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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Laberint D'Horta: The Grotto of Echo and Narcissus

Laberint D'Horta: The Grotto of Echo and Narcissus

According to Greek mythology, Echo, the beautiful nymph condemned by Hera ("You shall still have the last word, but no power to speak first") was in love with Narcissus who shun her. Narcissus was punished to always look at his reflection on a lake and falling in love with himself. Echo eventually went to hide in caves and finally stabbed herself to death and from her blood on the ground a white flower, purple within came out: A Narcissus. Remember to check previous post for more information about Horta Maze and Gardens.

See Laberint D'Horta Picture on a Google Earth Map.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Morning Daisies in Bellaterra

Morning Daisies in Bellaterra

Just some flowers that I caught with my camera while staying at some friends' garden in Bellaterra a growing neighborhood of Cerdanyola del Valles beyond the outskirts of Barcelona city where Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona is.

See Bellaterra on a Google Earth Map

Friday, April 28, 2006

Avinguda Diagonal: Casa Comalat

Avinguda Diagonal: Casa Comalat


...and as promised, the second chapter, the main façade of Casa Comalat, not so colorful and much more symmetrical, but a masterpiece of cutting edge architecture. 

Salvador Valeri i Pupurull (1873-1954) was the second generation modernist architect who designed the building. Notice the whimsical frieze, the iron work on balconies and the stone carvings on windows. The sky is a fake, it is really awful to take pictures at noon, specially in an upward shot, this is my only free time but your attention well deserves a briefer lunch.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

Catalan Modernisme: Casa Comalat

Catalan Modernisme: Casa Comalat

If you liked yesterday´s butterfly you surely will enjoy watching Casa Comalat, one of the most spectacular houses representing Catalan modernisme built from 1909 to 1911 by Salvador Valeri i Pupurull.
Imagine yourself walking along Avinguda Diagonal near Passeig de Gràcia, you get to number 442, come across a breathtaking building with these elaborate balconies and impossible design windows, you take some good pictures and go around the block for something to drink, let´s say at carrer Còrsega right behind. You wouldn´t believe your eyes, the same Casa Comalat appears again with a completely different look: a polychome rear façade with wooden modernist balconies and wonderful ceramic work. There you go thirsty again for another half hour! 
Tomorrow as a second chapter we will admire the main façade...

See Casa Comalat Picture on a Google Earth Map

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Plaça Espanya: Modernist Butterfly at Casa Fajol

Plaça Espanya: Modernist Butterfly

Casa Fajol also known as Casa de la Papallona ("butterfly house") is located at carrer Llança just in front of Las Arenas bullring in Plaça Espanya. Built by Josep Graner i Prat in 1912 and named after the big trencadis butterfly on top, it is another great expression of Catalan Modernisme in Barcelona.

Trencadis is a variety of mosaic technique used by Gaudi and his followers during the Art Nouveau period in which broken (trencat in Catalan) painted tiles are layed in a way that differs from traditional mosaic. I would have preferred to take the picture from another angle but the fence surrounding the enormous coliseum at the construction site on my back was a big obstacle. 

See Casa Fajol Picture on a Google Earth Map

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Barcelona Mou-te B Campaign: A Giant Step

Barcelona Mou-te B Campaign: A Giant Step

This high top sneaker is part of the Mou-te B campaign promoted by the Barcelona City Council to encourage the use of public transport, bicycle, or walking through the city. There are other similar campaigns that combine Catalan word and B from Barcelona, like Fem-ho B (let´s do it right) or Recicla B (recycle well). My free translation for Mou-te B would be "move properly". 

The big tennis shoe was first seen at Plaça Universitat and it was supposed to be kept somewhere safe during weekends. Now it seems to stay for good next to Picornell Olympic swimming pools where it is succumbing little by little to vandalism. Hurry up, you don´t have much time to take your picture.

