A Travellerspoint blog

Beautiful Barcelona

Christmas 2015.

Barcelona.

For Christmas 2015 we flew from Hong Kong to Dubai where we spent one night prior to flying on to Nice. We spent four nights in Nice, then travelled down via Montpellier to Barcelona. We stayed in Barcelona for three nights. This was only our second ever visit to Spain. We just had two and a half short winter days to see Barcelona. From my research I had learned that many sights in Barcelona have long queues. These I ruthlessly culled, as I had no intention of spending my limited time here standing in a queue.Thus Park Guell was not on our to do list and the Church of the Sagrada Familia was only visited from the outside.

On our first day we took the metro to the Church of the Sagrada Familia. After that we wandered around the L'Eixample district looking at the modernista architecture. Then we visited Catalonia Square, La Rambla, the port and Barceloneta. On day two we went to Ciutadella Park, explored the Ciutat Vella or old city of Barcelona and for the benefit of my football obsessed husband visited Camp Nou home to F.C. Barcelona. On day three we visited Montjuic to see its views, parks and castle. Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, Spain. It is Spain's second largest city, with a population of 1.6 million. It is renowned for the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner. These have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are two legends about the origins of Barcelona. One claims the city was founded by Hercules. The other claims it was founded by Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal. For us Barcelona was a city full of surprises and quirky oddities. A very interesting place for a visit.

La Sagrada Familia.

What can I say? This church is one of the most famous sights in the world. I have wanted to see it for ages and at the risk of upsetting people and being called a philistine ......I hated it. It was a building site complete with lots of cranes and tarpaulin. I found it impossible to see beyond that - a huge disappointment. La Sagrada Família was the idea of bookseller, Josep Maria Bocabella,the founder of the Spiritual Association of Devotees of St. Joseph. He visited the Vatican in 1872 and was inspired to build a church. Construction began on the 19th March 1882 the festival of St Joseph. On 18th March 1883 Antoni Gaudí took over the church's design. Gaudí devoted much of his life to the church, but when he died in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. It is hoped the church will be complete by 2026 the centenary of Gaudi's death. I can only hope it will look a lot better then. Address: Carrer de Mallorca 40. Directions: Metro: Line 2 or 5 Station: Sagrada Familia.

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

La Sagrada Familia. - Barcelona

L'Eixample.

We wandered around the L'Eixample district viewing the modernista buildings from the outside only. I found the area interesting and loved many of the buildings, though not necessarily the famous ones. One of the famous buildings here is Casa Milà. This was commissioned by the industrialist Pere Milà i Camps and his wife, Rosario Segimon i Artells and was constructed between 1906 and 1912 by Antoni Gaudí. It is often called La Pedrera which means the stone quarry. This building was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1984.

Casa Milà - Barcelona

Casa Milà - Barcelona

Casa Milà - Barcelona

Casa Milà - Barcelona

Casa Milà - Barcelona

Casa Milà - Barcelona

Font de la Granota Fountain

After visiting the outside of La Sagrada Familia Church, we decided to explore the Modernista architecture in the L'Eixample District. The Font de la Granota, or the Frog Fountain, is a beautiful and unusual fountain located at the intersection of Av. Diagonal and Carrer Corsega not far from the Diagonal metro stop. This fountain was designed by Catalan artist Josep Campeny in 1912. Water from the fountain comes out of the frog's mouth.

Font de la Granota Fountain. - Barcelona

Font de la Granota Fountain. - Barcelona

Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller.

The house that is now Casa Batlló was first built in 1877 by Antoni Gaudi. It was commissioned by Lluís Sala Sánchez. Later in 1900 the house was bought by Josep Batlló who commissioned Gaudi to redesign it and make it more unusual. Barcelona locals call this building Casa dels ossos or House of Bones. The front of the building is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles. The roof is arched and looks like the back of the dragon from the Saint George and the dragon legend. A turret and cross on the building's roof represent a lance that has been plunged into the dragon's back. The modernista building next door to Casa Batllo is Casa Amatller. This building was originally designed as a residence for chocolatier Antoni Amatller. It was constructed between 1898 and 1900. It was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller - Barcelona

Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller - Barcelona

Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller - Barcelona

Casa Batlló and Casa Amatller - Barcelona

Casa Batlló - Barcelona

Casa Batlló - Barcelona

The Fundació Antoni Tàpies.

