Barcelona – The Best of the Spanish and French Romance Languages.

How colorful and inspirational that city is. Read this article posted by Home By Design this week and learn more about this seductive city. If you are planning to go on vacation you may want to consider Barcelona.

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The city’s secret weapon is a quirky sense of humor. Storeowners hire graffiti artists to paint their rolling front doors and fashion designers use bright colors and clashing patterns to create clothes that are unexpectedly flattering. Antoni Gaudí’s world-renowned architecture is a bit cheeky; in the Sagrada Família Cathedral, for instance, local tour guides point out that Gaudí included a statue of himself with the twelve apostles.

This church, which is easy to easy to spot by the towering spires against the skyline, is the city’s most popular attraction. The architect began construction in 1883 and when he passed away the building was left unfinished. Today it remains in a constant state of construction and the best collective guess is that it will be finished in 2026. A combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, the interior has tall columns with animal carvings on the top, and blue stained glass windows that change color as the sun rises and sets, similar to ocean waves—reflective of Gaudí’s love of nature and creative use of light.

Walk along the serpentine trail of aqua colored tiles on the downtown boulevards and you’ll see today’s artists creating watercolors near the futuristic homes Gaudí created more than a hundred years ago. Two of the houses he designed, Casa Batlló, and La Pedrera, are now museums. With these and other homes, Gaudí used recycled materials, such as broken pieces of tile, to create colorful mosaics on the white stucco walls. His rooftop terraces and curving stairwells with rippling glass windows are still being copied today.

Finally Park Güell, a large garden also designed by Gaudí, greets visitors with a multicolored mosaic dragon. Have fun discovering the artist’s sculptures and tile work that depict animals hidden among the plants, rocks, and palm trees. Nature lovers will prefer the city’s Parc de la Ciutadella, originally built in 1888 for the International Exposition. Residents must appreciate the classic simplicity because they spend lovely lazy Sundays picnicking with their families on the lawns. The park, which includes a zoo and a lake with boats for hire, also hosts flamenco dance performances.

Sundown finds crowds gravitating to the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. The cascading waterfall changes colors in sync with the music, which ranges from opera to 1980s pop hits.

For art you can take home, visit the Gothic Quarter. Only local craftspeople and artisans are allowed to sell in certain sections here and the narrow curving streets are packed with delights such as Catalan ceramics, hot chocolate served with chorizo, and a Custo clothing outlet. The local label is known for its over-the-top designs that reflect the colorful Barcelona environment. The city’s Gothic cathedral is located at the entrance to the Quarter and if you’re lucky you’ll spot locals attending services in their finest church attire.

As lovely as the art and architecture are, they can’t compete with Barcelona’s natural beauty such as the white sand beaches that surround the city. The beachfront locations near the former Olympic Village have restaurants with colorful lounging couches where you can rest your tired feet while enjoying bar bites and sipping on sangria or cava. Cuisine is also an art form here. You’ll find tapas that are too pretty to eat, exceptional paella, and a traditional Spanish almond nougat candy called Turrón. For the best seafood visit low-key restaurants in the fisherman’s quarter where they casually hang drying clothes from apartment windows and cook their own catches daily.

Isn’t it time you fell in love again? Barcelona is waiting for you.

Source: Home By Design

Posted on June 4, 2013, in What's On and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Barcelona – The Best of the Spanish and French Romance Languages..

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