architecture, culture, landscape, photography, travel, world

What’s left from Barcelona?

600_7906_wThere are many more stories to tell, and many photos more to show (and even to take). During our days in this city with a large history we were able to scratch the surface a little bit. We collected some impressions, visited some (in our opinion) important places. But, all of these is nothing compared to the history, collected over the centuries. In my opinion, one can travel on and on, and every time walking through the streets of Barcelona, she can find new places telling new stories. Just like any other place, too!

In this final post on Barcelona I assembled some photos taken in the former olympic area, the Ciutadella Park and the archaeological excavation area with remains from the ancient roots of the city.

Next week, I’m going to start my next series. It is on Iceland, as I already mentioned.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, people, photography, travel, world

Basílica Santa Maria del Mar

600_7822-s_wThis church is located near by the ocean. It’s also next to the zoo, the olympic village and the olympic marina.

As you can see, this church is old and is used by the mariners.  Before sailing in other countries, the mariners came here to pray for a good journey, good sailing winds, good businesses, no dangers and a well coming home.

This church is quite hidden between the old houses here in the tiny roads. It was a victim of several severe fires. So, not all painted glass windows are still in place. But, the remaining ones will give you an idea of the skills of the window painters, who created those windows.

Take care!

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landscape, people, photography, travel, world

Barceloneta

600_7946-e_wVisiting Barcelona isn’t complete without visiting the beach.

This beach isn’t old. It was reconstructed of the 1992, held in Barcelona. This wonderful beach is located directly at the old town of the city. Follow the street La Rambla downhill and you reach the ocean. Once, Barcelona was crossed by a river. But, the river was most of the time (almost always) without water. Thus, they transformed the riverbed to a street: La Rambla! And this broad street leads you to the harbor and the marina, both located at the ocean.

During this cold, wet and dark time of the year, here in the northern hemisphere, a little bit of color and warmth is very welcome. So, enjoy!

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architecture, art, culture, landscape, people, travel, world

4

600_7759-e2_wWhen I put this photo from Barcelona online on G+, I got a comment from a Russian Woman, Ирина Остапенко (Irina Ostapenko). By using the integrated translator, I was able to understand her writing, although the translation wasn’t perfect (like almost always).

Now, I tried to translate it into English.

Four Elements

Like sand slips though your fingers,
or time from previous lives – all in vain.
You know, a little life does not happen,
Just all depends on you.

Like water spilled from the mountains flow
It was gone and did not return.
For you let it be a life lesson
Paving the way of error.

As the fire burns around obstacles
All that was passing will fly away.
The past is no longer necessary to keep,
You repent, may God forgive.

Wind opens your door wide-
The Soul set free to walk.
Water running through the sand will wash away the sins of all,
So, she does not die in the fire …

I guess, my translation isn’t perfect. Just in case, someone of you is able to write a better translation, feel free, you can find it below.

I feel, the idea in this text fits perfectly to our current situation: between 2 years. 2014 is nearly over but left memories, 2015 is around the edge and bears hopes and wishes.

Here is the original text:

ЧЕТЫРЕ СТИХИИ

Как ПЕСОК сквозь пальцы убегает,
Время прожитое – прожито все зря.
Знаешь, мало жизни не бывает,
Просто все зависит от тебя.

Как ВОДА прольется с гор потоком,
Было и обратно не вернуть.
Для тебя пусть будет жизнь уроком,
Из ошибок выстилая путь.

Как ОГОНЬ сожжет вокруг преграды,
Все что было мимо пролетит.
Прошлое держать уже не надо,
Ты покайся, может Бог простит.

ВЕТЕР настежь дверь твою откроет –
Душу выпусти на волю погулять.
Сквозь ПЕСОК ВОДА грехи все смоет,
Чтобы ей в ОГНЕ не погибать…

architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

The school at La Sagrada Familia

600_7589_wRight next to the church you can find a small school set up for the workers kids to educate them and to teach them. In that time educate was a rare and expensive good. By teaching the workers kids, they offered them a career as a worker on the building site. While teaching them the basic math and tool handling they were able to get skilled and qualified workers. On the other hand, the kids got an opportunity get a job and to make their living. Keep in mind, other big cathedrals were constructed and build for at least decades. The construction of the cathedral in Cologne, for example, lasted more than 600 years! Thus, several generations of people were supposed to make their living on working on this cathedral. And, even after finishing such a building, some stonecutters will stay with the cathedral works to renew and repairs several parts every now and than.

