Barcelona Photoblog: January 2011

January 30, 2011

Modernist Building, Rambla Catalunya 61 next to Arago St.

Modernist Building, Rambla Catalunya 61 next to Arago St.

Newly restored modernist building on the corner of Rambla Catalunya and Carrer Arago.

Located exactly at Rambla Catalunya 61 this apartment building with offices to rent (I have seen one with 150 square meters advertised for 2500 EUR/month!) immediately grabs our attention for that interesting combination of undulated balconies, exuberant ironwork and glass covered galleries.

I think you should examine this Eixample quarter Art Nouveau gem closer in Google street view: Modernist House Rambla Catalunya 61.

January 25, 2011

Metal Adornment at Building Entrance in Eixample Quarter, Barcelona

Metal Adornment at Building Entrance in Eixample Quarter, Barcelona [enlarge]

Walking along Eixample streets it is not rare to find curious metal adornments like this, guarding the entrance of modernist houses. I am not sure about the real purpose of such figures but it is obvious it wasn't purely aesthetical. One of my theories is that between the door and this mythological creature, you could easily slide a wooden board to protect the house against flooding. This was usual practice in Barcelona not so long ago. Nevertheless I am not sure about this and maybe some of you may think of another use.

January 20, 2011

Casa Batlló: Masked Balconies

Mask Balconies at Casa Batllo by Gaudi, Barcelona

To stay in Barcelona without visiting Casa Batlló is like being in Paris and forgetting about the Eiffel tower, with all due respect to Sagrada Familia and Sacre Coeur respectively.

The famous house designed by Gaudi is so, let's say, 'different' that tiptoeing her is almost a sacrilege.

Besides the exquisite trencadis (shattered tiles) on the façade, the balconies are like carnival masks, concealed faces watching upon passersby.

The whole building has more to do with patterns we usually find in nature than with man's rationale, like the peculiar contours of the roof that simulate some sort of scaly skin as that of a lizard or a snake, or why not, a dragon, or the impossible arches and oval windows in the lower floors deprived of everything that recalls a straight line.

I tried to apply some symmetry at the moment of framing the picture but it was certainly pretty hard.

Here is a previous post about Casa Batllo.

January 17, 2011

Modernist Lamp, Casa Amatller, Barcelona

Modernist Lamp, Casa Amatller, Barcelona

This is a detail of one of the art nouveau style lamps at Casa Amatller on Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona. Of course the original is more beautiful but I hope this is enough teaser for you to visit the famous house and take a good look at it.

More about Casa Amatller in this previous post: Casa Amatller Modernist Stained Glass Ceiling

January 11, 2011

An Exclusive Bird's Eye View on Barcelona: Diagonal 00

Diagonal 00, Barcelona - Telefonica S.A Headquarters [enlarge]

As covered by Barcelona Photoblog in a previous post, the skyline of Barcelona is experiencing a drastic change and the waterfront is no longer spilled with industrial warehouses or fishermen shacks. The explosion of high rise buildings is evident and it is not strange to listen to testimonies of tourists that have enjoyed a wonderful view from one of those state-of-the-art hotels or employees that have the privilege of working in brand new company headquarters facing the sea and surrounded by an idyllic neighborhood. Such is the case of gravity defiant Diagonal 00, Telefonica's flagship head office, a sort of modern Flatiron building in Europe. I am sure that staff working on top floors must have an impressive panorama in front of them every morning, almost like a bird's eye view considering the rest of our urban perimeter is quite flat.

By the way, today I would like to recommend this fantastic video in 3D about Barcelona city in which you have the opportunity to virtually travel on bird's eye view mode over several Barcelona hallmarks. In fact, the video is the result of Oh-Barcelona staff efforts to introduce more advanced visual technologies like 3D in the world of city maps and travel guides. I hope you enjoy the trip!

January 09, 2011

Small Girl Playing at Restaurant

Small Girl Playing at Restaurant [enlarge]

Small girl hiding under restaurant menu. I hope you like another sample of pure innocence. Have a nice week everyone.

January 06, 2011

Wise Man Balthasar Brings Presents to Barcelona Kids

Wise Man Balthasar in Barcelona
Balthasar Magi during Barcelona Three Wise Men Parade

Wise man Balthasar, one of the Three Biblical Magi as seen yesterday on the streets of Barcelona before delivering all those gifts on our kids' wish lists.

As you know every year the Three Wise Men come from the East and late at night ride on their magic camels and sneak into our houses to drop presents. Before departing, they usually stop for a minute to try some of the provisions we previously had left somewhere visible near the door or outside.

The content may vary from home to home, some people offer them liquor generally anís (anise-flavored liqueur) some others just water, and that may be accompanied by cookies, crumbs of bread (for the camels), nougat or polvorones.

Check this previous image showing the Three Wise Men sculpture group on Sagrada Familia façade

January 04, 2011

Barcelona Shop Window: Mannequin

Barcelona Shop Window: Mannequin  [enlarge]

Rebajas (sp. for sales) are coming to Barcelona next January 7th and shops are getting ready for crisis-affected consumers looking for opportunities. With this flashy display enhancing the dress on this mannequin I welcome the first week of the year, the magical time when not only the three wise men carry toys for our kids but people go on a spending spree with the genuine intention of "saving".

January 02, 2011

Gaudi's Army of Chimneys on La Pedrera, Barcelona

Modernist Chimneys by Antoni Gaudi on La Pedrera or Casa Mila Roof [enlarge]

Hi everyone,

This is Barcelona Photoblog's first post in 2011. I hope this year brings the best for all of you. Without your presence here this blog would mean nothing and I really appreciate you take the time to read me. What is more representative of Barcelona than Gaudi's works? To say the truth, few things. That's why, I want to salute the second decade of this XXI century with more chimneys from La Pedrera aka Casa Mila.

All the best,

Carlos Lorenzo
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