Barcelona Photoblog: July 2006

July 31, 2006

Barcelona Green Tomatoes

If you liked the previous flower maybe you like the green color of these tomatoes picked up at some friends' vegetable garden in Bellaterra, just outside the city of Barcelona. Tomorrow I finally start my summer holidays, but I promise I will do all I can to post at least once a week, or even more. Maybe I publish two or three pictures the same day. This situation will last till September when I will be here strictly "daily". Have a nice summer and run away from the heat! It is so hot in Barcelona I should have called the post Fried Green Tomatoes.

July 30, 2006


I guess this is some kind of daisy, but as I am not good at flower names I leave it up to you. I prefer to call it Orange. I know this has nothing to do with Barcelona, except for the garden which is located at Bellaterra, a neighboring town. I have taken less pictures downtown lately but I always carry my camera just in case. As the purpose of this blog is both photography and Barcelona, I think I can alternate my modest piece of work and photo journalism. Don't worry there is Barcelona for long. Yes, I know, another silly flower.-)
PS: For those who liked the flower, don't miss next post...

July 29, 2006

Metal Art at La Rambla, Barcelona

Metal Art at La Rambla

Wandering along Las Ramblas I found these rusty metallic objects obviously piled up there to be used by one of the many human statues, though this time I couldn't spot the artist. I particularly like this sort of metal Chucky with trumpet.

July 28, 2006

Columbus and La Rambla in Barcelona

Columbus and La Rambla in Barcelona

As you know I already published a post about Chris Columbus, and many about La Rambla and its magnificent street artists. You should basically know that such beautiful walk was once a torrent along the city walls, pretty muddy when it rained. By the end of the XVIII century the torrent became a promenade and was adorned with trees. In the XIX century wealthy families built their houses along the already famous patch of land. Walls had been demolished after 1860 and the Eixample was being born thanks to Ildefons Cerdà's urban plan out of the old city limits. According to Wikipedia: "The name La Rambla means, in Spanish and Catalan, an intermitent water flow, and is derived from the Arabic 'Ramla' which means 'sandy underground'". La Rambla is divided into 5 parts: Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla del Estudis, Rambla de les Flors, Rambla dels Caputxins, and Rambla de Santa Mónica.

July 27, 2006

Ferris Wheel at Tibidabo Amusement Park in Barcelona

This is another shot of the ferris wheel at Tibidabo Amusement Park. I like it because you can see Collserola Tower in the background. If you want to know more about ferris wheels check this link. Do you feel like enjoying another panoramic view of the city where you can see Barcelona's Fabra Astronomical Observatory, watch this one
PS: I will be on the air till Monday and then will start summer holidays, for more details read previous post. (I have published plenty of images with maps of Tibidabo, so please search site for previous posts).

July 26, 2006

Sagrada Familia: Portal of Nativity

The Nativity Portal

After examining the opposite façade in detail in previous posts, I select this picture of the Nativity Portal taken from behind the gates late in the afternoon, once the place was not flooded with tourists.

PS: Next Tuesday I start my summer holidays (full August). I will post when I am back from Paris and Disney Land Paris around August 8th. I want you all to understand that this is just a break along the way and not a farewell. When I am back I will be travelling around Spain so I will be able to use my archives at least twice a week. The intention is not to give up and return with more energy in September. This is a fascinating hobby, as fascinating as time consuming but what the heck, as long as there is somehing to shoot at!.

July 25, 2006

Marina Port Vell in Barcelona, Spain

Marina Port Vell in Barcelona

After showing you part of the History Museum of Catalonia at Palau de Mar building, here is a picture of the view from the roof and restaurant terrace of the museum. You can admire part of the Moll del Dipòsit in which Marina Port Vell is located. The Marina is surrounded by Barceloneta's restaurants and "tapas" bars and is 10 minutes away from the center. The place appeared recently in the news because of the many people living in boats and not sailing alleging that it's cheaper to dwell in a small vessel than buying or renting an apartment in the city. Notice the white building there in the background, it is the Imax Port Vell cinema, a little bit to its left you find Maremagnum Shopping Center and farther back you see Barcelona World Trade Center building. On the horizon the almost new highway bridge near the entrance to the port. Check this other photo where you have a wider view.

July 24, 2006

La Guardia Civil: The Boogey Man

The Guardia Civil, the Spanish equivalent of Italian Carabinieri or French Gendarmerie, is sadly famous because of their cruel and repressive methods during Franco's dictatorship. As you see in this photograph taken at the Museum of History of Catalonia they used to patrol in pairs and wore the traditional tricorne. We have to say that modern Guardia Civil is far more gentle.