Take care!

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Below La Sagrada Familia

 

600_7555_wBelow the church you can visit the workers area. Here you can find old paintings, plans, small model of different parts and so on.

You can reach this area also from the place before Christmas front. Leave the building and turn right. Follow the path leading you down, below the building.

Here, you can also find one of the two gift shops. 🙂 (The other one is on the Easter front side).

Take care!

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architecture, art, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technic, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 40

dsc_6816-s_wFor this weeks Monochrome Madness I want to take you to France. This is Abbaye de Jumièges in the Normandy. I took it a few years ago in April in early spring.

I picked it and processed it again with Tonalty Pro for this post. I gave it a slight vintage look, because in my opinion this look supports the mood of this photo.

As usual I started with preset and modified it afterwards. Therefore I gave it a slight sepia toning, a slight vignette to simulate a faint lens and a frame that brings a used-look. I know, there are many people, who don’t like frames around photos. But especially in photos with a vintage look, I like frames.

You know, I started photography many years ago and during my early years I also took many photos on black-and-white film. And, I also developed these films on my own im my own darkroom. I also did my own prints. Every sheet of paper had to be put under the enlarger and was hold by small plates to ensure, the paper lays flat under the enlarger. And, guess what, these plates hindered the light to exposure the covered parts of the paper and … left the frame!

So, you know, why I like frames around my bw photos every now and then.

Take care!

(as always: click on the photo to see them in a bigger size)

 

 

architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

Inside of La Sagrada Familia

600_7521-e_wHere we are! Inside one of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever seen!

This church has extremely much light inside, compared to other churches. Not only because of the glass windows at every side, but also from above. The whole church is inspired by a forest. Huge trees (the columns) are carrying the roof of leaves and branches. Between these leaves the natural light is able to reach the ground. Here you have the same, light channels are leading light from the sky inside the church. Also a technique, Antonio Gaudi used before: in Palau de la Musica. Even the big plates with the symbols of the evangelists are illuminated from behind by natural light.

The photo above was my first photo inside, right on our way to the towers, when the inside wasn’t much crowded. On the other hand, this inner circle with the benches was guarded, to give prayers a room.

Take care!

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architecture, art, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technic, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 38

600_7496-ec_wTodays photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness is taken in Barcelona earlier this year. Those, who follow my blog on a regular basis, might have recognized the photo. I was one of the photos in the gallery from the towers of La Sagrada Familia and I showed it last week already. But, that’s not completely true.

Although the photo, taken inside one of the towers, is a natural-born monochromatic photo, I converted it to bw with MacPhun Tonality Pro. I started again with one of the basic presets and adjusted the controls to bring out the fine structures in the stones. (btw. just in case, anyone is interested in a complete walk-through, just drop me a line).

These towers are really tight and you really need your hands. I guess, each stop is only 50 cm broad and you can’t pass anyone before you, expect on one of the few platforms or bridges to the neighbor towers. As you can see, you have a handrail on the right. On the left you have none, but the staircase is so steep, that the winding stone limiting the steps will be your handrail on to left.

The photo is taken handhold with an ultra-wide lens, a so-called fisheye. Beside carrying a tripod is forbidden, as I mentioned in my post last week, you won’t have enough room to set it up. Thus, your camera should be able to bring good results even in high iso. The downside of using a fisheye is, pay attention to your feet, hands, jacket and other visitors. You will definitely have some disturbing objects in your photo, if you don’t.

Take care!

