Those of you looking to explore Modernisme in detail, beyond the usual Gaudi buildings, will enjoy visiting the recently renovated Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, at the edge of the Eixample district, and only a few blocks away from the Sagrada Familia (Gaudi’s church.) You can visit the Administration pavilion, the gardens, a couple of the pavilions which were once dedicated to healing the sick, and even some of the tunnels which once connected the different parts of the hospital, underground. The architect was Domenech i Montaner, the same one who designed the Palau de la Musica Catalana or the Casa Lleó i Morera, to name just his best known works. If you like glass, ceramics, or in general admire the beauty of Modernista architecture, this will be a nice addition to your exploration of thriving early 20th century Barcelona. To open up your appetite, check some of the pictures I took during my last visit.
It’s a beautiful day today in Barcelona! And the city is warming up for Easter. The other day I told you about the “Mones”, the chocolate figures that are so typical of Easter. Today the topic is the “Palmes”, or palm leaves which are used on Palm Sunday. If you stroll down Rambla de Catalunya these days you’ll be able to find them on display, for sale. They are gorgeous!
If you had just one hour in Barcelona that’d have to be spent at the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s church. If you came back for another hour the following year, I may have to give you the same recommendation. Why? Because the Sagrada Familia is a work in progress and it never shows the same face, since 1882 when it was first started. The other day a new window was put in place and couldn’t help but taking a picture to share that moment with you.
When touring Barcelona one often looks up to see the gorgeous buildings the city is dotted with. But looking down can be rewarding too, since the ground tiles of many Barcelona streets, and especially those in the Eixample district, are very pretty. They come in different shapes. The ones on Passeig de Gracia are hexagonal and were designed by Gaudi for the interior of the Casa Batllo, and later applied to his Casa Mila “La Pedrera”. Most of the other ones are square and come in different patterns. Typically the pattern is the same on the same street, or at least on the same block, but as I was walking down Diputació street earlier today I ran into a puzzle of different ones within just a few feet from each other, which is unusual. I took a few pictures and thought it’d be nice to talk you into looking down for once. In Barcelona, there’s beauty on the ground too!
Since I imagine I am not the only one who loves chocolate, this post is dedicated to those of you who share this passion with me (and there are quite a few of us out there!) These days, just before Easter arrives, Barcelona’s best bakeries display in their windows a festival of figures made of chocolate. They are named “monas”, which literally translates as “female monkeys”, and according to our tradition, children get one from their godfather. It’s an expensive duty, since they can be very ellaborate. So if you happen to be in Barcelona these days you’ll see them around, and may not resist the temptation. Just look at the price tag first before proceeding to the cash register, since they can easily cost 100 Euros or even more. By the way, the word “mona” doesn’t actually relate to the primates. Apparently, it comes from the arab “munna”, which meant “mouth gift”. And what a delicious gift for your mouth these are!