Barcelona Photoblog


Monday, March 18, 2019

3 Secret and Underappreciated Spots in Barcelona

3 Underappreciated Spots in Barcelona

It’s no secret that Barcelona is straining under the weight of the explosion of tourists it has received over the last decade. Each year, more and more visitors head out to the Catalan capital, and the city is struggling to keep pace. Part of the issue is that everyone wants to see the same things, at the same time: the Sagrada Familia, Las Ramblas, the Gothic Cathedral, the Picasso Museum. Every day, thousands of tourists all congregate in the same areas of the city, and overcrowding is a serious issue causing many problems.

However, it is still possible to visit Barcelona and be a part of the solution and not the problem. One way you can ease the burden on those over-visited sights is to take a guided tour of some of Barcelona’s lesser visited spots. Not only will this allow you to appreciate the city from another perspective, but you’ll also understand more of the history and culture that makes the city unique. Once you’re done with that, why not check out these other three underappreciated spots and expand your knowledge of this truly special place.

Palo Alto

Palo Alto looks a lot like any other dilapidated factory complex in the Poblenou district. However, behinds its industrial facade lies a vibrant and dynamic hub of innovation and creativity. Home to offices and coworking spaces, the inner courtyard is bursting with exotic plants and other greenery. Cafes and event spaces also help to give the atmosphere an electric buzz throughout the week.

On the first weekend of the month, The Palo Alto Market brings together an eclectic mix of food trucks, vintage stalls, and artisanal crafts alongside some great music and a generally laidback atmosphere. It’s the perfect time to visit these hidden gardens and get a taste for Barcelona’s entrepreneurial side.

Carmel Bunkers

If you’re looking for THE best views across Barcelona, then you need to head out to the Carmel Bunkers. Standing at a height of 262 meters, these Spanish Civil War era antiaircraft bunkers offer 360º views over the city, and plenty of interesting history to complement those spectacular landscapes. For instance, it’s interesting to note that, while the name would suggest otherwise, these concrete structures were never actually bunkers, and only provided foundations for the antiaircraft artillery over a short period of the civil war.

After the civil war, these concrete turrets fell into disrepair. However, with space at a premium in Barcelona, the area quickly grew into a shanty town that existed until the 1990s. Today, the area has been regenerated by the municipality, however, you can learn more about the colorful history of the Carmel Bunkers at the MUHBA exhibition onsite. Entry to the Bunkers is free and they’re open 24/7.

Antic Theatre

Another secret idyll in the heart of Barcelona, the Antic Theatre lies just a few meters from the Palau de la Música. Featuring a large open-air terrace, the courtyard is surrounded by typical Catalan architecture that creates a particularly intimate and authentic space to escape the sun for midday drinks. A favorite haunt of Barcelona’s hip young things, the Antic Theatre always has a healthy buzz echoing through the courtyard.

After you’ve enjoyed some great food and drinks, you’ll find that the theatre itself also hosts an eclectic selection of productions throughout the year, and the free-thinking spirit of its members maintain the themes of “independence, sustainability, and resistance” through workshops and other community-based programs. For theatre lovers, or anyone with a taste for something a little different, the Antic Theatre is a must-visit venue on our list of underappreciated spots in Barcelona.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Ebro River View From Miravet Castle, Tarragona, Catalonia

This is what you could see if you were visiting Castell de Miravet (Miravet Castle) in Tarragona. 

Catalonia is full of wonderful secret places awaiting for you to discover should you dare to go a little out of the usual tourist path. 

From a castle built on sheer rock by the Moors and later inhabited by the Templars, located on one of the banks of Ebro river, you may let your imagination wander and think of past times when it was necessary to protect your private paradise from invasions. Check for more pictures and information in the next post.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Siurana, One of The Best Medieval Towns of Catalonia

Siurana Mirador in Priorat, Tarragona

Siurana is an astonishing and alluring territory, a medieval village, in the coastal mountain ranges of Tarragona, Catalonia. Visiting this land will not only submerge you in a fantastic voyage through geological times along beautiful canyons whose walls prove the big marine regression of the Triasic period (about 250 m fall) but also in a unique opportunity to set foot in the remains of the Castle of Siurana, the last bastion of Muslim secular power in Catalunya and if viewing some landscape and old stones is not enough to turn your day into an unforgettable experience, well, you have the exquisite wines of the Priorat region to change your mind. I advise you to visit the town of Falset, about 30 kms away from Siurana and taste D.O Montsant (check this article about Montsant wines) or D.O.Q Priorat wines.

Resuming the history of this Catalan town of the Middle Ages in the municipality of Cornudella de Montsant, the legend goes that in the xii century, when the Christians put the castle under siege in spite of the hindrance offered by natural elements, Abd-el-Azia, the Moorish queen of Siurana, scared, mounted her white stallion and ran towards the border of the cliffs to jump into the abyss. The horse panicked and the queen had to cover his eyes with both hands, not preventing the animal from coming to a sudden halt that left the imprints of horseshoes engraved in the rocks of the precipice. The fatal event took place anyway, so from then on, the place is known as El Salto de la Reina Mora (The Moorish Queen's Leap)

I will show you today some of the pictures I took during my last visit. Of course, there is nothing like the real thing. In these images you will see the canyons from a natural mirador, with no security railings, an impossible bar with a view over the valley, the winding roads that take you to the town, the river and the local church, some old alleys and some people enjoying the scenery.

Siurana Canyons

Canyons of Siurana

Mirador bar Siurana

Mirador bar on Siurana rocks

Siurana Old Alley

View from alley in Siurana

Santa Maria Church and swamp in Siurana

Panoramic View of Siurana
Web Analytics