(as always: click on the photos to see them in a bigger size)

600_7451-ec.jpeg_w

600_7450-ec.jpeg_w
Btw. I’d encourage you to give it a try. You can download a trial version for free and you can still use a 10% discount by using this code: solaner10

architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

above the city and the narrow paths back to earth

600_7448-e_wYou can also visit the towers of La Sagrada Familia. Currently the church has 8 towers, four at the Christmas front side and four at the Easter front side. The plan is, to build another four on each of the other sides. These twelve towers will represent the twelve apostles. The next four will be set up inside the circle of the twelve and representing the four evangelists. All of these will be towered over by one middle tower, representing Jesus Christ. When visiting the church, don’t forget to exit the building at the Christmas side and have a look at the model, showing the church in its finished state. It’s really amazing. I included a photo of each of the four sides of the church in my gallery, although they aren’t good. The model is behind heavy mirroring glass 😦

But, back the towers. As I wrote above, you can visit the towers and have to decide for one of the two sides, when ordering your tickets. Beside choosing you entrance time while buying your ticket, you have to choose the time for entering the towers, if you want. We were extremely lucky to have chosen 9:15h for our visit of the towers. Later I met people, who were unlucky, because to towers became closed because of heavy wind. When we were there, the Easter side towers were closed, so we were on top of the Christmas side. The elevator is reachable from the outside. It’s a bit hidden and now signs led us in the right direction. So here is my description: Leave the building at the Christmas side and turn left. There you can find a quite smaller entrance bringing you to the elevator. It’s forbidden to bring a bag, rucksack or so with you, but they have lockers (with a glass front) to store your bags.

The small elevator brings up to four people to the top of the tower. You leave it at the bridge level (look at my photos in the post on the Christmas front to get an idea). On your way down you can change the towers at several places. The stairs are really extremely narrow, so a bag or a rucksack really would hinder you.

Beside interesting details, you have a fantastic view over the city and the beach.

Enjoy!

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architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

The Easter Front of La Sagrada Familia

600_7424_wLast week I introduced you to the Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia. This week we walk around the church to the opposite side and have a look on the Easter front, where you can find the entrance for the common visitors.

Here we have a very different sculpturing style compared to the Christmas front. The complete story of easter is modeled in stone around the entrance. Try to find the roman soldiers and look at their helmets. What do you see? I see, they are looking gust like the fairy chimneys on to of Casa Milà.

When comparing the buildings, Antonio Gaudí has built, you can always find similarities. His whole designing live was inspired by organic structures and he used these ideas always.

Next, we’ll go inside the church and visit the towers.

Stay tuned!

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

The Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia

600_7419-e_wThe Christmas Front was the first of the four fronts, to be finished.

This is one of the side entrances to the church. This entrance is for guided groups. The entrance for the common people is on the opposite side.

I really advise you, to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the enormous queues at the cashier desks. When we arrived at about 8:30h the queue already surrounded one side of  church, approximately 300-400m. (And we were there on early March!). Our tickets were for 9:00h, so we passed the queues and went straight to the entrance on the Easter side, opposite to the Christmas side.

I’ll show some more details from the Easter side in my next post. The Christmas front is rich decorated with small and filigree details. Very hard to take photos of these details because of its size and the distance.

The both finished fronts are completely different. Not only in their theme, but also in the sculpturing style. Both of them are fantastic.

Antonio Gaudi was inspired by organic structures. Leaves, animals, shells, trees, fruits, flowers and many other organic structures gave him ideas for modeling his buildings. You can find all of those structures in nature.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, photography, travel, world

La Sagrada Familia

600_7409-s_wThis iconic cathedral is, although not finished, probably the best known symbol of Barcelona.  It’s also designed by Antonio Gaudi and, in my humble opinion,  his real masterpiece! This church is really adorable! I’ll show more of this fantastic building in my next posts.

This photo is taken from one of the two small parks beside the church. We were on location early to get a good spot. But, unfortunately they forgot to switch on the lights in time. Instead of getting photos of the illuminated church at twilight, we only got them at black night. How disappointing.

Antonio Gaudi died in 1926 because of an accident. The people at Barcelona tried to finish the cathedral, but without plans and the genius architect, it was nearly impossible. Thus, the works stopped quite often and were stopped completely in 1935.

