Spain, Barcelona: The Catalan Metropolis V
We bring you the last part of our series on sunny a shinning Barcelona. The trip will end on Montjuïc.
Our journey in Barcelona came to its end. The last part of it will introduce you a monumental Montjuïc.
Barcelona is a huge city and you can see here much more than sights I have mentioned in my previous articles. For example sights that you should also visit are Neu Camp – the home stadium of a famous FC Barcelona, Fundació Joan Miró, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona Zoo etc.
However, one of the most important historic sights is most certainly Montjuïc. Its name means “Jewish Hill “ and the same name has a fortress on the top of the hill. If you will try to reach the top, you must prepare yourself for a steep walk. The fortress is massive. Originally there were several fortresses before the one you can see today, however the construction of today’s fortress began in the 17th century and some parts were built later in the 18th century. How did Spain look like in that time?
It can be said that the massiveness of the fort partially reflects the time it was built. The 17th century is called Siglo de Oro, a golden century. Conquering of the New World (in the case of Spain mostly South America and Central America) was commonly mentioned as some sort of adventure; however, in reality it caused hundreds of years long genocide of indigenous peoples. Some estimate Europeans caused death of over 150 million Indians.
The Spanish Empire was literally flooded with gold from the New World. This metal made of this realm a mighty European power for few following centuries and after its power began to decay, it still was for a long time an important European country. The fortress had a strategic position, which ensured the strategically important Barcelona harbor was protected. However, in the second half of the 19th century the fortress had been rebuilt to prison. During the dictatorship of General Franco (lasting from 1936 to 1975), there were mostly political prisoners.
Nevertheless, Montjuïc is not only a fortress. Its hillsides covered with forests were commonly used for agriculture or as pastures for domestic animals. A significant intervention to Montjuïc’s look was a construction of an Olympic stadium in the end of the 1920s. Before the real Olympic Games in 1992 the stadium had been renewed and its capacity raised to 56 thousand people.
Another important part of Montjuïc is a museum of arts Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Its main building, Palau Nacional, was built in 1920s. A massive neo-baroque building hosts a lot of kinds of arts – paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs etc. Particularly important part of museum’s exposition is the exposition of the Romanesque art. You can see here for example Sant Joan v Boí, Sant Quirze de Pedret nebo Santa Maria d'Àneu. From Palau Nacional you can easily get to one of the largest squares in Barcelona - Plaça d'Espanya. Somewhat of an entrance to it are two 47 meters high Venetian towers.
Text/photo: Maxim Kucer
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I walk in the park around Museum Prado. It is the temple of the art. Yet even the greatest of the art enthusiasts would get tired after couple of hours.
In narrow streets of historical center in Barcelona is really easy to get lost. However, you can be sure that you would always end up at some cathedral or, at least, small shrine. They are hard to see from distance, they just suddenly pop up in front of you. On the other hand, famous Sagrada Família is easy to see from distance.
I visited the Catalonian capital with my family for a week in the time of Christmas holidays. I like to learn about culture of the country I spend my time in so I spent lot of time wandering in the streets, in parks or had breakfast in back-alley cafes with locals. I enjoyed hours-long dinners having great tapas and even better wine. I tried to met as new people as possible. True, only disadvantage was that I didn’t speak Spanish or Catalonian.
Whether you are lured by noisy streets of Sevilla, rhythm of flamenco and Sevillans, mystery of Cordoba, charm of Cadiz, or beauty of Granada with the Sierra Nevada in the background. You simply can’t let this slip away...
My trip to sunny Andalusia, rhythm of unbounded and wild guitarist Paca de Lucía, flamenco dancers, people of Sevilla goes on and this time it takes place in marvellous Granada.
I believe I will visit Granada one more time at some point in the future. Yet now I head to Málaga and Córdoba.
Cordoba was the richest city of the West and the center of Islamic culture. First emirs resided in Seville. In the sixth year of Arab occupation (716) Emir Alhor moved his court to Cordoba. The ruled as deputies of the caliph of Damask. They were military warlords subordinated to the might of the House of Umayyad.
It is time to move on in the direction to Cádiz. Everybody recommended me to see it. So why not?
On my road from Cádiz to Toledo, I spent couple of days in Lisbon. I think I really deserve some comfort and a shower. Thus, I would live in a hostel this time.
From old fortress of San Servando I look deep down to a canyon between the rocks where the Tajo River flows. I admire the vista from the rock surrounded with the wall.
Having 512 meters, Tibidabo is the highest summit of the Serra de Collserola. Therefore, you should miss it if you want to enjoy one of the best vistas over Barcelona. Tibidabo is on city’s northwest. You can easily distinguish it for its white temple on the top.
Spain’s second largest city, the center of Catalonia, popular destination of digital nomads, and mostly the place from where you bring countless great experiences. Barcelona is very kind to any type of traveler and you can visit it in any season.
This rich city boasts with more than just architecture of brilliant Antonio Gaudí. In today’s part we will visit local aquarium and Barcelona coast promenade where are berthed historical ships and other interesting things.
«To the Prado Museum, to which I owe so many hours of happiness».
In Southern Spain nearly embracing Africa there is an unforgettable place full of warm colours and exciting and vivid experiences.
Many people may have heard about Seville before. Many of them are accustomed to see its image represented along with the Giralda, watching the city aware of all what may take place, from its 94 meters heights.
«I believe in eternity», said the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson when proclaimed to see the genius of Greece, Italy and Spain. Without any doubt, Emerson knew Granada or, at least, he had a feeling of how it would be like.
There was a time in where it was a village. That village was called Benidorm. We are talking of the years 1950s. Suddenly, I mean s-u-d-d-e-n-l-y, the Spanish government of that time decided that as we had such a lovely weather and those lovely beaches why were not we to use it to attract tourists.
Our trip to sunny Spain will be the last remark on summer this year that for the last time shows itself as the weather is really good this week.
In the third part of our series you can learn about other notable references genius of Antonio Gaudi, which are the Sagrada Família and Parc Güell.
In the second part about the beautiful city on the Mediterranean coast you can find out more about the beautiful villas that the famous architect Gaudí left here.
Welcome to our series dedicated to the fascinating Spanish city of Barcelona, which about we will be following three parts. In them you will know that it is a city that you should see at least once in your life.
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