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Music Palace

Set back a little from the northern side of the Via Laietana (and harder than you-know-what to find when you're walking endlessly around the block), is the Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music).  Opened in 1908, it is a most unconventional modernistic design.  The outside is covered with mosaics (which are quite popular in Barcelona) and operatic statues.  We toured the building, which was a bit more impressive on the outside than the inside, where it seats 1700. 

Music Palace Front of Music Palace

Click for Mosaic detail

Music Palace

Front of the Music Palace The Music Palace of Catalunya
Gaudi Architecture

Barcelona is the architectural jewel of Spain, with varied architecture ranging from the more traditional to that of Anton Gaudi.   Mosaics and elaborate carvings and details are common throughout the city.

Gaudi House Architectural Detail Gaudi House
Gaudi house (on the right) Architectural detail Gaudi House
Mom Barcelona architecture
Mom Interesting Barcelona architecture
La Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia church, designed primarily by Anton Gaudi, is under construction in the northeast corner of the city.  Each of the four facades is completely different.  Under construction since 1882, it is not expected to be finished for another hundred years.   Seemingly cursed, the church has suffered a series of calamities; Gaudí dies, run over by a streetcar - and in 1936 Gaudi's workshop and models were destroyed by fire and rioting during the Spanish civil war.

The three named facades are the Nativity Facade, the Passion Facade, the Glory Facade (not yet built), plus the Apse; each with four bell towers over 100m tall.  Much of the architecture and building orientation is symbolic.

Mom describes it as the ugliest building ever built!

Apse Passion Facade Nativity facade
The Apse Passion Facade Nativity Facade, oriented to the east and the rising sun
La Merced Parade

The Merced Festival was concluding during our second stay in Barcelona (with Barb).  Although it was impossible to find a published route for the parade, it went down Las Ramblas right in front of our hotel.  La Merced is one of the things for which Barcelona is known - it is the annual festival of their patron saint.

In addition to many concerts, fireworks, and other events; there is a Parade of Los Gigantes (giants).  The figures are about 15 feet tall, supported by a heavy timber structure.  A man stands inside the structure with it resting on his shoulders and walks with it.  Another person (or persons) walk with it to provide additional help/steering and they trade off frequently.  I'll bet it's also hot inside there! 

Barb and Chris Dragon Barb and Mom
Making sure we can find it! La Merced Parade Watching the parade
Giants Giants Pirate giant
You get some idea of the size here Right in front of our hotel on Las Ramblas!

We spent our last night in Barcelona anchored in the harbor, anxiously awaiting a (delayed) morning departure for our exciting cruise!

  Leaving Barcelona Harbor  
  Leaving Barcelona Harbor  

LINKS:

Travel information for Barcelona Interactive Map with Photos
FANTASTIC zoomable map  
 

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