The incredible mind of Antoni Gaudí

12 Dec

The origin of Gaudí’s art

Have you ever wondered what was in Gaudí’s mind when he decided to create art the way he did? What was he thinking when he designed monuments like “La Sagrada Família” or “La Pedrera”? Truth to be told, Gaudí was, for sure, one of a kind. An incredible artist who found a unique way to express how he envisioned the world. And one of the questions I ask myself when I think about this is: What is it that makes his work as beautiful as it is?

Before answering all of that questions, first, we have to understand how Antoni Gaudí was as a person. To do that we’ll go back in time to see a little bit of his life, the things that marked him through it,  his beliefs and what made him the way he was.

Gaudí was born the 25th of June of 1852 in Reus or Riudoms (it’s not known for sure which of these two Catalan towns watched the artist be born). As a child, Gaudí suffered from poor health, which contributed to his timid and reserved character. Because of this, he had to spend a lot of time in a country house in Riudoms (Mas de la Calderera), where he built interest in nature and animals.

Besides that, thanks to the work he did as a boilermaker in his family’s repair shop, he started to get the knowledge necessary to work with volume.

On another hand, as a young adult, he studied architecture in Barcelona while working in architecture studios to pay for his studies, in which he already started to show signs of brilliance, and even got to work with some of his professors.

After he received his degree, he established his own study and met Eusebi Güell, who ended up being, not only a good friend but an important driving force in Gaudí’s art.

That way, we can tell that some of the experiences he lived during his life made an impact in the way he designed buildings and did his art. As you have read, the presence of nature for longs periods of time in his childhood is one of them. After all, Gaudí found sense in the essence of nature itself, following its patterns and respecting its laws. He wanted to cooperate with it to make his architecture as beautiful and sustainable as possible and believed that a way to be original is to return to the origin.

Another one is the time Gaudí spent at his family’s repair shop where he learned to conceive space and the transformation of materials.

Now that you know a little better where Gaudí’s inspiration comes from I’m sure you’ll want to see the wonderful things he made thanks to it. Some of the places and monuments you can visit in Barcelona are “Casa Batlló”, “La Pedrera”, “La Sagrada Família” or “El Parc Güell”. It would be great to see these masterpieces in person, right?

The legendary origin of Barcelona

28 Nov

Barcelona is one of the most well-known cities in the world. It receives millions of visitors a year thanks to its famous monuments and attractions, some of them as old as the city itself. Have you ever thought about how old Barcelona actually is? This question brought me to search about the origin of the city, and it wasn’t the historical version that drew me in, but the mythological one.

You may be wondering what kind of mythological origin it is. Does it have gods? Adventures? Heroes? The answer to all of those questions is yes. It has all of that and more. After all, Barcelona was created by a demigod. Yes, you read it right. A demigod. To be more precise, a roman one. Can you guess who could it be?

In case you haven’t guessed, the one I am talking about is Hercules, son of the god Jupiter and the mortal Alcmena. His name probably rings a bell. All in all, Hercules is the protagonist of a good number of Roman legends and myths. But, which one of these myths explains the birth of Barcelona?

Believe it or not, this legend begins at the moment Hercules went mad and killed his sons. As a punishment, he had to serve the king Eristeo for 12 years and do one particular task for him each year. Out of all of the tasks Hercules had to do, the 10th was the one that unintentionally caused the creation of Barcelona.

This specific mission consisted in stealing the flock of cows and bulls from the giant Gerion and bring it to Eristeo. When he arrived at Heriteia (the present-day city of Cadiz) to accomplish this task, he had to fight against Gerion to get his flock. To do it, Hercules transformed into a giant and fought on top of the whole Iberian Peninsula, using the entire land as a massive ring. After a week of fighting Hercules killed Gerion, winning the battle.

How is this great adventure related to the birth of Barcelona?

Well, the thing that connects the creation of Barcelona with this legend is Hercules procrastination, considering that instead of bringing the flock of cows to Eritreo right after the fight ended, he decided to take a little rest and lie for a while.

It was later, when he stood up, that he realized in what of a gorgeous place he had been resting. Hercules was so captivated by its beauty that decided to create Barcelona right there.

It is a pretty good story, isn’t it? In my opinion, for a city to have a legend like that it’s very cool. It makes me want to investigate more about it. What about you? Wouldn’t it be great to find about the many myths of Barcelona in person? Will there be a sculpture of Hercules hiding somewhere? Or will you find others demigods in the streets of Barcelona?

