Barcelona Photoblog


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Alice of Penelles - Foxx and Zeso, LLeida

Alice of Penelles, Lleida by Foxx and Zeso

About 130 kms away from Barcelona, in the neighboring western province of Lleida in Catalonia, there is this little oasis of street art where almost every house is a public mural joyously adorned with graffiti. This town is called Penelles. I took pictures there a long time ago but never took the time to share it with you, not that I remember (I must be going nuts with these pandemic times). Not only do you find local ideas over there but also the work of international artists like the New Yorker or better said Long Islander BKFOXX and the French @zesoner who in unison delighted us with this wonderful and realistic Alice about to lead us through the rabbit burrow in the very corner of these two walls.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Casa Batllo, a Visionary Project by Gaudi

Casa Batllo Roof Tiles and Cross by Gaudi

Behold the triumphant cross of four arms by Gaudi that symbolizes the way in which the Gospel spreads out to every corner of the known world. Notice how such geometrical perfection resembles the hilt of a sword, maybe the very sword of Saint George, piercing through the arched scales of the horrendous dragon in its quest for the tender maid that rots in an infamous castle tower on any odd well protected rock in Montblanc, Tarragona. Just for this moment of transcendental reminiscing on the roof of Casa Batllo while watching Gaudi's magic your visit is worth the money. 

But we not only should thank Gaudi for his art here. As you know, most of the masterpieces that we admire today, are so, due to the disbursement of generous amounts of money by some unknown patron or businessman caring for his own well being. And so it was that in 1904, a well positioned family that had made a fortune in the textile industry and fostered five children bought this house at Paseo de Gracia 43. Believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs. Batllo first thought of tearing the whole place apart. No one wanted to be second best in this part of the city. Their house was in the middle of what is known today as the Apple of Discord, a small number of opulent houses off the old walls that were competing among each other to boast the best architecture in the brand new area of Ensanche. We have to say that hiring Gaudi was the most visionary decision of their lives and so we have to thank them on behalf of Barcelona and art. 

Other buildings in the Block or Apple of Discord have been dealt with in this blog in the past: The Lleó Morera house (1902) by Montaner and the Amatller house (1888) by Puig and Cadafalch. 

I took many other pictures but I leave you with this appetizer as I plan to save the rest for some other topics that elaborate on the famous history of Casa Batllo. Meet me there and thanks for dropping by after all the silence.

Check here Casa Batllo's Mask-Shaped Balconies in a previous Barcelona Photoblog post.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Spotted by Locals Barcelona

Every year, blog network Spotted by Locals asks their locals in 80 cities to choose their favorite blogs. As in the last few years, Barcelona Photoblog was included in the list of “Best Barcelona blogs” for this year!

Here’s a selection of 5 of the Spotted by Locals Barcelona locals’ favorite spots. Many more on the blog, or in the app.

Surf House Barcelona - Good vibrations

Surf House Barcelona (by Ilse de Ridder)

Barcelona is a city with a laid back vibe. No wonder it is home to skaters and – with a beach in town – many surfers. Barceloneta is a true hotspot with many places to rent surfboards and gear to give it a go. No wonder this neighbourhood is the place to be for Surf House Barcelona, a definite favourite in town for many of us! This beach bar has amazing juices and sandwiches! Guaranteed a healthy – or if preferred a more heavy – recovery weekend brunch.

La Llama Store - The store for humour lovers

La Llama Store (by Gina Xifra)

La Llama Store is focused on humour through books, art and other random items. This store has an art gallery where local artists show their work so you can also buy it. Be warned: Once you end up buying something, there is a high chance that you will return and want to spend more time checking out everything that they have. Every fan of humour, comics or just looking for a laugh must visit it.

Espai Mescladís - Gastronomy meets creativity

Espai Mescladís (by Tatiana Martinez)

Espai Mescladís is very colourful restaurant, with many curious objects and a vintage feel to it. The atmosphere was very multicultural and eclectic. What makes this place so special are the people working there; Moroccans, Africans, every culture but Spanish. This restaurant was actually created as part of a social project to help integrate immigrants through educational initiatives that also facilitate social work integration. Through their program “Cuinant Oportunitats” (literally meaning cooking opportunities), the organization Fundació Ciutadania Multicultural in charge of this project manages to get many groups of immigrants who are in high risk of exclusion into the market by giving them employment.

Sala Beckett - Walk this way for theatre

Graffiti Art (by Carlos Domeque)

Good contemporary theatre has to be cutting edge and Barcelona has no shortage of companies and venues that produce just that. Sala Beckett has been at the forefront of this for some time. Sala Beckett is both a theatre space and centre for workshops and masterclasses. The building they now inhabit is an old neighbourhood athenaeum or cultural centre, which with a few contemporary flourishes has been restored to its former glory. Even if you decide not to catch a show there, I recommend having a look around.

Re-read - Second-hand bookshop

Re-read (by Andia Ago)

Re-read is, as the name implies, a second-hand bookshop which is very welcoming, with its warm lights and stacks upon stacks of books. They are divided into categories and you can find books in many languages besides Spanish and Catalan. If you are looking for a specific book, you can use their online search engine which shows in which store you can find your book. What I usually like to do is wander around there for quite some time and pick up the books that look interesting to me.
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