Barcelona Photoblog: 2018

September 08, 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

June 22, 2018

How To Use Your Smartphone To Take Great Photos

When you think of professional photography, a smartphone might not be the first piece of equipment that comes to mind, but, with the right knowledge and perhaps some useful apps and equipment, you can take stunning images with a smartphone. Here are some of the ways you can do it.

Use The Apps 

There are hundreds of different photography apps available for Apple and Android smartphones that can help you to create the most beautiful images without the need of expensive camera equipment (or in conjunction with the more high-tech equipment). Some of these apps will be free, and others will have a fee attached, so you’ll need to know what you want to spend (if anything) before you start, as this will narrow your search options down.

Some apps will help you take great photos; there are some that will tell you where the sun is going to be, for example, so that you can plan a photo shoot in advance, and some that can turn your phone into a pocket light meter. Others ensure that you have any paperwork you might need to be stored at your fingertips – model release forms can be useful, for example. Still, more will give you the ability to immediately and professionally edit your photographs when you have finished taken them.

Location Scouting

Location scouting is something that all good photographers will do. However, if you are visiting a number of different places, it can be difficult to remember exactly where they all are once you return home to plan your shoot. Using your smartphone will help you. You can snap a quick image of a great location, and the image will be geotagged for you. That way, even if you don’t know exactly where it is because you have gone for a walk and just stumbled across the place, you’ll easily be able to find your way back there thanks to your phone and its useful tagging feature.

It’s A Second Camera 

Most photographers will take two cameras with them whenever they are on a photoshoot. That way, should something go wrong, they have a backup. Alternatively, the second camera can be used to take candid shots or behind the scenes images which are always fun and can really add to the client’s experience of the day. Carrying two large SLR cameras around with you is difficult, though, and using your smartphone as your second camera can make things a lot easier.

A smartphone can also be useful on difficult shoots where the SLR camera is just too big to fit properly, offering you the chance to take pictures you might have missed otherwise. Another benefit of using a smartphone on a location shoot is that they are easier to replace or repair if damaged by water or an accident than a camera would be. There is helpful information online to help prevent data loss due to water damage.

Easily Share Your Photos
Smartphones are hugely compatible with social media platforms, and that can be highly beneficial to a photographer looking for new clients. You can instantly upload your images to whichever platform you are using (Instagram and Facebook work particularly well for photographers) and allow people to see your latest work. The more people who see what you are doing, the more likely it is that you will find new clients to work with.

May 28, 2018

Planning Your Wedding in Barcelona? - Find 6 Best Photo Points Here

Photo credit/site Sagrada Familia Cathedral

If you are planning a destination wedding, Barcelona should be near the top of your list. Barcelona is the second largest municipality in Spain. This world-class city by the sea has unique architectural designs that are like no other.

Your wedding photography

Every couple wants photographs of this most sacred event in their lives. You may spend months looking for the perfect wedding gown at sites, you decide on the perfect colors for the bridal party, the perfect flowers to accent the attire. You inspect every detail, from the wedding cake to the invitations, You want your day to be as special as your love.

You can have your wedding photographer and videographer, but do not stop there. You are in one of the most beautiful locations on the planet, and you want extraordinary photographs that draw you into the experiences you enjoyed.

An easy way to create a sufficient fund for Wedding in Barcelona

Since Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in the world, it can bring you a lot of joy and happiness but also it can cause the empty pockets.  Renting the restaurant, music, wedding organization, or everything else needed for the special day, plus organizing the plane trip for your beloved ones can be pretty much expensive. There are though the tools that can help you make it happen and help you have a sufficient budget - the HoneyFund. You can ask your friends and family to contribute to the fund for the wedding and in this way make it much more special for everyone!

 Places in Barcelona That Are Of The Most Beautiful Status

     ● The Magic Fountain

                                                  Photo credit site The Magic Fountain

This beautiful fountain has been in operation since 1929. The music, lighting, and patterns it creates are world-class, drawing people from around the globe. In recent years the lights have been replaced with more energy efficient LED lighting. The fountain is driven by three water-recycling pools. During the show, it pumps more than 2600 liters of water per second.

