Monday, November 25, 2013


Last weekend I went to Barcelona with a friend of mine who is studying in England. Unfortunately it was raining all weekend but that didn't stop us from having a really amazing time.
The city of Barcelona.
Sadly my iPhone was stolen in the Paris underground right before my trip so I was unable to take any photos. However I did buy some cool postcards, so I will be showing you the city through them.

I didn't know a lot about Barcelona before I went there, so I ended up learning some really interesting things about the city. I took a couple walking tours while I was there which were really informative (if you're in a new city, I highly recommend doing a walking tour). To beginning, it's important to know that Barcelona considers itself to be less a part of Spain and more a part of the autonomous community of Catalonia. Recently there has been some tension in the country because Catalonia wants it independence from the rest of Spain. It's kind of complicated and I'm not to clear on the details but I do know some cool stuff about the region! They say that when Saint George, a dragon slayer, was finally killed by a dragon, someone (if memory serves it was the French king) came and drew four stripes on Saint George's shield, giving him a suit of arms; this is now the flag of Barcelona. This is also the city where the king and queen met with Christopher Columbus to help support him on his trip to find "India". We all know how that story ends.

Barcelona has sadly been on the losing side of many wars and battles over the years and there's evidence of this all over the city. Old buildings with bullet holes and craters caused by bombs can be seen. This is largely to do with the Spanish Civil war and the War of Spanish Succession. At the Siege of Barcelona in 1714, the Catalans won and now commemorate that day, September 11th, as the National Day of Catalonia. On this day, they have a big festival and build these human towers called "castells" which in Catalan means castle. I unfortunately wasn't in the city to see it but here's a postcard with a picture.
A Castell and the Cathedral of Barcelona.
Looks pretty scary to me; I definitely don't want to be at the top of that! Another really amazing part of the city is the architecture of Antoni Gaudi. He was a very proud Catalan man who was the figurehead of Catalan Modernism. He has some incredible works in the city including Park Guell, Casa Batllo, and (of course) the Sagrada Familia. He spent the last 15 or so years of his life planning and starting the construction of this truly massive and breathtaking church.
Postcards ofa statue from the outside of the church, the outside and the inside.
Inside the church.
Despite how incredibly gorgeous it is, there is a lot of controversy that follows the building of this church (like most large monuments). An incredible amount of money has been fueled into this monument, and is currently being funded by the Vatican. When the building started in 1882 and when Gaudi became involved a year later, many of the citizens of Barcelona were starving and living on the streets. This of course begs the question, where were the city's priorities at?

The Casa Batllo was another Gaudi building I got the chance to see the outside of (it was expensive to go inside!) It really is probably one of my favorite building in existence. The original building was constructed in 1877 and in 1904, Gaudi was hired to design it. It has been refurbished a few times since its construction, and it kept nice and pretty for all the citizens and tourists. 

It is really just the coolest thing.

I also decided that after visiting Barcelona that I should start watching more soccer games. I figured I'm already half way there with my new jersey.

So excited to start watching!!!

All in all, I had a really great time. I found the city to be really fascinating and so filled with art and culture. It's quite an amazing place to visit and I hope everyone gets the chance at least once in there life.

Bisous mes cheris***

Photo credits to Lisa Cherkassky and Crystal Dwyer

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