quotes about Barcelona

Trotsky in Barcelona

April 22nd, 2009

Another quote. Trotsky was escorted under arrest through the port of Barcelona in 1916. He wrote about the city in his diary:

“Big Spanish-French kind of city. Like Nice in a hell of factories. Smoke and flames on the one hand, flowers and fruit on the other”

Winston Churchill on Barcelona

April 22nd, 2009

Barcelona was the first city in the world to be inflicted with mass aerial bombing. Winston Churchill said to the House of Commons at the start of the Blitz.
“I do not want to undervalue the severity of the damage falling on you, but I trust our citizens will be capable of resisting as bravely as the valient people of Barcelona.”)
In all 2700 were killed in Barcelona by the bombs.
More here

Barceloneta Beach by Picasso

April 13th, 2009


Barceloneta Beach by Pablo Picasso, 1896 – Oil on canvas. Note the factories of Poble Nou and I think La Maquinista in the background. Picasso lived in the city as a young man between 1895 and 1904. It is also striking how bare the Catalan coast painted in the background was. We forget the massive reforestation in Spain since the 1960s as people no longer had to cut down trees for fuel.

  • Picasso in Barcelona (Bcn.net). He said of Barcelona “There is where it all began… There is where I understood how far I could go
  • ” Picasso thrived in the city, regarding it in times of sadness or nostalgia as his true home.” (Wikipedia)

Engels on Barcelona

March 22nd, 2009
Barcelona…has seen more barricade fighting than any other city in the world. 1873
F. Engels, Revolution in Spain

An interview with Manuel Vázquez Montalbán

March 19th, 2009

This was possibly the last interview conducted with novelist and political commentator Manuel Vázquez Montalbán before he died of a heart attack in Bangkok att he age of 64. He had been on a book tour of Australia and had spoken to Australian crime fiction magazine, Crime Factory.

Here’s was what he had to say about Barcelona:

What does Barcelona mean for you?

Barcelona is at the same time both the territory where my memory is formed and the place with which I have a relationship of  knowledge like that of a dog when he urinates in the four corners. He’s marked his territory. Given that it’s a city with many layers, it could be said that it is a various city in one, as I tried to show in my book Barcelonas, a book which has been translated into English. In books like The Pianist which are not part of the Carvalho series, Barcelona is primarily the city of the hidden memory, thanks to the Civil War, while in the Carvalho cycle of books, it is the setting in which is created the conflict with crime, and sometimes, between politics and crime.

  • Manuel Vázquez Montalbán – Wikipedia
  • Obituary The Guardian “A novelist, poet, essayist, political commentator, playwright and humorist, Vázquez was born in Barcelona’s seedy Barrio Chino neighbourhood just after the Spanish civil war. His father, a communist labourer, was imprisoned for five years after the war, and his anarcho-syndicalist mother was a seamstress. The author was passionate about Barcelona, especially its football club.”

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