     ● Casa Batllo

Construction on this masterpiece, created by Gaudi, began in 1877. It is made of stone, metals, woods, and ceramics. It is vibrant with many beautiful colors. It has been refurbished several times over the years. Casa Batlló sits in the center of Barcelona. This is a location you do not want to miss.

     ● Sagrada Familia

See the photograph at the introduction of this article for the beauty of Sagrada Familia. This is an unfinished Roman Catholic church, which had a multitude of world-famous architects working in unison on the project. Construction began in 1882. At its highest point, the cathedral stands 566’ tall.

Stunning Wedding Venues in Barcelona

While you, and your guests will be in awe of the beauty of Barcelona, and the photo opportunities your wedding location will bring; there is the wedding itself to deal with.

Barcelona has any jaw-dropping wedding venues that are available to you. These venues leave nothing to chance. Every detail is addressed, and you can rest easy knowing your wedding plans are being attended to even when you are not physically there.

Here are some choice locations for the unique and beautiful destination wedding of your dreams:

      ● Mas Bonvilar

This stunning facility is the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding. The grounds are manicured. Every detail of the ceremony is taken care of. There are beautiful trees with leaves that hang and blow in the gentle breeze. The area is lit with lovely white, twinkling lights, If you want convenience, the home is only 200 meters away from the beautiful Hilton La Mola.

      ● Gran Hotel Don Jaime

Do you want a personalized wedding like no one has ever had before? This is your venue. The beautiful hotel sits on top of a mountain, complete with the beauty of a tower. You look down over crystal clear waters. The hotel is 100% elegant. From outdoor reception areas, to state of the art indoor wedding ballrooms, your dreams will come true. The most elegant settings are provided.

Hotel rooms have full panoramic views of the sea and top-of-the-line accommodations. Only the best wedding coordinators, chefs, staff, and servers are permitted to work for this hotel.

      ● Castell de Sant Marçal

Have you always dreamed of a fairy tale wedding? Then book your wedding at this beautiful castle. The original furnishings, take you back in time. The view is perfect for a wedding and your guests can spend the night in the castle as well. There is no more unique experience than this.

Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event. Make it an event that you and your guests will always cherish. Take advantage of the modern tools of photography and create photographs that will be like nothing you have ever experienced before. Now is the time to book your venues, and Barcelona gives you plenty of choices.

Regarding Wedding Budgets

When it comes to weddings, budgets can help a couple start their new life together on a financially responsible track. It will also help you start that new life without a huge debt!

On average, couples in the US spend almost $26,000 on their weddings, with only half paying less than $15,000. That’s a huge amount for one event, even if you consider everything that goes into a wedding.

The good news: regardless of your income, you can set a budget, stick to it, and still enjoy a beautiful day with your spouse-to-be, friends, and family!

To create your budget you have to consider what’s financially feasible. If you think you’ll only be able to save up $5,000, for example, then set that as your budget and break it down into uses, such as venue, formal wear, flowers, photography, food, etc.

It may also help to identify the things that matter most to you and your fiance. Is throwing a party with great food and drinks the most important? Do you want to focus on having beautiful flowers and photos you’ll cherish for the rest of your life? By knowing what matters most, you can put that first in your budget and divide the rest for the basics.

You can also get a little more frugal with certain aspects of the wedding, such as sending e-invitations instead of paper ones. You’ll save on the cost of material, printing, and postage--money that can be used elsewhere!

May 02, 2018

Top Tips for Exploring Barcelona’s Natural World

Costa Brava north of Barcelona

Barcelona is famed for being home to one of the most cosmopolitan cityscapes in the world, where people travel from countries far and wide to see its beautiful baroque buildings and learn about its history. But, that is not all there is to it. In fact, within the city and surrounding its edges are numerous natural wonders which people overlook when they visit. If you are hoping to inject a dose of the natural world into your trip and escape from the busy crowds of the centre, you will not be disappointed. From city beaches to mountainous abbeys, there is something here that everyone can enjoy, whether you are a nature lover or not.