Round the corner from the Casa Batllo is the Fundació Antoni Tàpies. This was created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art. The Fundació Antoni Tàpies is housed in the building of the former Editorial Montaner i Simon publishing house, which was designed by the Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner between 1880 and 1881.

The Fundació Antoni Tàpies. - Barcelona

The Fundació Antoni Tàpies. - Barcelona

Photo opportunity.

While strolling around L'Eixample don't forget to note lamp-posts, lights and seats. There are modernista style benches around which are just screaming out photo opportunity so it would be a sin not to oblige them with a quick shot.

Photo opportunity. - Barcelona

Photo opportunity. - Barcelona

Photo opportunity. - Barcelona

Photo opportunity. - Barcelona

Bull Statue.

The best thing about Barcelona was its weirdness. To experience that you don't need to visit every modernista structure. All you need to do is wander around with your eyes open. You'll see things like a contemplative bull statue by Josep Granyer. This can be found on the Rambla de Catalunya. The statue's real name is El Toro Assegut or “Sitting Bull”. It was created in 1972.

Bull Statue - Barcelona

Bull Statue - Barcelona

Bull Statue - Barcelona

Bull Statue - Barcelona

The Flirtatious Giraffe.

There is a second strange statue on the Rambla Catalonya created by the same sculptor who designed the sitting bull. This one is a statue of a flirtatious giraffe in Spanish-La girafa coqueta. It is by Josep Granyer Giralt who lived from 1899 to1983. It is quite funny and very cute.

La girafa coqueta. - Barcelona

La girafa coqueta. - Barcelona

Catalunya Square.

Catalunya Square is the heart of Barcelona. It is a transport hub and a crowded meeting spot. When we visited it was hosting a market and a weird futuristic hairstyling event which was very entertaining. This square is also filled with statues, fountains and works of art. An entertaining spot for a visit. Address: Parc de Catalunya, Sabadell, Gothic Quarter.

Fountain, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Fountain, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Weird hair-dressing event, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Weird hair-dressing event, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Weird hair-dressing event, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Weird hair-dressing event, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Sculpture, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

Sculpture, Catalunya Square. - Barcelona

La Rambla.

Street Statue on La Rambla. - Barcelona

Street Statue on La Rambla. - Barcelona

Casa Amatller. - Barcelona

Casa Amatller. - Barcelona

La Rambla connects Plaça de Catalunya in the centre of Barcelona with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. This street is 1.2KM long. Traffic runs down both sides of La Rambla, but the central area is pedestrianised and filled with stalls. The street is home to many beautiful buildings. The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was "the only street in the world which I wish would never end."

Flower stall, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Flower stall, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Flower stall, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Flower stall, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Flower stall, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Flower stall, La Rambla. - Barcelona

The erotic museum, La Rambla. - Barcelona

The erotic museum, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - La Boqueria Market Mercat de Sant Josep.

Mercat de la Boquerìa also known as Mercat de Sant Josep is a large, bustling and colourful market just off La Rambla. It sells a wide range of products including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, chocolates. It also has several cafes and restaurants around its edges. Address: Las Ramblas, 95
Directions: Metro: Liceu, Mercat exit.

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de San Josep - Barcelona

Mercat de Sants Josep Bars.

The Mercat de Sants Josep is very busy especially in its centre aisles. Get a little further away and there is slightly more room to move. Around the edges there are lots of bars and cafes where people stop for a chat and some refreshments. Address: Las Ramblas, 95. Directions: Metro: Liceu, Mercat exit.

Mercat de Sants Josep - Bars - Barcelona

Mercat de Sants Josep - Bars - Barcelona

Mercat de Sants Josep - Bars - Barcelona

Mercat de Sants Josep - Bars - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros.

La Casa Bruno Cuadros is an extremely ornate building on La Rambla. It used to be an umbrella shop and is known by locals as the Casa dels Paraigües or House of Umbrellas. This building was refurbished in1883 by the architect Josep Vilaseca. Vilaseca combined modernisme with various architectural elements from other cultures such as Egypt, China and Japan. The Casa Bruno Cuadros’s balconies and the top floor have Egyptian imagery. The façade features elaborate reliefs of umbrellas and fans. There is an ornate Chinese dragon on the corner of the façade. This and the umbrella below it were used to advertise the shop. The building was refurbished in 1980 and is now home to a bank.

