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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culture, history, people, photography, travel, world

Mercat de la Boqueria

600_6646sc_wWhen in Barcelona, don’t miss the big market hall “Mercat de la Boqueria” located in the old-town, next to La Rambla. You definitely dive into a wonderful experience. It’s not really a hall. It’s a big square, equipped with a roof carried by pillars. But, you’re still outside. So, you always have a slight fresh wind and get some fresh air, even when it is crowed. But, you won’t get wet, in case it starts to rain.

There are at least two entrances, when coming from La Rambla. As soon as you come in, you’ll astonish about all the smells, colors and product variety. Take you time for an extensive visit.

You can buy all kinds of food: fruits, veggies, bread, meat, fish, sweets, wine, ice-cream. All is available fresh and in huge masses. You can also buy ready-to-eat food to take with you or eat at once.

We were here at about noon. I’d recommend coming at least in the late morning hours at around 11h, or so. Keep in mind, the later you come, the more products are sold and the weather becomes warmer, what isn’t good for meat and fish. When coming around noon, you can have your lunch here and watch locals having lunch.

Don’t wonder about the funny dresses of some of the shop assistants – keep in mind, I took the photos at carnival 🙂

Take care!

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

Monochrome Madness 24

600_7592-b_wMy contribution to Leanne Coles Monochrome Madness for this week is taken in Barcelona.

You can see, the teacher’s desk in the school for the workers kids at the construction site of La Sagrada Familia. I’ll tell you more on La Sagrada in one of my next posts. Only so much for now, there was (and still is) a small building for the architect, the plans and to hold planning meeting. One of the rooms was equipped with several benches, a blackboard and some maps: the school.

Here, the workers kids (usually uneducated) get the opportunity to learn. One intention for this, beside the philanthropic idea, might have been to get new workers, but these would already have a certain kind of knowledge in math and technique. So, they might get better jobs at the construction site.

I’ll show you some more photos from inside the school soon, too.

So, stay tuned. Take care!

 
animals, architecture, culture, history, photography, travel

The hidden secret of Barcelona Cathedral

600_6615-e_wIn my last post on Barcelona Cathedral I wrote about a hidden secret inside the building.

Once, the cathedral was part of a monastery. Thus it has a cloister. The cloister was used by the monks for their religious exercises. It looks a bit like ancient roman houses were build: a roofed part of a house around an open atrium. Inside the atrium, you can find here a fenced garden with a pool and 13 geese. These geese are the symbol of St. Eulalia and are supposed to guard the cathedral and the monastery for centuries. You know, geese are better watchdogs than dogs, because they are unbribable and very brave to attack intruders.

To come here is easy, but a little bit tricky. On the right side of the cathedral you can find a small, dark door brining you to the cloister. Only a small sigh on the wall will lead you that way.

Here you can also find the gift shop, several old tombs and in one of the corners you can find another small chapel.

Take care!

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

The Barcelona Cathedral

600_6551-s_wThe cathedral of Barcelona is located at a huge square in the old town, but it is jammed between other houses and stands behind in the dark. On the stairs in front of the portal are the usual suspects: beggars, tourist guides with umbrellas and other funny marks to get the attention of their groups to get them all together, artists and musicians. All in all, a very unpleasant environment for a cathedral.

Even the inside is kind of crowded. Many visitors walking slowly up and down the aisles, chatting and taking photographs. Beside the altar the choir impressed me most. It is completely segregated from the rest of the cathedral, just like a church inside the church. Only monks and priests are allowed to take their place inside the choir (and tourists as part of a guided tour). All the others can look inside through the grid at the altar side of the choir (photo above).

When inside, pay attention to the carved hand plates between the wooden chairs in the choir. As far as I was able to see them, each one is different from the others. I included some in my gallery below.

Once the cathedral was part of a monastery. Although the buildings still exist, but, as far as I know, their isn’t any monk living anymore.

As you can see from the building style, the cathedral is quite old. It was founded back in the 11th century and is donated to St. Eulalia, the patron of Barcelona and a martyr in late roman times. She is buried under the altar and her martyrdom is engraved above the door of the choir. The Legend says, she was killed 4 times in a row.

You can also visit the cloister (I’ll show you the hidden secret of the cathedral in an other post) and the roof.

Visiting the roof costs you a small fee. Depending on the visiting time, you also have to pay an entrance fee for the cathedral itself. Visiting the choir also costs you a fee, but, I don’t know, where to pay.

To give praying room to the believers, there is a separate chapel right behind the main entrance on the right.

Now, feel free and look around by using my photographs.

Take care!

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

The stage at Palau de la Musica Catalana

600_6176-s_wAs I mentioned in my last post, the stage is very different to stages usually found in theaters and opera houses. While those stages are able to be modified by paper walls lowered from the drawing floor, we only find a small stage with a few steps in the back for a choir (and the organ above).

Do you see, the figurines on the wall? These are muses. 18 figurines, each equipped with a different musical instrument, are looking at the musical at the stage. So, the artist is surrounded by audience. The common people in front of the stage in the seats on parquet floor or on the balconies. And, to back and inspire the artist, the muses beside and behind.

As a visitor you can’t see all of the muses. And that’s ok, because they are here only for the musician. The photo above is taken while standing right before the stage. The farer you have your seat, the less of them you can see. In the photo gallery at the end of this post, I’ve put a few of them in detail.

The idea of a muse was born in ancient Greece. They are goddesses from the Greek mythology and responsible for inspiration, literature, poetry, science, music, arts and considered as the source of knowledge.

Even today there are saying referring to the muses, i.e. someone was kissed by a muse (= had a very good idea or a flow of inspiration).

I hope, you also got a kiss of a muse every now and then for your inspiration.

Take care!

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