Gaudi Barcelona (11/21/03)
Last updated 11/29/03
One of the striking aspects of Barcelona is its magnificent
architecture, with some of the most innovative and beautiful buildings
a result of the creative genius of Antoni Gaudi. In addition to its
wonderful architecture, Barcelona offers sumptuous (and cheap) food, a
vibrant nightlife and enough oddities and pure chaos to keep you
scratching your head and laughing out loud throughout the day (and well
into the night). More details to come later, but till then we hope you
enjoy these pictures.
Passeig de Gracia (Passage of Grace), is a street lined
with architectural wonders, including a couple of buildings by Gaudi.
La Sagrada Familia, a currently unfinished
cathedral, is the lifetime masterpiece of Gaudi. While the Nativity
Facade was created entirely under his supervision beginning in 1882,
work has continued on the cathedral even after his death in 1926, with
the entire Passion Facade being created after 1950. The cathedral
consists of eight towers, with 10 more in the works, representing the
12 apostles, four Evangelists, the mother of god, and the tallest one
for Jesus himself. Daria claims that this structure is probably one of
the "must see" items in the entire world. Given what I've seen of other
traditional cathedrals throughout Europe, La Sagrada Familia certainly
stands out for its sheer ingenuity and the bold fashion in which it
shatters all traditional expectations of a place of worship.
The Poble Espanyol, or Spanish Village, is
filled with recreations of various Spanish architecture from different
periods (analogous to the Norse Folk museum we visited in Oslo). Most
of the buildings are used by craft stores selling everything from
Spanish tile to T-shirts. We got to visit a gallery of modern art which
had works by Dali and Picasso (a lot of ceramic work -- I never even
knew he did ceramic stuff) including a wonderful piece by picasso in
which he makes a smiley face on the bottom of a plate.
Some more impressive architecture from Barcelona, from
city hall to olympic pillars.
La Rambla, one of the main boulevards in Barcelona has a
tree-lined center designated for pedestrian traffic that is a scene of
utter chaos. Amidst the hustle and bustle of locals and foreigners
trying to get around town you'll find plenty of street performers doing
everything from playing music, to pretending to be various characters
(angels, gunslingers and witches are quite common) and even juggling or
doing hip-hop dancing. In addition to the street performers, there is a
large flower market, and a live bird/fish market. That's right, if you
want, you can buy a little parrot or a new addition for your home
aquarium while you watch a guy playing South American flute accompanied
by his colorfully dressed dog!
Some more odd sights from Barcelona... just the tip of the
iceberg as this is certainly a very strange (but lovable) place.