See Mou-te B sneaker Picture on a Google Earth Map

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sant Jordi Patron of Catalonia

Sant Jordi Patron of Catalonia

Yesterday Barcelona celebrated Saint George's Day (Sant Jordi), patron of Catalonia. It is the day to buy flowers, mainly red roses and books. This year is the 80th anniversary of the Book's Day (1926). Since 1930, it takes place the same day as Sant Jordi. You should know that April 23rd is also the day Shakespeare and Cervantes died in 1616. 

Sant Jordi's Day was declared holiday in the city of Barcelona in 1456. Saint George is also patron of England, Greece, Georgia...so much for the introduction. I have chosen a picture with some beautiful roses you could buy at a stall just in front of the Diputació de Barcelona building (the Barcelona Provincial Council). To have an idea of how many people attended the event check this other picture.

See Diputació de Barcelona on a Google Earth Map

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Hunting Scene

Hunting Scene: Click to resize

When dealing with art you should always have your hunting scene. This sculptural group can be seen near La Caixa building at Avinguda Diagonal. It is located at one side of the entrance to a very small park and although quite sober in appearance I admire the way in which the artist caught the expression of despair of this beautiful deer, standing on its feet at the very moment of giving up to his fatal destiny.

See Picture on a Map

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Barcelona Architecture: Casa de les Punxes

Barcelona Architecture: Casa de les Punxes

Located at the intersection of Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Roselló rises La Casa de les Punxes (The House of "Spikes") an imponent building also known as Casa Terrades built in 1905 by architect Puig i Cadafach.Medieval in appearance and influenced by Nordic style somehow, it features ellaborate ornaments of stone in windows and doors and an admirable forged iron work on balconies. See details of windows and balconies. It is just some blocks away from Passeig de Gracia, don´t miss it!

See Picture on a Map

Friday, April 21, 2006

Barcelona Fast Food: Supersize Me

Barcelona Fast Food: Supersize me

This is what happens when you don´t follow a Mediterranean diet, fast food or junk food kills you. Walking down Las Ramblas I came across another street artist who was distractedly talking to a friend during a break. Probably he/she enjoyed watching the Supersize Me documentary by Morgan Spurlock. It must be quite an uncomfortable outfit to wear anyhow. Just one more anonymous history of sacrifice to make ends meet in Barcelona.

See Picture on a Map

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Barcelona Modern Architecture: The Forum Building



We shift again from classical art into modern architecture. Do you think you can digest another Forum picture?. I am sure you can. 

The Forum Building is a big triangle that reminds me of an enormous blue vessel sailing the Mediterranean Sea. The structure is surrounded by Diagonal Avenue, Rambla de Prim and the Ronda Litoral. Designed by Herzog and De Meuron it features an auditorium with a capacity to hold 3,200 people right under the Forum Plaza. The building measures 180 meters and rests on 17 pillars. From it, the exhibit hall and the roof of the auditorium are suspended. The exhibit hall covers nearly 5,000 m2. Check one corner of the triangle in this picture and one pillar here.

See Picture on a Map

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hush...

Bigger Hush

Remember the other statue from Palau de la Merce near Plaça Espanya. Today you have the chance to admire another good example of art, so often ignored and yet so valuable. Again I found the shot more interesting from behind, you don´t see the face but still you get some feeling of relaxation by watching her against the splendor of the sky. I could have cropped the upper part of the picture a little but I wanted to emphasize time and space. Besides the link to the previous post check this view of Barcelona from MNAC.

See Picture on a Map

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Barcelona Zoo from a Bird's Eye

Barcelona Zoo from a Bird's Eye

During my recent visit to Barcelona Zoo this bird, I think it is a sort of crane, called my attention standing there on top of the rocks in a privileged position overlooking the park being able to escape and still tied up to the place somehow.
See another image.

See Picture on a Map

Monday, April 17, 2006

Get Lost in The Green Maze of Horta

Get Lost in The Green Maze of Horta

Parc del Laberint d’Horta (Subway Line: Green, Stop: Mundet) located near a small hill of Sierra de Collserola has the oldest garden in Barcelona and it is a remarkable example of XVIII neoclassic gardens. The estate belonged to Joan Antoni Desvalls, Marquess of Llupià i d’Alfarràs whose family owned the place until the end of last century (70s), when it became property of the City Council. As the name suggests the main attraction is the central maze, but you can also rejoice contemplating the architecture, the sculptures, the water fountains and the surrounding Mediterranean woods. See the gardens from a better perspective.

