A beautiful photo of Barcelona by MorBCN on flickr.
The Afro-American poet Langston Hughes visited Barcelona in 1937 as a newspaper correspondent for the Baltimore Afro-American. He saw the terrible destruction in the city caused by the bombing.
I came down from Paris by train. We reached Barcelona at night. The day before had been a terrific air raid in the city, killing about a hundred and wounding a great deal more. We read about it in the papers at the border. Last night, I thought. Well tonight, I’ll be there. Here (October 23, 1937)
He was inspired to write the poem Air raid: Barcelona (from here). The imagery is stark. East is back to Mallorca where Mussolini’s squadrons were based.
The death birds wheel East To their lairs again Leaving iron eggs In the streets of Spain.
Black smoke of sound Curls against the midnight sky. Read the rest of this entry
With only two narrow lanes of traffic astride a tree-lined pedestrian walkway, Barcelona’s Las Ramblas is often cited as a success in urban planning. The reality, however, is somewhat different. Hemmed in by the layout, when the shoppers, gadabouts and meanderers are out in force, the pressure pushes them back out: straight into the roads. At such moments, no number of trees or funky shops can conceal the overwhelming impression that the boulevard which cuts through the heart of the city centre is nothing more than a 1.2km-long traffic island.
Barcelona Photoblog by Carlos Lorenzo is a consistently interesting photo site on which we accompany Carlos on his travels around his city.
Here is on The Estació de França
Estació de França is a magical place for architecture enthusiasts. As seen from La Ribera quarter on the other side of Marques De L’Argentera avenue the place looks rather dull and does not give you any clue of the beauty inside. The moment you walk under its gates the light coming through the stained glass both in the domes and walls gently falls on the polished marble floors creating this mysterious soothing church-like atmosphere quite pleasant if you are about to travel. In fact, I felt like skating across the hall in the way a child would do. The elaborate modernist and art deco motifs and especially those metal spheres hanging from a sort of ring tied to the domes are a pleasure to the eye. Although the railway station has been there since 19th century the building was rebuilt in 1929 for the International Exhibition by renown Spanish architect Pedro Muguruza who held important positions in Francisco Franco’s dictatorial government but that’s another story.
As he puts it “Barcelona pictures there are many, commented Barcelona photos there are few, so I intend to provide not just images but information about the daily life of the city and some aspects of artistic expression such as Barcelona sculpture, Barcelona architecture, Barcelona street art, Art Nouveau or Modernisme.”
The latest figures on tourism in the city:
Depsite the crisis, tourist numbers in Barcelona rose in the first quarter, after a 3-year decline, with a 11.7% rise of visitors over the same period in 2009. Average hotel occupancy rate from January to March of 60%, higher than in the same period in the previous year. Spanish tourists make up 34.7% of the total number of visitors. The number of French, North-American and German tourists also rose, while the number of visitors from Italy and the UK (now 7.3%) fell. The cruisers reported a significant decline in the first quarter of this year, with an 8.55% decrease in the number of passengers over the same period in 2009. El Periodico
Employment and welfare through economic development or an unsustainable model and no respite for us from the hordes of us?