July 23, 2006

Loom at Museum of History of Catalonia

Catalonia was one of the first regions in Spain and in western Europe to promote industrialization: the steam engine, introduced in 1830 and the first railway line in Spain set between Mataró and Barcelona in 1848 are good illustrative examples. Textile industry had a great boom in the XIX century due to the introduction of such technical developments and was favoured by the prosperous economy fomented by the Cuban trade. This picture of a Catalan loom was taken at the Museum of History of Catalonia, located at one side of the harbor inside a restored building full of restaurants and terraces which make the visit much more complete for the tourist. I recommend you visit the restaurant on top where you can enjoy a full view of Barcelona's marina.

July 22, 2006

Barceloneta Memories

I finally found the place. I had seen a similar photo published somewhere about this demolished building in La Barceloneta, a popular quarter in Barcelona and I wanted to take a couple of pictures myself to share them with you. As you see the façade appears to have been restored a little bit (notice the toilet seat has been secured with an iron support and the white wall is quite clean), maybe the sign you can see in the second picture belongs to the artist who decorated the place, I don't know. There is a chain-link fence surrounding the estate thus the shadow on the top left corner.

July 21, 2006

Hibiscus: Red is the Color

Hibiscus: Red is the Color

It occurred to me that the striking red color of this Hibiscus I found in a garden somewhere in Les Corts, Barcelona (specifically Numancia and Travessera) would look nice against the blue skies of previous photograph, at least until it disappears swallowed by the bottom of the page. Another shot of Hibiscus flower. I found it hard to choose, but I preferred the shape of this one.

July 20, 2006

Sightseeing at Maremagnum

Sight Seeing in Maremagnum

My daughter last spring at Maremagnum in Port Vell, Barcelona. She asks me for a coin and goes sightseeing, just like looking at myself in the mirror not so long least in my mind.

July 19, 2006

Maremagnum Mare Nostrum Reflections

Maremagnum Mare Nostrum Reflections

If you ever come to Barcelona, it is mandatory to go to Port Vell, specifically the Maremagnum area and walk along the planks of the stylish wharves where you can admire the reflections of the Mediterranean Sea, the Mare Nostrum, on the mirrors of the nearby shopping center (buying is optional).

July 18, 2006

Escalators at Maremagnum in Barcelona Port

Escalators at Maremagnum in Barcelona Port

This is an afternoon shot at Maremagnum Shopping Center by Port Vell in Barcelona Port. I thought we could give our street artist some rest. I used sepia tones to emphasize light and strengthen the silhouette of people. Escalators coming down so near the waterfront are awkward enough to be portrayed here.

July 17, 2006

Street Artist XII at Las Ramblas Barcelona

Street Artist XII at Las Ramblas Barcelona

This Barcelona street artist is number XII in my particular series. Although you can't tell much what was it he wanted to represent, there is something about the light and the use of the lamp post as a prop, that gives the picture some sort of old classic touch (this is my personal opinion, of course).

Satellite View of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain.

July 16, 2006

July 15, 2006

Street Artist at Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Las Ramblas' Angel with girls

Another picture of one of Las Ramblas street artists I showed you in a previous post, the angel, this time accompanied by two girls in pink.

Satellite View of Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain.

July 14, 2006

Climbing the Pedraforca Massiff in Catalonia, Spain

Pedraforca massif

This is Pedraforca massif and the winding road to the summit. If you want to know more find out in previous posts (I think this is the fourth post about the same topic).

Being serious now, I would like to express my most sincere and deep thoughts to the families of victims at train bombings in India. This world is going nuts and I can't help it, that generates nothing but frustration in me. I just hope our children are more clever than we are.

July 13, 2006

Rambla Catalunya: Bull by Josep Granyer

Rambla Catalunya: Bull by Josep Granyer

Bull by Josep Granyer located at Rambla Catalunya and Gran Via. Remember a previous post about a Giraffe called Coqueta by the same author at the upper end of Las Ramblas near Diagonal Avenue?. I took this photograph from below, against the sky. Check real position of the statue here. It seems that he is posing for the camera. It is rather small but I like the way it looks.

View Satellite Picture of Rambla Catalonia on Google Maps.

July 11, 2006

Picture of Statue at Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain

Picture of Statue at Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain

This is one of the many statues to admire at Plaça Catalunya (Catalonia Square), just in front of El Corte Inglés Shopping Center, the most famous chain of stores in Spain, which you can see there in the background. I showed you a panoramic view of the square where I am standing right now as taken from those windows you see on top of the building.

