The week of Semana Santa I took a quick trip to Barcelona to see some of the greatest architecture of all time and strut the streets of this beautiful city as the Cheetah Girls taught us how…
Barcelona is a pretty incredible city, full of historic architecture, yet modern buildings. It is a beautiful place to visit but when I compared it to Sevilla I was so glad I didn’t study abroad there because it has such a different and “cold vibe”. Here are some of the places I visited and loved there:
Mercado de la Boqueria
The perfect place to eat some paella, Iberian ham, fresh seafood, and natural juices, a good place to eat a quick snack, or even lunch because there is something for every taste.
OMG, the colors of this place!! I remember seeing pictures and videos of it in movies and books, and to see it in real life was incredible. I have always been fascinated by fun architecture, and seeing the creativity that Gaudí had when designing this was amazing… plus who would’ve ever thought of mixing all of these colors and materials together and making such beautiful buildings?? Not only was I amazed by the beauty of every single detail, but the best part about it was strutting down those steps as the Cheetah girls did!!
La Sagrada Familia
Okay, Gaudí just kept amazing me… I remember hearing about the Sagrada Familia and looking at pictures of it, plus my dad is an architect so I had my fair share of exposure to it, BUT I could’ve never imagined the magnitude and beauty of it… When I walked up to it I couldn’t believe the detail and size of it, I was absolutely SPEECHLESS! I mean the entire Bible story is in it, and the fact that I could make out what each image and scene represented by just looking at it shows the magnitude of Gaudí’s talent and wit. My amazement for it kept growing as I walked into the church for our tour, I had literal tears in my eyes when I walked inside and saw the incredible architecture and stained glasses, everything had a reason and explanation for it. One of my favorite things about la Sagrada Familia was the stained glass windows, which when letting the sunlight in it gives the temple a colorful and unique feel. When Gaudí designed this cathedral he wanted to make sure that everything was meaningful… and here is my favorite part: each facade of the building represents a different stage of Jesus’ life; so for example, the front of the church represents the Nativity, and the opposite facade represents the passion of Christ. When you walk into the cathedral you realize that the stained glass windows that are on the side of the Nativity are blue and green, while the ones on the Passion side are red and orange… Now, what do these colors mean?, and why is it so cool that Gaudí designed it this way? Well, blue is usually associated with calmness, representing the birth of Jesus, while red is the color of fire and blood, hence on the side which represents Jesus’ death… I mean who else would’ve thought of details like that??!! The stained glass allows for the sunlight to come in and reflect into the white walls and ceilings, creating a different ambient during different seasons and time of day.
Cathedral of Barcelona
Although in the shadow of La Sagrada Familia, this cathedral in the gothic quarter of Barcelona is still worthy of visiting, plus you can go on the roof for 3 euros and get a great view of the city.
Other beautiful and fun places:
- Las Ramblas: a unique street full of life where you will find lots of street artists, and fun shops.
- Barceloneta beach
- Casa Mila: unfortunately we didn’t have time to go inside, but even just admiring Gaudí’s work from the outside was incredible. (PS: Casa Battlo- another of his famous houses- was closed due to renovations, so we weren’t able to see it).
- Arc de Triomf
- Sants-Montjuic: This palace is home to the National Art museum of Barcelona, as well as the Montjuic Magic Fountains, which by the way are only on a few days a weeks and unfortunately for us, Wednesday’s are not one of them. Make sure to check the schedule of the shows before heading there, because it’s supposed to be worth the walk!!