Thursday, October 23

Ethnic Barcelona

Ethnic Barcelona

Under the Catalan flag new citizens living in the old quarters unknowingly compose spontaneous scenes that were unthinkable 20 years ago. These new Catalans come from all over the world and they seem to have been always in Barcelona. Maybe it is because their essence never left, because the Moors were here, the Jews were here, the Romans, maybe with their Nubian slaves were here, the Phoenicians, the Visigoths, you name it, even pirates came here often. So the melting pot was always here. It's just that Barcelona had taken a small break. Perhaps Franco, helped a little bit. The point is that this process will not stop because big cities have always been a lure for immigrants, for nomads like the castle walls attracted people in Medieval times and burgs appeared. The time has come to call everyone a Catalan every single person living in this burg, no matter the language, the creed and the origin.

Tuesday, October 14

Trumpeter at Carrer de la Merce

Trumpeter at Carrer de la Merce in Barcelona

Street musicians or buskers can be found around Barcelona by the hundreds. There are some, especially in the subway that don't seem to be very qualified but all in all, you can find great intrumentalists roaming the streets. The old part of town or casc antic is no exception. The other day I spotted this wonderful young trumpeter playing his instrument at Carrer de la Merce, next to the church by the same name. The nearby archway favored the acoustics and I am sure it was not a coincidence that he was lying there.

Sunday, October 5

Canopy and Crucifix, High Altar, Sagrada Familia

Canopy and Christ on the cross, Sagrada Familia [enlarge]

Above the High Altar at Sagrada Familia's temple, there is an Expressionist “Crucifixion of Christ”, a bronze version of a work by sculptor Carles Mani i Roig (1866-1911). The sculpture hangs from a beautiful canopy over a block of porphiry from Iran acting as a very austere table.

Thursday, September 11

V for Victory and Vote: La Diada, 300 years of honor

Estelada banner with La Merced in the background, Barcelona [enlarge]

Today September 11th Barcelona celebrates the 300th anniversary of La Diada, the day in which the city was invaded and occupied by the army of the Two Crowns, in the year that marked the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. It was a very sad day for Catalonia but at the same time an important event that has influenced its people since then. Catalans have fought for 300 years with bravery to vindicate themselves after such ignominious events, to be reborn from the ashes and defend honor. There has been a gigantic demonstration downtown where more than one million Catalans have joined to create an incredible V that stands not only for victory but also for vote, vote for the independence from Spain. The hashtag V de la Diada has become world trend topic in just 15 minutes. We must say here that although not all Catalans want the independence, a great many do, as was proven today. And in honor of the truth, from those who are not in favor of segregation, many are against the Spanish government's policy against Catalonia as well. All in all, independence or not, Catalans are sick and tired of the historical manipulation coming from the government in Madrid. On this special day, I want to share this picture of La Merced, patroness of Barcelona with a beautiful "L'Estelada Blava" (The Blue Starred Flag), the flag of Catalan independence in the foreground.
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