Barcelona History

Barcelona is the 2nd largest city in Spain, after Madrid and the capital of Catalunya.  It is the largest metropolis located on the Mediterranean coast and has a history that dates back at least 2000 years.

Walking tour

La Rambla is a popular street in central Barcelona. The name rambla refers to an intermittent water flow in both Catalan (the dialect of the region) and Spanish. A design of flowing water created by Joan Miro, a famous Catalonian artist can be found on the pavement. The bustling street of La Rambla in Barcelona provides a perfect introduction to the thriving coastal city. La Rambla is packed with restaurants, shops, museums, street performers and other attractions. If you are looking for the street, just look for all the people.

You won’t want to miss the Gran Theatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s 1847 Opera House that many art experts consider one of the finest in the world. At some point in your trip to La Rambla, drink from the fountains in Font de Canaletes. According to ancient legend, one drink from these fountains will ensure you “fall in love with Barcelona and always return.”  Who doesn’t want to fall in love in Spain?

Not far from the opera house tourists and locals can shop for food or handicrafts at the Mercat de La Boqueria, the city’s most famous public market.  Allow some time to browse through the market snacking on local produce, but I must warn you to look the other way if seeing animal heads and feet makes you quesy. This is the spot you can try some unique foods and maybe pick up spices, such as the famous saffron to take home. If you are visiting while temperatures are high, my best advice is to stop by La Boqueria for the freshest juice in the city.  With more than 40 flavors, deciding which flavor may be the hardest decision of the day.

Towards the harbor you will run into the Monument a Colom (Catalan), a 200 foot high monument that marks the place Christopher Columbus landed on his 1493 return from the new world. It was constructed in honor of the World Exposition in 1888.

Once you are down by the harbor you might consider riding in the Golodrinas boats. These boats began to take passengers during the 1888 World exhibition and continue today.  A ride along the coast will take about 35 minutes and if you prefer you can ride a more modern boat that sails out into the harbor and gives an excellent view of the city.  This ride lasts about 90 minutes.

Gaudi

Barcelona’s famous architect was influenced in his work by nature and this was seen in his curving of stones, twisted sculptures and the use of color. Park Guell is a magical park that has a large concentration of Gaudi’s work within one acre. Gaudi’s old home is found within the park and is open to the public. Another famous site is the World Heritage Sagrada Familia, a Roman Catholic Cathedral.  Gaudi worked on the cathedral until his death in 1926 and it is still not finished but being built entirely with donations.  Other important Gaudi landmarks worth visiting include Casa Mila and Casa Batllo. Gaudi had a style that was distinct and viewing his works allows your imagination to run wild.  Looking at Gaudi’s buildings is like looking at clouds; they are beautiful to gaze at but every person can interpret them differently.  Make sure that you spend at least one afternoon exploring Gaudi in Barcelona.  Your imagine will run wild just like Gaudi himself.

Magic Fountain show

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (Font màgica de Montjuïc in Catalan and Fuente mágica de Montjuic in Spanish) is a fountain located in the Montjuïc neighborhood of Barcelona that is illuminated with lights combined with music for a spectacular show. The fountain was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.

The Magic Fountain was designed by Carles Buigas and built with the help of over 3000 workers. It was damaged during the Spanish Civil war but restored before the 1992 Summer Olympics.

The light and music performances take place October through April on Fridays and Saturdays every half-hour between 7:00 and 8:30pm, and from May to September Thursdays through Sundays every half-hour between 9:00 and 11:00pm.   When I visit the Magic Fountain Show I feel like I am at Disneyland.