Barcelona is very unique and distinct in its culture, history and architect. Another popular attraction is the Gaudi House Museum. The museum was designed by Francesc Berenguer I. Mestres and was sold to Antoni Gaudi for his own residence as he resided there form 1906-1925. It became a museum on September 28, 1963. Another fascinating building is the Casa Batllo. Also known as the House of Bones, this building is very surreal and appears dream-like. It was one of Antoni Gaudi’s houses in which he also designed. This Museum looks marvelous as it reminds me a life-sized gingerbread house. I saw the museum from the Güell Park and it looks very surreal.
The view from Güell Park in Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.
After viewing the Casa Batllo, I accidentally found myself at Las Ramblas. Las Ramblas is a long pathway in the middle of Barcelona that serves as a major tourist hub. You can find people street busking (performers of all types), shops, restaurants, souvenir vendors, barbers, and so much more. Exploring the city of Barcelona was very simple. The Metro subway takes you all around the city. It was not as elaborate as the subway system in Madrid but you could still visit all the attractions by using the subway.
Subway in Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.
Barcelona has very amazing architecture everywhere you look. Later, I found myself in the Gracia area. This district is the second most densely populated and the most cosmopolitan area in Barcelona. A real tranquil spot to hang out was the Plaza Trilla. I spent an hour there just catching the amazing view of Barcelona while practicing my Catalan.
Gracia District of Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.
Barcelona, Spain is a must-see for art enthusiasts and cultural travelers!
After spending a few days in Madrid, I headed to Northern Spain. North Eastern Spain is very interesting. It contains its own autonomous community known as the Catalonia Region. The Catalonia Region consists of fours provinces including Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, and Barcelona. Barcelona is the largest of all the provinces and is also the second largest populated municipality in Spain after Madrid.
Catalonian Flag; Courtesy of Google.
As soon as I arrived, I noticed the diversity of this city. The official language is Catalan but people speak other languages including Spanish, Aranese, French, and English. Catalan is so interesting because it is a mix of French and Spanish. That makes so much sense because Barcelona borders France! I met a Cuban immigrant whom showed me around several places in Barcelona. There were so many beautiful beaches. I felt like I was in the California of Spain. All beach lovers should visit Barcelona!
Barceloneta Beach in Barcelona; Photo Courtesy of www.renfe-sncf.com
One of the main highlights of Barcelona is the Basilica Temple of Sagrada Familia. This is a Roman Catholic church that started to be built in March 19, 1882. It still remains incomplete. It is also worth mentioning that because of its Basilica status, the temple receives certain privileges from the Pope. It a wonderful marvel and when I was there I noticed that they were adding modern figures to the building. I spotted an astronaut figure sculptured into the main entrance. It is expected to have 18 towers once completed. These towers are to represent the apostles, the evangelists, Virgin Mary and even, Jesus Christ. It one of the world’s most famous temples and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was mainly designed by a Catalan architect named Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí specialized in Catalan Modernism and used his own highly-unique architectural designs. Therefore, the Basilica Temple of Sagrada Familia is Barcelona’s most visited tourist attraction with over 3,000,000 visitors each year.
The Basilica Temple of Sagrada Familia; Photo Courtesy of Tony Polanco.