Articles in ‘Gothic Quarter’
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.”
Picasso painted a series of paintings of the roofs of Barcelona in 1902 and 1903. Superficiously, television antennes and satellite dishes aside, the roofs of the old city haven’t changed much. but these bleak and barren views are of another city.
By general consensus, Santa Maria del Mar is the most beautiful of Barcelona’s churches and an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic. One of its most interesting details are the twin figures on the front doors. They show the dockworkers or porters of La Ribera, who gave up their Sundays over several decades to carry stone from the Foixarda quarry on Montjuic to help build the church.
La Miranda Del Museo is my favourite rooftop bar-restaurant in Barcelona. It is located between Barceloneta and the Gothic Quarter in the Palau de Mar, the only building which still survives from Barcelona’s Old Port. The first three floors of the building are taken up by the Museu de Historia de Catalunya. Take the lift up to the fourth floor. Superb views of Barcelona harbour, Montjuic and Tibidabo.
Mediterranean cusine specialised in seafood. A reasonably-priced lunch menu is available during the week. Cafeteria service is also offered during museum hours. A great place to admire the city with a coffee.
- Address: Plaza Pau Vila, 3
4th Floor, Attic
- Directions: Metro: L4 Barceloneta
- Prices (restaurant): €31 to 40
- Open: Tuesday-Saturday
- Telephone: 93 225 5007