Thursday, 21 May 2015

Barcelona part 1- Architecture, Gaudi & seaside.

A few days ago I went to spend 5 days in Barcelona, a city break that my boyfriend and I where so excited about. I am quite lucky as my best friend, who is an English teacher in Barcelona, has a studio flat where my boyfriend, my best friend Betsy (link of her Barcelona post here) and I could stay with him and enjoy the Spanish way of life. To add to our luck his flat was in the heart of Barcelona and literally few minutes walk away from the beach. It didn't take me a long time to fall in love with this city, pretty much as soon as we first put our eyes on the beautiful port and the narrow streets of Barcelona I was enchanted.


What struck me the most in Barcelona is the architecture. It is hard to describe it but this city seems to have many different themes running through but still everything is well put together and does not clash in anyway. The style goes from ghotic, to very colourful facades, bold, modern, brash ...but yet everything seems to be in total harmony. 



During our stay we visited many monuments, historical alleys, squares, gardens etc. but one of my favourite monuments was definitely the Casa Batlló by Gaudí. For a little history; It is a remodel of a previously built house, re-done in 1904 by Gaudi. This house is also know as the House of Bones (Casa dels ossos) . The roof is arched and seems to represent the back of a dragon and the skeletal like windows and frames are the bones of the dragon's victims. The cross at the top left of the roof represents the lance of St George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon. 
I love fantastical stories so I was rather enthusiastic to hear this story behind this house, by the way a big thanks to Betsy (click here for her blog), my forever friend, which with her usual enthusiasm and good sense of humour prepared for us, (knowing her probably weeks in advance and also probably using her office monthly ink and paper budget) print out information on all the famous land marks of Barcelona so we got to learn many things while having fun.
This house is truly fantastic, striking, beautiful, mesmerising. The buildings colours are going from blues to green to turquoise it is truly something out of a magical story, even though my picture below does not give any justice I truly encourage anyone to see this beautiful piece of art once in your life.
I can now cross it from my long bucket list.


One other striking monument of Barcelona is the Sagrada Família also designed by Gaudí. For some info (who says we cannot learn nothing by reading lifestyle blogs?) The construction started in 1882, Gaudí took over the design in 1883 until his death at 73 in 1926. At this date the Sagrada família remain under construction and it is planned to be finished in 2026 the century of Gaudí's death. If you would like to know more about the history of Sagrada Familía I suggest you follow this link.
What I love about this monument is obviously the Gaudí' style shining throughout, as you can see from the pictures the cathedral seems to melt away like a sand castle being washed away by water. I have to say that I've seen many cathedrals in my life, but this one was probably the most dramatic I ever seen. Gaudí had surely to my eyes an unusual talent basically he's one of those artists, or shall I say genius', that you either hate or love but in my case I definitely love it.



Did I mentioned that not only Barcelona is a vibrant, colourful, beautiful and a cultural city but to add to all of this it is located by the sea. The beach is about 4.5 km long lined with palm trees, white sand and blue sea so I really cannot see what else we could add to this already very attractive place. Yes we could also add beautiful food and people, because I do not like giving everything away in one go, you have to wait a little bit  longer for my next and final post about Barcelona. If after this post and the next one you are still unsure where to go for your city break then I personally do not know what is wrong with you lot. Haha!  :)


Have you been to Barcelona before? Or Spain? tell me all about your spanish adventures below.

Marie
xxx
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