See Picture on a Map

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Universal Forum of Cultures: Solar Panel

Universal Forum of Cultures: Solar Panel

Today as I promised I post a new picture of the Universal Forum of Cultures, a place I highly recommend if you come to Barcelona. The photo voltaic cell is located in the Forum Esplanade and consists of a 10,500-m2 surface that captures solar energy and delivers it to the electric public utility system. From under the structure the view is simply breathtaking. You can see it from a lower angle here.

See Picture on the Map

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Gathering Stones at Barcelona Forum

Gathering Stones at Barcelona Forum

This metal structure sustained with cable tensors and bags of stones as counterweight can be seen next to the new artificial "beach" created in the Forum area and it is my selection for participating in this week's Photo Friday contest. If you feel you have any picture that in a way has to do with something "Full" you may also take part and luckily be selected as noteworthy. Every week you have a different theme, to publish either a new photograph or some other from your archives.

Turning back to the image, it is funny that many of us here in Barcelona have not visited this fantastic place yet. The sights are incredible so I will be showing some more photos soon. To have something in advance you can check this panoramic view with the above structure included or if you prefer to watch the stones from another angle.

See Picture on the Map

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hospital de Sant Pau: Gargoyles

Hospital de Sant Pau: Gargoyles

Hospital de Sant Pau, a magnific representative of modernism in Barcelona was projected by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the year 1901. Construction finished in 1930. Of course this is a place you cannot miss if you are an art lover and it is just one subway stop away from Sagrada Familia.

Eusebi Arnau and Pau Gargallo were the sculptors of the stone figures among which you can admire these beautiful gargoyles. At present the pavilions are being restored and although some are still occupied the idea is to move services little by little to a brand new Sant Pau Hospital almost built just behind the premises (part of it is already functioning).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Landscapes of Catalonia: Vallverd D'Urgell

Landscapes of Catalonia: Vallverd D'Urgell, LLeida

This landscape picture was taken last month during a visit to Vallverd d'Urgell, a very small town in one of the most beautiful provinces of Catalonia: Lleida

Vallverd is famous for the Castell del Remei good wine cellars and recently for L'Estany d'Ivars i Vallverd, an old pond dried up by man that will be recovered with an ambitious 8.500.000 euros environmental plan and turned into a natural park intended to attract long gone species of birds to their primitive habitat among other purposes. I definitely enjoyed the intensity of the blue skies over the vast prairie.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sagrada Familia: The Passion Façade Gates

Sagrada Familia: The Passion Façade Big Gates

The impressive portico of the Passion Façade at Sagrada Familia is full of precious details of religious scenes, verses, symbols and austere geometric forms as it is supposed to represent the Passion and Death of Christ. This part of the temple was begun in 1954. The sculptures by Josep Ma. Subirach of stern and sober design, look modern if compared to the ones on the Nativity Façade. As a "modest" sample of all that can be admired here, I show you this engraved metal gate, where among other things you can read a passage from a verse in Mathew 26:39.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Barcelona Zoo: Peacock on Ice

Barcelona Zoo: Peacock on Ice

No, there's no ice in Barcelona Zoo, though the peacock originally was white as snow, which makes it an ideal subject for image inversion. You should not leave the city, specially if you travel with kids, without visiting Parc Zoologic de Barcelona where a great variety of animals can be seen in a reproduction of their natural environment.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Just One Flower From Barcelona Zoo

Just One Flower From Barcelona

This morning I visited Barcelona Zoo (Metro Ciutadella - Yellow Line, L4) one more time and from all of the pictures taken I prefer the image of a flower to contribute to the collection of spring photos posted by the City Daily Photo family.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Hotel Arts and Torre Mapfre: Almost Twins