Although many people voted to leave the ruin alone or to remove it completely, they started another try to finish the cathedral during the preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. And it makes a good progress. Entrance fees are used to continue building the cathedral and back in 2010 they reached a point, that the cathedral was able to be sanctified.

There is a hope, to get it finished until 2026 (the 100th anniversary of Antonio Gaudi’s death), because of the good progress. We will see.

Take care!

 

architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Park Güell – Inside the monument zone

600_7681-e_wAs I mentioned in my last post, I focus on the monument zone of Park Güell in Barcelona.

We started at the terrace and enjoyed the fantastic view over the city down to the ocean. Although it was extremely crowded we were lucky enough to get a free spot on the bench that surrounds the terrace.

It was also very hard to get a chance to photograph the tiled lizard fountain, the well-known emblem of the park. The pillar halls, planed for being a market place, were less crowded. Most people were interested in the tiled terrace bench and the lizard fountain.

For me, it was nice having been there and a fulfillment of a long-lasting dream. But, I won’t go again. It’s small, expensive and crowded. A Barcelona visit won’t be complete without this visit. But, there are other spots being worth a second visit, this not – sorry!

So, decided yourself!

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Park Güell

600_7626-e_wThis park is divided in two parts: the public park and the monument zone.

The idea for this area was, to create a closed urban quarter with houses for the rich surrounded with walls and guards. Some infrastructure buildings were set up in advance and one house. Unfortunately no-one was interested in buying one of the estates.

Later the area was converted into a park and donated to the public. It’s a nice park and freely accessible expect the monument zone. Although the entrance fee is quite high for such a tiny area, it is really a magnet for the people.

When we arrived, we first climbed up the left hill for getting an overview. Than we walked over to get our tickets for the monument zone. After waiting for nearly an hour, we got aware of an access limitation: Access in about 90 minutes! Because of this limitation many people in the queue before us, started walking away. And we used the meantime for visiting other parts of the public area.

So, you can find photos of both sides of the public park as well as some taken at the main entrance of the monument zone. The monument zone has three entrances: the main entrance is at the lowest part of the monument zone, while the other two are in the upper part to the lest and the right.

I’ll show some of my photos from inside the monument zone in my next post. Stay tuned!

Take care!

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architecture, culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

On top of Montjuïc

600_7296-ec_wMontjuïc is one of the 2 hills beside Barcelona. On top you can find a botanic garden, an old castle and a wonderful sight on the harbor, the see and the city. Your ticket for the public transportation allows for the funicular and the ropeway to come to the top easily. You can also walk uphill or take one of the busses. We had to take the funicular first and then the bus, because the ropeway was closed for service. What a pity.

Later we walked downhill. Every now and than you can get another interesting view of the city.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Casa Batlló

600_7240-s_wCasa Batlló is another building constructed by Antonio Gaudi and not far away from Casa Milà. Although it’s definitely worth a visit from inside, I wasn’t. One of our group, who already knew Casa Milà, visited Casa Batlló, while we were in Casa Milà.

Although all entrance fees are high in Barcelona, Casa Bathlló has the highest fee of all. Be prepared, to spend a lot of money on entrance fees.

– Palau de Música 18,00€
– Casa Milà (La Pedrera) 16,50€
– Casa Batlló 21,50€
– La Sagrada Familia  16,30 + tower 3,00€ €
– Park Güell  8,00€

And, although the entrance fees are so high, they are full of people. So, you better come early and be in place before opening. You also better buy your tickets in advance, wherever possible. The most crowded place was La Sagrada Familia, where the queue in front of the cashiers was several hundred meters long. Also at Park Güell, where we had to wait in queue for an hour or so and only got tickets allowing to enter about 1,5 hours later.

We were here in early March. How about in typical travel times? I won’t imagine this.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, people, photography, technic, travel, world

Visiting an Art Nouveau apartment

600_7187-s_wThe period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century is called Art Nouveau. It featured by very distinct kind of ornamenting. Design was very bloomy and used many floral elements. In most European countries it came to an end with the beginning of World War I in 1914.