Umbrella House, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Umbrella House, La Rambla. - Barcelona

Casa dels paraigües - Umbrella House. - Barcelona

Casa dels paraigües - Umbrella House. - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros - Barcelona

La Casa Bruno Cuadros - Barcelona

Placa Reial.

About half way down the Rambla just off to the left hand side if you are facing towards the sea lies the Placa Reial. Plaça Reial means Royal Square. On the plaza there is an ornate fountain, many restaurants and some of the city's most famous nightclubs. The Plaça Reial was designed by Francesc Daniel Molina i Casamajó in the nineteenth century. Its lanterns were designed by Antoni Gaudí. Address: Plaça Reial 08002 Barcelona, Directions: Barri Gotic east of La Rambla. Off Carrer Colon. Metro: Liceu.

Placa Reial. - Barcelona

Placa Reial. - Barcelona

Placa Reial. - Barcelona

Placa Reial. - Barcelona

Placa Reial. - Barcelona

Placa Reial. - Barcelona

Palau Güell.

We did not really do justice to the modernista architecture of Barcelona as we only viewed it from the outside. This was because everything had a queue and everything was expensive. The Palau Güell is about half way down La Rambla and off to the right hand side if you are facing the sea. It is a mansion designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell. It was built between 1886 and 1888. It is located on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla. Long ago guests would enter this mansion in horse-drawn carriages through the front iron gates. They would then climb the stairs to the house's main receiving room with its extremely high ceiling. Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla 35.

Palau Güell. - Barcelona

Palau Güell. - Barcelona

Palau Güell. - Barcelona

Palau Güell. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument.

Where La Rambla reaches the seafront, you will see the Columbus monument. Christopher Columbus stands pointing out to sea from the top of a high column. The base of the column is surrounded by lions which people like to climb onto to have their photos taken. The Columbus Monument is 197 feet tall. It was constructed in 1888 for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona in honor of Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. Christopher Columbus reported to Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V in Barcelona after his first trip to the new world. The Columbus statue was sculpted by Rafael Atché. It shows Columbus pointing towards the New World with his right hand, while holding a scroll in the left. Address: La Rambla Barcelona. Directions: Between Port Vell and Catalunya and Raval on onside an Barri Gòtic on the other.

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

The Columbus Monument. - Barcelona

Barceloneta.

Barceloneta is an almost triangular piece of land jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. The earliest inhabitants here were fishermen. Then in the eighteenth century this area provided homes for the residents of the Ribera neighborhood who had been displaced by the construction of the Ciudadela of Barcelona. Nowadays Barceloneta is home to the Museum of History, a long sandy beach, sculptures, lots of restaurants and the lovely Sant Miquel del Port Church. As you walk along the beach you will see sand sculptures and salesmen holding up huge billowing pieces of cloth as they try to sell their wares.

Cloth salesman, Barceloneta. - Barcelona

Cloth salesman, Barceloneta. - Barcelona

Square in front of the church. - Barcelona

Square in front of the church. - Barcelona

Sand sculpture, Barceloneta - Barcelona

Sand sculpture, Barceloneta - Barcelona

Barceloneta - Barcelona

Barceloneta - Barcelona

Homenatge a la Barceloneta by Rebecca Horn. - Barcelona

Homenatge a la Barceloneta by Rebecca Horn. - Barcelona

The Waterfront.

After wandering down La Rambla, a street I would certainly recommend that you visit, we walked along the waterfront on route to Barceloneta. We passed by the old port building, the wooden Rambla de Mar which leads the rambla out over the sea, Port Vell which was built as part of an urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, several sculptures and the marina. A pleasant area for a stroll.

The Waterfront.

The Waterfront.

The Waterfront.

The Waterfront.

La Parella -The Couple, by Lautaro Díaz Silva,1998 - Barcelona

La Parella -The Couple, by Lautaro Díaz Silva,1998 - Barcelona

Sant Miquel del Port. - Barcelona

Sant Miquel del Port. - Barcelona

Barcelona Old Town.

Barcelona Cathedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia.

