used as a refugee in the Civil War) and have a coffee in its bar...
Metro: Hospital Sant Pau, Cartagena street exit.
Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see some wonderful examples of graffiti art around the city. Tucked away on side streets in the Barri Gotic and Port Vell there’s some great examples. To some it looks childish, rude and mere vandalism. But look closer, and you’ll find there’s often intriguing social comment. It’s just a different way of expressing it.
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.
The Palau de la Música Catalana is a wonderful music hall built in modernist style by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner between 1905 and 1908.
It's possible to visit it insite by guided visit only, at every half hour between 10.30 am - 3.30 pm, Monday to Sunday. Because there's a restricted number of people allowed on each visit it's best to turn up early or, even better, to buy a ticket for your tour one day in advance. The palace is located off via Layetana, at carrer Sant Francesc de Paula 2. Don't miss the ornated colums. their mosaics are stunning (and on the Unesco world heritage list, too)
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.
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.
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 :)
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.