The Miro ground mural, tourist central.The line of the Rambla follows one of the old city rivers within which the old city was built in, the Cagallel (the turd bearer), the other also being a poo named river, the Merdanca (the shit stream). In the 13th Century, Jaume 1 built a wall to enclose the Gothic city, The rambla was the zone outside the exterior wall.
La boqueria market
A wonderful food market in the heart of the city. Go in and see the sights, hear the sounds, smell the food, taste the richness. Guy Kawakaski was very impressed with it and made a nice foto folder of his time there.
The part of the city known once as Barri Xino (the chinese neighbourhood). Its the most multicultural part of the city and has much hidden gems, it still is a bit rough, with pimps, druggies and prostitutes hanging out. Go explore, but be careful.
El Call, the Jewish Ghetto
One of the narrowest streets in the city. In the old days people would have crossed from roof to roof, as the Jewish community was closed off from the rest of the city. Europes oldest synagogue is housed here.The Jews have had a terrible time in most places, including Barcelona. In the 1300´s they were blamed for the Black death and there were pogroms. In 1492 they were finally exiled from the city.
Europes oldest synagogue
View this site of much history at Carrer de Marlet, 5. More info about the history of Barcelona’s Jewish community at www.calldebarcelona.org
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
One of the cities most beautiful squares, site of childrens schools Bombed by Hitler during Spanish civil war, later used as zone of execution of anti fascists when Franco won the war.
Plaça de Sant Felip Neri
Nationalist aircraft bomb Madrid in late November 1936.
Outside the old Roman North gate, 1 of 4 leading from the old Roman city. You can see the last bit of the aquaduct. (Detalle ciudad Barcino.)
City Architecture School – Picassos Miro joke
A funny story for an ugly 1970´s building
The 14th Century cathedral dedicated to Santa Eulalia, still has an internal cloister garden within which there are always 13 white geese, 1 to sybolise each year of the life of the saint.
Santa Catarina market
A bold colorful architecture, a retrofit of a local food market, of which each barrio still has their own, serving local fresh fruit and vegetables.
You can view down through the windows of the city history museum, to see the amazing ruins of the Roman city, 5 metres below the present level.
The Kings steps – Placa del Rei
Another gem of a square in the Gothic quarter. This is where Colombus reported back that there was a New WorldIn the evenings you can see people sitting out on the steps, sharing beer or playing music. Quiet often there are Catalan dancing evenings and free city concerts here.
The stories of the “Father of Catalunya”, St George and the Dragon and the Kings Jewish wall. Later We will hear how he is related to the Catalan flag, the sanyera, and a bit about dragons, roses, virgins and romance…
Old gardens of the Spanish viceroy
Now housing the Crown of Aragon archives, Archivo General de la Corona de Aragón, a wonderful example of a cool interior space, with flowing water and much greenery creating a microclimate to cool the rooms surrounding, an example found in much muslim architecture.
Cathedral gargolyes and the Senyera
The Cities Cahedral, like many other Gothic buildings, has gargoyles (demons to warn away evil spirits, that double up as excess rain water run offs) but in this case they are of farmyard animalsAlongside we will see 1 of the many Senyera, the Catalan flag. We will hear of its origins and a little more about Catalan identity and life, like their dislike of bull fighting and their love of human tower building.
The peak of mount Tabor, behind an old door, old remnants of the Roman city can be viewed.
Placa de San Jaume
This is the centre of power, hasn’t moved far in 2000 years. The city hall, the ayutamento, stands on the sea side and facing it is the Generalitat, or centre of power for the state of Catalunya. The square sees a lot of demonstrations…
The political heart of Catalunya is filled during the outbreak of the civil war.
The political heart of Catalunya is filled during the outbreak of the Iraq war.
Square with kids playground
After democracy was restored, one of the first acts of urbanism, was to open up spaces for the public to congregate again. This is one of the few in the Barri Gothic, but in it you can see how well used kids zones are here. Kids are valued in Spain and it is normal to see fathers after work rolling around on the ground with their kids, which is seen to less of an extent in the colder northern countries.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon or “Las señoritas de Avinyó”: Remember that famous Cubist painting by Picasso, come here and find out the full story…
Placa George Orwell
George Orwell was a famous British author who came to fight against facism during the Spanish civil war. He got shot and this triangular square was named after him. Its more locally known as Placa Trippi.
A few links, films etc…
– 1492, was when Colombus “found” the new world. On his return to Spain he delivered his news of this world on the steps of Placa del Rei (the Kings square)
– “Més que un club”, meaning ‘More than a club‘: Barca, one of the greatest football teams in Europe at present. In 2009 they won the triple: the cup, the league, the European champions league. As ever, the fans go mad with celebrating, in many ways they see it as a win for Catalunya over Spain and beyond.
– The recently UNESCO patrimony to humanity past time of Catalunya; making human towers- Castells
– CAGA, shit… Ok, so, a rather strange part of Catalan culture is their open and celebrational views on that basic of human functions… Shitting.
Here is the Catalan only tradition of kids beating a log of wood called CAGA TIO, or UNCLE SHIT, and they sing a lovely little ditty…
Shit Uncle, Youd better shit out some sweeties, and none of that smeely salty fish, shit us out some sweets, which are much better… (more or less)
So, as well as that fella, they also have EL CAGANER, or THE SHITTER. In the cribs, where the 3 kings are visiting the newly born baby Jesus, out the back there is always a Catalan fellow going for a dump, i shit you not…. Catalunya