July 10, 2006

Black Market at Barcelona Port

Black Market at Barcelona Port

A sepia picture of Barcelona Port, one of the places with greater affluence of tourists and black market dealers. People from diverse origin concentrate around here and participate in what is known as top manta, a term derived from the small blanket where they display their merchandise. There is a sort of simple mechanism with cords over the blanket to enable them to pick everything up very fast and carry it all simulating a bag. Although a law was passed recently by the City Council to eliminate such practices the fact is that it is still very common around this area and the city center.

July 09, 2006

Kids and Fountain at Heron City Barcelona, Spain

Today I show you another image of some kids having a great time in front of those fountains you action by stepping on the marks on the floor. Remember I had a similar picture in this previous post where we talked about marketing gurus and designing of fountains at shopping centers or if you prefer it, there was also some other post about Heron City with info and links.

July 08, 2006

Playing La Petanca in Les Corts, Barcelona

Playing La Petanca in Barcelona Spain

Not a striking Barcelona picture but a photograph about our customs, our people, one of the most popular games among our elders, La Petanca. The Greeks and the Romans were known to play with stone balls, and variants of those games were the origin of modern bowling, curling or in this case, "petanca". It was brought by sailors to Gaul or Gallia. 

Stone balls eventually became wooden balls and at present are made of steel. By the end of the XIX century it was played regularly in Le Midi, France. In fact, the name "Petanca" comes from French "pieds tanquees" (tight feet) as players must remain in that position when throwing the ball. It is simple in appearance but complex depending on who and how it is played. 

You must throw your ball pointing at a small wooden ball called boliche trying to stay close to it . It can be played between two or in groups, the one that leaves the ball closer to the boliche wins a point each time until you get 13 points. The image of retirees playing in Barcelona squares is as familiar to us as that of pigeons. This photo was taken this spring at a park in the district of Les Corts.

July 07, 2006

Barcelona Street Artist: Las Ramblas Cowboy

Barcelona Artists: Las Ramblas Cowboy

This picture was taken in March, as you can easily guess by the coats and jackets, but I felt the need to resume the street artist series. Let's see if I can go down to Las Ramblas soon and refresh my set

I guess this happens to many of us, that the most interesting places to shoot are downtown, sometimes quite out of your daily route to work. This year I am rediscovering Barcelona, I had never paid much attention to its history, I was missing that enthusiasm that only children or tourists show.

July 06, 2006

Maremagnum Walk: An Old Canvas

Maremagnum Walk Old Canvas

Resize and check in plain BW or aplying Duetone effect. Besides the post processing what I really like is the classic style of the man on the right and the perspective given by the planks on the floor and the columns. That in the background is a cable car tower. In case you don't know, Maremagnum is a big leisure and commercial area where you can find the Imax cinema, the Aquarium and a big shopping center (bought by Corio, a Dutch property group who paid 122 million euros). There was a previous post where I showed Maremagnum shopping center and this walk featuring some artists' beautiful paintings.

July 05, 2006

Casa Amatller: Window Detail. Modernisme in Barcelona

Casa Amatller: Window Detail

As some of you remember there was a previous post here about Casa Amatller and another about Casa Batlló (the totally different wall you see on the right). I spoke about the clash of styles in this block known as the Illa de la Discòrdia (Block of Discord), but I did not illustrate the contrast. There you are, Casa Amatller façade and another picture where you can see a combination with Casa Batlló.

July 04, 2006

Barcelona Forum: Under the Solar Panel

Barcelona Forum: Under the Solar Panel

No, it is not the stairs scene from Battleship Potemkin by Einsenstein. This is the scalinata that leads to the base of the big solar panel in the Barcelona Forum area. So many tons of concrete, the stern, sober, majestic style reminds me of Socialist or Stalinist Architecture somehow. Check this other picture with my wife and my daughter on top of the stairs so you get a better idea.

Here is another post on the Barcelona Solar Panel.

July 03, 2006

Barcelona Zoo: I Wanna Go Home

Barcelona Zoo: I Wanna Go Home

Today I am experimenting with BW in this shot taken at Barcelona Zoo. The chimp in the picture seems to be sad and fed up, so I put words in his/her mouth: I wanna go home! or maybe I feel sorrow for you!. No matter how well conditioned zoos are, nothing can replace an animal's natural habitat, and we don´t have any right to do this just to satisfy our curiosity.

Explore Barcelona Zoo Satellite Image on Google Maps.