The saint who fought for her rights

14 Nov

The Patron Saint of Barcelona: Saint Eulàlia

Could you imagine a 13-year-old girl fighting for her right to believe in whatever she wants? Defending her freedom of choosing a religion, and doing it not just for herself, but for the citizens of the city where she lives, too? If you think about it, it’s something not everybody would be brave enough to do. But, here in Barcelona, we’ve got someone like that, or at least that’s what the legend says.

The person who I am talking about is Saint Eulàlia, the little girl who got to be the patron saint of the city thanks to her courage and bravery. Her story begins way back in time when Barcelona was called Barcino and the Roman Empire was at its peak.

Saint Eulàlia, born in Hispania during the 290 a.C., was originally from Desert del Sarrià, situated in Pla de Barcelona, and belonged to a well-off Christian family at a time which Christianity was persecuted and punished by the Roman Empire.
When she reached 13 years old, Saint Eulàlia ran away from home to appear in front of the authorities to show her opposition to the law and protest against the persecution of Christian believers. The governor, infuriated with her behavior and the fact that she wouldn’t refuse to her faith, sentenced her to die after suffering 13 different types of tortures. As many as her age.

You may not believe me, but after the tragic events that happened in her life just for wanting to have a right everybody should be able to have, it wasn’t until 633, that she was canonized and became the saint patron of Barcelona.

After reading this legend and realizing why this girl turned in to be the patron of the city, you may be wondering if there’s any place you could visit related in some kind of way to the Saint, right?

Well, there is a place in the city that could be of your interest. That place is the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, the cathedral of Barcelona. There you can find the Crypt of Saint Eulàlia, situated under the high altar of the temple, where the remains of the Saint were moved in 1339 from the Basílica de Santa Maria del Mar to the cathedral.

In this rare gothic crypt, the remains of Saint Eulàlia lie in the sarcophagus of alabaster, made out of said stone, carved by the Italian sculptor Pisa Lupo di Francesco and decorated with different stages of Saint Eulàlia’s life, four angels and the Mother of God with baby Jesus.

What are your thoughts about Saint Eulàlia’s story? Could you imagine yourself doing something like what she did? I am sure, now that you already know some of her story you are more even more curious! I mean, who wouldn’t be?

Sónar 2018

13 Jun

“Sónar” is a three-day electronic music festival which got founded 1994 in Barcelona. The festival is divided into two parts: “Sónar by Day” and “Sónar by Night”, with Sónar+D, which is a three-day congress about Creativity, Technology and Business.

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Street food market in El Born

8 Jun

The El Born district is one of the districts nearby Las Ramblas. This trendy barrio hosts the 3rd edition of the “Born Street Food” on the 15th to 17th july. It is a gastronomic project of the cooks, stores and restaurants of EL Born, that united to present the high-quality gastronomy, which you can find in this historic district. 14 different cooks are invited to show their best food at the Plaza Pla de Palau, where the event is going to occur.

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14th Modernist Fair of Barcelona

30 May

The Catalan Modernism is very important and present in Barcelona. From the 1st to 3rd June this heritage gets valued. The epicenter of the fair will be at C/Girona between Diputació and Diagonal. Series of activities that include workshops, guided tours, live music, vintage car parades, conferences, the modernist “cycling run gonadas”, and many more cultural and recreational activities will take place.

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Reopening of the Mercat de Sant Antoni

23 May

After nine years of remodeling work, the Mercat de Sant Antoni opens its doors again today. It is by now the most modern city market.

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Arc de Triomf

15 May

The Arc de Triomf was built as the main access gate for the Barcelona World Fair. The World fair in 1888 was showing the best of Catalan and Spanish art and architecture. It can be understood as a “festival of nations”. Over 2 million people came to visit this fair, some from even as far as the U.S. or China.

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La Boqueria- Where does the name come from?

7 May

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La Boqueria is the oldest market in Barcelona (the first historical reference is in 1217). It started when some merchants settled at the gates of the old town of Barcelona in order to avoid paying taxes. Most of them where Jewish butchers and sold “boc” meat (goat).

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Casa Terradas- “Casa de les Punxes”

4 May

The Casa Terrades is located on the big Street Avinguda Diagonal. The “House of Spikes” is a residential block built in the shape of a medieval castle.

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Josep Puig i Cadafalch reformed three buildings into one. Bartomeu Terradas wanted a house for his three daughters. That’s why they joined three houses which they owned before. Now they are like individual houses with their own entrances, but linked together on one site.

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