The Cathedral of Barcelona is known as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia. It was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries. The cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia of Barcelona. She is one of the patron saints of Barcelona. Eulalia was a young virgin who suffered martyrdom during Roman times. The Romans displayed her naked in the public square when, despite it being a warm spring day, it suddenly started snowing. The snow covered her nudity. We did not go inside as it was too busy. There was a very long queue for entry. Address: Plaça de la Seu. Directions: Barri Gotic. Metro: Lines 1 and 3 (Catalunya Station) and Lines 2 and 4 (Urquinaona Station.)

Barcelona Cathedral. - Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral. - Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral. - Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral. - Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral. - Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral. - Barcelona

Flea Market: Interesting market next to the cathedral.

There is an interesting and colourful flea market right next to the cathedral. It seemed to sell a bit of everything: ornaments, lights, records. It was quite interesting to have a look at and it took quite an attractive photo, too.

Flea Market - Barcelona

Flea Market - Barcelona

Flea Market. - Barcelona

Flea Market. - Barcelona

Flea Market - Barcelona

Flea Market - Barcelona

Flea Market. - Barcelona

Flea Market. - Barcelona

Plaça Sant Jaume.

The site that is occupied by Plaça Sant Jaume was once at the heart of the ancient Roman city of Barcino. It was here that major streets converged and the ancient Roman forum was located. The modern name for this square comes from the church of San Jaume which used to be located here. Plaça Sant Jaume was remodelled in 1823. Nowadays this square is home to Barcelona's City Hall and the Palau de la Generalitat.

Plaça Sant Jaume. - Barcelona

Plaça Sant Jaume. - Barcelona

Plaça Sant Jaume. - Barcelona

Plaça Sant Jaume. - Barcelona

Plaça Sant Jaume. - Barcelona

Plaça Sant Jaume. - Barcelona

Plaça del Rei.

The Plaça del Rei was once home to the royal palace, the Palau Reial Major. This palace was home to the Catalan counts from the thirteenth to the early fifteenth centuries. The building opposite the palace is the sixteenth century Palau del Lloctinent, or Lieutenant's Palace. We wandered into the lovely courtyard of this building.

Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

Plaça del Rei - Barcelona

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is situated in the Ribera district of Barcelona. It was built between 1329 and 1383 at the height of Catalonia's maritime and mercantile pre-eminence. The foundation stone of this building was laid by king Alfonso IV of Aragon in 1329. The architects in charge were Berenguer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig. This is a lovely church with beautiful stain glass windows. It is set next to a pretty square with several cafes and restaurants.

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona

The Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar - Barcelona

Why have they cast me from heaven?

On our walk from the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar to the cathedral we passed a strange sculpture. It is called Por qué me echaron del Cielo? or Why have they cast me from heaven? It was created by sculptor, Julio Nieto. The metal figure of an angel is deeply distressed with his head in his hands. In the place where his brain should be there are apples, perhaps symbolising original sin from the Adam and Eve story and implying he has done something very wrong. All very odd.

Why have they cast me from heaven? - Barcelona

Why have they cast me from heaven? - Barcelona

Why have they cast me from heaven? - Barcelona

Why have they cast me from heaven? - Barcelona

Picasso Friezes.

Across from the cathedral there is a very modern building. It is the College of Architects of Catalonia. There are several simple, cartoonlike drawings depicted on the front of it. These are by Pablo Picasso. They are entitled El Fris de la Senyera or Flag Frieze, El fris dels Gegants or Giants Frieze and El Fris dels Nens or Children Frieze.

Children's frieze. - Barcelona

Children's frieze. - Barcelona

Giants frieze. - Barcelona

Giants frieze. - Barcelona

Flag frieze. - Barcelona

Flag frieze. - Barcelona

Flag Frieze. - Barcelona

Flag Frieze. - Barcelona

College of architects. - Barcelona

College of architects. - Barcelona

Tiles on a fountain.

Not far from the Cathedral of Barcelona we came upon an excellent choir who were singing Christmas songs. Nearby there was an attractive fountain surrounded by many pictures formed from ceramic tiles. I don't know anything about the fountain, but I took several photos of it.

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Fountain. - Barcelona

Citadella Park.

The Arc de Triomf Parc de la Ciutadella.

On our second full day we began by taking the metro to Arc de Triomf station. We walked through the archway into Ciutadella Park. The Arc de Triomf was built in 1888 when Barcelona hosted the Universal Exhibition. The Arc de Triomf was the gateway to the fair which was held in the Parc de la Ciutadella. The Arc de Triomf was designed by architect Josep Vilaseca. The arch is made of red brick and is decorated with a series of friezes.