Barcelona Zoo is a charming fixture in the heart of our city. Founded in 1892 using animals from the private collection of Lluís Martí i Codolar, the zoo was inaugurated on September 24th, coinciding with the Feast of La Merce.

The zoo occupies a city block in the Parc de la Ciutadella near the picturesque Cascada fountain. It features several biozones that recreate habitats from tropical, temperate, and desert regions. The premises are home to around 300 species and 2000 animals. The collection includes mammals like giraffes, lions, tigers, gorillas, rhinos, kangaroos, camels, and anteaters; birds like pelicans, flamingos, and macaws; as well as reptiles like anacondas and komodo dragons. The zoo also cultivates over 300 plant species and is a habitat for diverse urban wildlife.

One crowd favorite used to be Snowflake, an extremely rare albino Gorilla. Snowflake arrived in Barcelona in 1966 after being captured by chance in the forests of Río Muni, in what is today Equatorial Guinea. He died as a venerable patriarch in 2003.

One of Barcelona Zoo's main attractions are its unique exotic animal collections. The zoo is home to Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, and other animals not commonly found in European zoos. Visitors can get close to giraffes and feed elephants by hand at scheduled times. The Terrarium contains diverse amphibians and reptiles species and there is also an extensive Aviary with more than 70 species of birds from different continents..

While Barcelona Zoo provides many benefits, the practice of housing wild animals for public display raises ethical questions. Critics argue captivity often falls short of meeting animals' natural needs and reflecting their true habitats. The zoo elephants' small enclosure, for instance, lacks the rich social structures and hundreds of square miles elephants roam in the wild. Some also believe resources spent on zoos would better serve conservation if directed to protecting natural ecosystems.

The Barcelona Zoo has not been without controversy. Critics have accused it of losing prestige due to a declining focus on conservation and research. The dismissal of zoo director Carme Maté, a primate specialist, led to complaints about Townhall prioritizing business interests over animals. The death of one of its elephants in 2008 also sparked protests, with activists and veterinarians arguing the remaining elephant, Susi, should be moved to a sanctuary. Politicians and activists criticized the zoo for keeping Susi in isolation and small enclosure. Despite petitions and proposals to relocate Susi, the Barcelona Zoo refused to part with its lone elephant.

Regardless of past controversies, the Barcelona Zoo continues to implement reforms that prioritize animal welfare, conservation, and education.

In recent years, the Barcelona Zoo efforts include:

  1. Participating in nearly 100 European endangered species programs.
  2. Over 85% of animal species classified as threatened by the IUCN Red List.
  3. Nearly 30% of animals born at the zoo released back into the wild in recent years.
  4. Over 1.5 million euros invested in research projects in the last decade, 50% focused on native species.
  5. The Barcelona Zoo works closely with the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) to promote wildlife conservation and habitat preservation. The zoo's Research and Conservation Program funds scientific studies and supports projects to protect threatened species globally.

Along with its conservation mission, Barcelona Zoo provides families and tourists an engaging day of fun, learning and animal encounters.

With its wide variety of species, the zoo aims to foster respect and appreciation for wildlife while also actively supporting habitat protection and breeding programs for endangered species worldwide. As one of Spain's most visited attractions, the Barcelona Zoo strives to inform the public about biodiversity and inspire visitors to join efforts to preserve nature. After more than a century of operation, the zoo remains committed to its mission of conservation, research, and environmental awareness.

July 02, 2006

Barcelona Tram

Barcelona Tram

It is elegant, it is comfortable, it is modern, it is Barcelona Tram or Trambaix. As many other new modern projects in Barcelona, Barcelona Tram has supporters and detractors. Some people are delighted because it covers an area in the outskirts of the city that has been historically ignored regarding transportation, and some others, drivers for example, simply hate it, as many roads have been altered to make way for the trains. At the beginning, there were a lot of accidents: it was not strange to see a car take a turn and crash into the tram. If you want to see more pictures of the tram check this site.

July 01, 2006

Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Heart at Tibidabo, Barcelona

Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Heart at Tibidabo

The Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Heart at Tibidabo mountain, was designed by architect Enrique Sagnier. First of all, back in 1886, the property of the land was donated by twelve distinguished gentlemen to San Juan Bosco who decided to build a hermitage, gothic in style and 8 meters high. 

The main crypt was not started until 1903 by the same Sagnier and finished partially many years later by his son. On the central tower there is a bronze statue built by José Miret in 1961, it is 7 meters and a half tall and weighs 4.800 kilos. The statue of Christ and the Sacred Heart spreading his open arms has become one of the main symbols of Barcelona. Here you can see a detail from the frieze at the portico.
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