Thursday, March 27

Catalan Modernist Ceiling at Hospital de Sant Pau to Celebrate Barcelona Photoblog's 2.000.000 visits!

This is one of the ceilings inside one of the many pavilions in the modernist complex at Hospital de Sant Pau. All buildings have been restored recently and it was open to public for a short period of time. Now they will charge a small fee to enter and admire these beauties reborn. This and other pictures I have, were taken with a cellphone and do not make justice to the real thing. The impression I get when I take a look at the result of such magnificent restoration is that everything has turned back to be like brand new, as if the hands of the skillful craftsmen had been working on those mosaics and those stain glasess yesterday. A whole range of architectural wonder has been unveiled for all the world to see. By the way, I am happy to announce that today Barcelona Photoblog has reached 2.000.000 visits since it first saw light back in 2006. It's been years of hard work and of meeting very nice people here at the blog. I hope you have enjoyed it somehow. That really means something to me. Thanks to all those that made this incredible figure come true, thanks for your time and your comments. Happy to share my modest work with you all.

Monday, March 17

Catalan Blood Sausage or Botifarra Negre, Vallverd d'Urgell, Catalonia

Catalan blood sausage

Here is a rack of Catalan blood sausages (Cat. botifarra negre). Originally they are red and become black during the boiling process that takes about 15 minutes. Later on they are hung to dry before they are finally grilled. This picture was taken during a local annual gathering (265 people this year) in a town called Vallverd d'Urgell, in the Catalan province of Lleida. Once a year a whole town meets to prepare what is known as freginat, a mixture of white beans (fesols), caramelized onions (ceba) (cooked slowly during 4 hours), ribs, liver and chunks of pork. This delicious dish is served with two sausages, white botifarra and black botifarra which are elaborated right on site after the killing (matança) of two pigs early in the morning or the day before celebrations. 

Monday, March 10

Cistercian Architecture: Poblet Monastery, Catalonia

This cloister gallery with its rib vaults and pointed arches can be admired at Poblet Monastery, a wonderful example of Cistercian architecture founded in the XII century that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Cistercian architecture is a great legacy of medieval architecture. Early Cistercian architecture shows a transition between Romanesque and Gothic architecture and this monastery at Poblet, in the comarca of Conca de Barberà, Catalonia, is a good example although other styles such as Barroque and Renaissance are also present as the institution underwent later transformations. The different buildings integrating the complex are extraordinarily well preserved. Please check my previous post about Monasteri de Poblet for more information.

Wednesday, March 5

Barcelona Carnival 2014: From a Child's Perspective

Small girl wearing costume, Barcelona

Barcelona's Carnival 2014 is coming to an end, as today is Ash Wednesday. Images from the parade will remain vivid in our memories but who knows how magic they can be in the eyes of a child. The world seems so different through the lens of an innocent soul that even from the distance while sticking her face against this glass, this girl must think the parade is some sort of fairy tale, full of giants, weird creatures and creepy monsters that decided all of a sudden to jump out of her parents' bedtime stories. This girl is my goddaughter.

Monday, March 3

Carnival 2014 in Barcelona: The Actors

Last Saturday was La Rua's day of Carnival 2014 in Barcelona. La Rua is the Catalan name for the  parade that takes place in some carnivals around the world and as usual in these events people let their imagination fly. As you should know from previous posts here in Barcelona Photoblog about Barcelona's Carnival, there is the main parade and then there are secondary ruas in many districts of the city. Besides the floats and the parades it is very common to see shop clerks or market staff working in their costumes as you can appreciate in this picture taken at one of the stands in La Merce market. This week I am going to show some costumes both from the market and the streets and I would like to thank those who gently accepted to pose for the camera. Please check also: Some days of Pagan Joy, Carnival Costumes, Feather Masks