On the other side of the Arc de Triomf there was a rather strange protest going on. It was against domestic abuse and was being held in memory of victims of domestic violence that had not been believed. The road was covered with blood stained Tshirts. A woman in black stood in silent prayer. Every so often she picked up a T-shirt, took it to a basin and scrubbed out the blood.

The Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf

The Ciutadella.

In 1714, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Barcelona fell to the armies of King Philip V of Spain. King Philip V built the citadel of Barcelona, a huge fortress controlled by the Spanish to keep the rebellious Catalans under control. Construction of the fortress lasted for three years, and much of old Barcelona was destroyed to make room for it. In 1848 under a different political climate, demolition of this much hated fortress began.

In 1888, Barcelona held the Exposición Universal de Barcelona, the site of the citadel was turned into a beautiful park for this event. The Ciutadella Park is now home to a zoo, the Catalan parliament, the house of the three dragons, a cascade, a chapel and various sculptures, ponds and fountains. The cascade or waterfall is near the lake. It was built between 1881 and 1888 by Josep Fontsére and to some extent by Antoni Gaudí, who was then still an unknown student of architecture. As well as the cascade there are plenty of other sights in Ciutadella Park. The Castle of the Three Dragons is a modernist building built between 1887 and 1888 as a Café/Restaurant for the 1888 Universal Exposition. It was built by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The Parliament of Catalonia building is located in Ciutadella Park. Catalonia's most recent parliamentary elections were held on 27 September 2015. The statue outside the parliament building is ";El Desconsol"; by Josep Llimona. The bandstand in Ciutadella Park is dedicated to a transexual The park's bandstand, Sonia Rescalvo Zafra, who was murdered there on 6 October 1991 by right-wing extremists. There is also a lovely chapel in the park.

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

The Ciutadella

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

I liked the stork and the fox fountain in this park, too. It comes from an Aesop's fable where a fox invites a stork to eat in his home, but deliberately serves the food in a container the stork cannot access with its long beak. The upset stork plays a similar trick on the fox to teach him that it is wrong to play practical jokes on others.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park.

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

There were also many lovely sculptures in this park and now that I am researching it upon our return I realise there were plenty more we missed, too. Vase with children and flowers is a cheerful looking fountain dating from 1882. It was created by Josep Reynés. Als Voluntaris Catalans is a monument to the Catalan volunteers killed in France and around the world in defense of freedom. It is by Josep Clara. Even the gates into the park were pretty beautiful.

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

Ciutadella Park

El Born Cultural Centre.

This building used to house a market the Mercat del Born. The iron and glass structure that once housed the market was built by Josep Fontserè in 1876. Now the building houses archaeological remains dating from 1700 of the district of Vilanova de Mar. Address : Plaça Comercial, 12. Opening hours : Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6:45 pm ( Espai Gastronòmic Moritz. Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to midnight) Prices: Free and €5.5 for guided tour.

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

El Born Cultural Centre - Barcelona

Montjuic.

Montjuic Views from the Miramar Mirador.

On our last day in Barcelona we decided to walk up Montjuic. Montjuic is a largely flat topped hill overlooking Barcelona's harbour. Montjuic means either Jewish Hill or the Hill of Jove. The hill has several lovely viewing points with excellent views over Barcelona.

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from the Miramar Mirador. - Barcelona

Montjuic Cactus Garden.

Montjuic has some beautiful gardens. I especially enjoyed wandering around the wonderful cactus garden. This was home to lots of stunning plants and some attractive sculptures. Entrance is free. It is located close to the Miramar Mirador.

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic -Cactus Garden. - Barcelona

Montjuic Views from higher up.

We continued climbing up Montjuic all the way to the castle at the top. On the way up there are several more places from which to enjoy the views. A cable car comes all the way across the port from Barcelonetta to Montjuic. A second cable car goes all the way up to the castle.

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Montjuic - Views from higher up. - Barcelona

Cable car to Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Cable car to Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Montjuic Castle.

Montjuic Castle is an old military fortress on the top on Montjuic Hill. It dates back to 1640. It has been used as a prison and as a place of torture. Nowadays it is a museum. During the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 39 both the republicans and the fascists imprisoned, tortured and shot political prisoners at Montjuïc.

Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Montjuic Castle - Barcelona

Sardana Dance Statue - Montjuic.