Hotel Arts and Torre Mapfre: Almost Twins

As seen from Sagrada Familia's "watch tower" these almost twins, Torre Mapfre and Hotel Arts stand all alone overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Though the average height of buildings along the coast is growing bigger there is still a certain concern for following a reasonable criterium that does not alter too much the city skyline.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

Trade Center: Stairways to Heaven in Barcelona

Trade Center: Stairways to Heaven in Barcelona

The first modern office complex in Barcelona was designed by José Antonio Coderch de Semenat in 1968. This high-rise building (any high tower under 35 metres, otherwise it would be a skyscraper) is located at Avda. Carlos III in Les Corts just behind shopping center El Corte Inglés and it is called the Trade Center Complex.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Street Artist X: Barcelona Graffiti

Street Artist X: Barcelona Graffiti


Today I post another picture about Barcelona graffiti, this time showing the other wall, see previous work in Street Artist IX: Barcelona Graffiti. The image could be easily called: A Fantasy from Hell, as it looks as the devil devouring sinners' souls, but of course you could all help me reinterpret the scene.

Thursday, April 6, 2006

Palau de La Mercè: Top of the Hill

Palau de La Mercè: Top of the Hill


Palau de la Mercè with the MNAC (National Art Museum of Catalonia), is the perfect place to enjoy a panoramic view of Plaza España (red or green subway lines) and the rest of the city. If you take the escalators at the end of the walk from the square to the palace you will meet several statues of classical style which look great against the sky.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Sitting On the Dock of the Bay

Sitting On the Dock of the Bay


Just like the song by Otis Redding you can sit at the end of this wharf just in front of Maremagnum "wastin time" with beautiful Barcelona right behind you.

>> Sittin' in the mornin' sun
I'll be sittin' when the evenin' come
Watching the ships roll in
And then I watch 'em roll away again, yeah

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay
Watching the tide roll away
Ooo, I'm just sittin' on the dock of the bay
Wastin' time <<

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Painting at Port Vell in Barcelona

Painting at Port Vell in Barcelona


When you visit Maremagnum as you sure will, don´t forget this shaded arcade between the shopping center and the aquarium. Surrounded by terraces where you can hide from the summer heat you can find these permanent exhibitions of paintings performed live for you by the skillful artists that abound in this area. Art together with some coffee or a couple of beers is a perfect blend.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Maremagnum: The Tourist Paradise

Maremagnum: The Tourist Paradise


Today it was really warm (about 22ºC) so we decided to take a walk and head for Maremagnum (don´t miss this link to see a panoramic view and much more) , a combination of shopping mall and leisure center including the aquarium, imax cinema, and lots of restaurants and disco bars on the very edge of Barcelona's Port Vell ("old harbour") waterfront. Standing on the planks of the wooden platforms by the sea you can take pictures like this.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

Street Artist IX: Barcelona Graffiti

Street Artist IX: Barcelona Graffiti


Signed by street artist Peri-Kain (I don´t want to infringe copyrights) this graffiti can be seen on the walls of a small alley inside shopping mall La Maquinista, a big commercial area near Sta. Coloma de Gramanet in the outskirts of the city. To my surprise Nicola from Wiesbaden, Germany, another member of the Citydailyphoto Family had already published a photo about this type of urban art today. As I took the picture this morning and I had my mind made up I decided to post it anyway and give her my today's "recommended link" thus reinforcing our common topic. By the way the image this time is no digital art trick, I only used more shadows to avoid reflection on hair on the right and a little touch of color temperature.

Recommended Link to a Dailyphoto friend Wiesbaden (Germany) by Nicola

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Street Artist VIII: Silence is Golden

Street Artist VIII: Silence is Golden


After so much architecture I think a photo of people will keep up the good spirit. Let's return to Las Ramblas and admire this Oriental character that swiftly adopts different poses each time a coin makes some noise giving you a sudden start with his rod. Do not disturb the artist while he is working, for him silence is golden.