In this context Antonio Gaudi was a child of his time, but he was very different and on his own with his style.

Also, in his style of designing houses. Each room has at least one window. The windows of the owners rooms, like dining room, living room or office are to the street, while the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room have their windows to one of the three atriums. Even the sleeping rooms for the servants got a windows – extremely rare for that time.

Beside the door you can find a phone, connected to the door in the street, to speak with a visitor without opening the door and – most surprisingly – open the door remotely.

Also, have a close look inside the bathroom and the equipment you can see: a bathtub, a water toilet and a bidet. On the other hand pay attention to the equipment of the laundry room.

Don’t forget, the house was built from 1906 – 1910.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, people, technical, travel, world

below the enchanted roof of Casa Milà

600_7148-e_wMy last post focused on the fantastic decorations at Casa Milà, the famous apartment building created by Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona. While my last post showed the rooftop and one of the entrances I take you now on layer down: under the roof.

An elevator brings you from the tourist (visitors) entrance to the roof top, the attic and the floor containing the untenanted apartment. But, you can also take the stairs down from the roof top and follow the path back to the street.

When entering the attic you’re faced with a model of the complete house. Here you can get an overview and an ideo, how all the parts fit together. Following the round track, you’ll get back to the stairs bringing you down to the apartment.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, people, technical, travel, world

The enchanted roof of Casa Milà

600_7056-e_wCasa Milà is an apartment building in Barcelona, located a the Passeig de Gràcia. It was built between the years 1906 and 1910 by Antonio Gaudi, the famous Catalonian architect. Do you remember, I already introduced him and I’ll focus on him in a future post a bit more and detailed.

He decorated the house with his unique decorating style, inspired by natural shaped and textures. He got his inspiration from plants, flowers, fruits, animals and many other shapes he found in the nature. There are a few more posts in the queue focussing on Antonio Gaudi’s work.

Not only the roof is following the round (not straight) shapes, also the building itself is in a round shape and the two atriums are oval. Even the apartments have round walls. One of the apartments is open for visitors. Here you can get an idea what kind of luxury wealthy people have had in Barcelona at the beginning of the 20th century.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, landscape, meeting, Music, people, photography, technic, travel, world

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

600_6989-s_wHere it is: the Magic Fountain of Montjuic!!

It a huge, illuminated fountain. At night you can see a fantastic light show with music here in the fountain. According to the played music the lights change their colors and the water nozzles inside the fountain modify their direction and their intense. What a spectacle!!!

During winter this only happens on week-ends, but during summer every night. It was very crowded, so go early to get a good spot. I can only remember the song played last: “Barcelona” by Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Caballé.

A very impressive experience (although a bit wet in some places because of the wind distribution the fine water in the air).

Enjoy the fountain.

Take care!

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flowers, photography, travel, world

dps Weekly Photography Challenge – Flowers

600_7330-ef_wThis weeks photo challenge at dps is on flowers. Although some people think, photographing flowers would be as easy as eating bread, it’s not that easy. Try it yourself. So, I’m not the typical flower photographer, but every now and then, I try it. Although, I’m often not very satisfied with the results. Nevertheless, I won’t to bore you with such lamentations.

Here is my photo:
I saw these funny flowers in Barcelona, Spain, when I was there in March. Their shape reminded me to a toilet brush. But, the colors are more appealing, aren’t they?

I’ve never seen such flowers before. Thus, I don’t know their name. In case, one of you know their name, please write it in the comment box below.

Take care!

art, culture, history, meeting, Music, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

“dancing in the street”

600_6842_wWho expected to read a post on David Bowie? Sorry, guys.

This post is also on Barcelona. You know, we were in Barcelone to escape the Carnival processions and fetes hold here in the metropolises at the river Rhine, as well as getting some sun and warmth during winter. Our plan on that certain saturday evening led us to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic (I’ll explain this in my next post). When we accidentally run into a carnival procession – what a funny coincidence.

Several groups of people were coming down the street dancing to music. As far as I understood, this procession was organized by people originating from south america.

Maybe, someone is here, who is able to confirm this and explain it bait more detailed.

Take care!

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