On the walk up to Montjuic Castle we passed a lovely statue of people performing a Sardana dance. The Sardana s a traditional Spanish dance which is danced in a circle while holding hands. This dance is native to the Spanish region of Catalonia.

Sardana Dance Statue - Barcelona

Sardana Dance Statue - Barcelona

Sardana Dance Statue - Barcelona

Sardana Dance Statue - Barcelona

Sardana Dance Statue - Barcelona

Sardana Dance Statue - Barcelona

La Violetera.

I quite liked this fountain La Violetera. La Violetera is a young girl who sells violets in the street. There is a famous Spanish song called La Violetera which was composed by José Padilla in 1914. Its lyrics were written by Eduardo Montesinos. This song was popularized by the Spanish singer Raquel Meller. This fountain is located in Carrer Nou de la Rambla.

La Violetera. - Barcelona

La Violetera. - Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona.

We took the metro out to the home of F.C. Barcelona Camp Nou. We did not do the tour. We just had a look around the bits that are open to the general public. Actually it was well worth a visit as there were plenty of background posters to photo or be photoed with. There was also a club shop and it was perfectly acceptable to take photos in there, too.

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

F.C. Barcelona

Ibis Barcelona Meridiana: Mainly a good stay with one or two minus points.

To get to this hotel you can take the metro to Fabra i Puig Station or the train to Sant Andreu Arenal Station. The hotel is visible from the busy main road you are on when you exit either station if you look around you. We stayed here for three nights. Check in was the worst part of our stay. It took ages and the receptionist quoted a price higher than the one we had booked. This got sorted out eventually, but did not create an initial good impression. Our room was clean and comfortable. We slept well here except that I found the room a bit hot. We had free wifi here and it worked consistently well. Breakfast was quite good, but quite busy. There were coffee machines, tea, a machine for making freshly squeezed orange juice. There was bread, toast, croissant and pain au chocolate. There were cold meats and cheese. Replacing things that ran out could be a bit slow. We paid 15 Euros extra for a late check out. We found this very useful as we left on a late flight. Early check-ins are available at the same rate. There are two supermarkets near the hotel. We used the one in Heron City. There were also restaurants in this shopping centre. We liked the Salzburg Restaurant as you had your own draft beer tap on your table. The hotel is near transport so it is fine for getting to sights. For travel buy a T10 ticket. These are good value. Address: Paseo Andreu Nin 9, Heron City, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08016, Spain.

Ibis Barcelona Meridiana - Barcelona

Ibis Barcelona Meridiana - Barcelona

Our bathroom. - Barcelona

Our bathroom. - Barcelona

Chariot Statue.

Not far from our hotel near the Sant Andreu Arenal Station there was a statue located on a little grassy hill. The statue was of two horse drawn chariots with two riders one male; one female. The sign next to it mentioned the Barcelona Olympics, but I can find no more information about it. It was quite an attractive statue but rather hidden away among the trees.

Chariot Statue - Barcelona

Chariot Statue - Barcelona

Chariot Statue - Barcelona

Chariot Statue - Barcelona

Restaurants.

We ate in the Salzburg Restaurant in Heron City Shopping Mall twice during our stay. The first time was simply because it was close to our hotel. What we loved about it was that each table had its own draft beer tap. You just ask for glasses and pour your own draft beer whenever you want it. It is metred and your consumption is displayed on the wall. We thought this was a great idea. and the food was not bad either. I had chicken. Peter had sausages. We returned here again. Why? Well, did I mention we had our own beer tap on our table?

Salzburg Restaurant - Barcelona

Salzburg Restaurant - Barcelona

Salzburg Restaurant - Barcelona

Salzburg Restaurant - Barcelona

Salzburg Restaurant - Barcelona

Salzburg Restaurant - Barcelona

Posted by irenevt 07:20 Archived in Spain

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Comments

I completely agree with you about the Sagrada Familia. The market photos were my favorites. I love markets. We've had trouble checking into Ibis hotels a few times. It seems to be their Achilles heel. Once I was checking us in and they simply couldn't find our paid reservation. When my husband walked over to see what was going on, they immediately discovered it. Interesting . . .

That beer tap at the table sounds like a GREAT idea.

by Beausoleil

I've seen the beer tap on the table in a few places now. It must be catching on.

by irenevt

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