Visit city parks 

One of the city’s biggest perks is that you don’t have to travel far to find some green spaces. There are many parks you can find that are easy to reach by jumping on the metro or walking the short distance. For example, the famous Park Guell is home to some of Gaudi’s iconic architecture, where bright trees line the paths that lead to the perfect picnic spots and colourful buildings. Here, you can also catch a glimpse of the sea on the horizon. A trip to Barcelona wouldn’t be the same without heading to the Ciutadella Park, where you can catch sight of exotic wildlife in the zoo. For a more natural escape, the Jardi Botanic de Barcelona has views of rolling hills, forests, and exotic fauna in contrast to the bustling city alongside it. Such places are the perfect setting to take some pictures to commemorate your trip.

Travel outside the city

The green spaces inside the city are a great introduction to the natural world that lies beyond the metro line. In such places, you can enjoy hiking and biking, but you can also go camping in the warmer weather for an unforgettable experience. To make the most of the mountainous land nearby, you should make the short drive to Serra de Collserola, where you can catch mountain views as you explore. To get to these areas, it is best for you to travel in a car rental if you don’t have your car with you. This will ensure you can see some of the best natural scenery on the drive there. 

Relax on the beach

When people think of the natural world, they often picture green forests and mountainous terrain. However, beaches are also a great way to make the most of it if you don’t want to spend your days surrounded by greenery. There are many city beaches you can relax on like Playa de la Barceloneta, but you can find the most peaceful by traveling further down the coast. For a few short hours or an evening trip away, you should catch the train to Platja de Sant Sebastia, which offers great views of old town and the sea. There are other beaches to explore nearby. For a more unique beach experience, travel north to Platja de L’Illa Roja, where you can find impossibly clear waters and rocky, coastal hikes to indulge your beach dreams.

March 11, 2018

Find Best Barcelona Spots Suggested by Locals

Spotted by Locals
source: Spotted by Locals

Would you like to explore a city and skip most of the typical touristic places so you do not end up having paella in Las Ramblas for example? Would you be willing to waste your precious time going straight to Sagrada Familia without buying the tickets online in the right website if you could avoid it? 

Many are the mistakes we can make when we play the tourist in a foreign country. But what if we were able to get the best advice from dozens or hundreds of local 'guides' that volunteer to give you the best hints about places they have spotted for you, places that are their favorite secret troves. 

Yep, those things you can have with Google reviews, Google Maps' local guides, Foursquare, Yelp or the omnipresent but sometimes dubious Trip Advisor. In fact, there is a jungle out there of contradictory opinions that you have to sift and filter a lot to make your final decisions. Many of these helpful sites have their own biased interests, like selling accommodation, earning commission from restaurants, favoring the big business in the city and ruining the good guys, you name it. Well, sometimes money counts. Many of us sell stuff online with more or less success. It is just that the big shots are very unfair in their game.

And so, let's keep going with our hypothesis of the, what if? What if you could take those volunteered opinions in one city guide that you can navigate offline like a map, that you can update with fresh opinions from locals and to which you can add your own favorite spots? What if not only you could cover Barcelona for example but also 70 other cities in one single website? Or what is best, what if all that, traveled with you in a single app? 

Spotted by locals, founded by two experienced nomadic travel experts, Sanne and Bart back in 2008, is a network of almost 500 hand picked local spotters from all over the world that meet each other regularly and enjoy the benefits of sharing their own findings among them and fortunately with us. And they not only offer this excellent service on their website but now also in an app available for android or ios.

And you would say, this guy is selling me stuff, just like the rest. You are right! I am selling you a bright idea, an all-in-one travel app recommended by the New York Times. What did I get for this? What if I tell you that I am a happy user of the Barcelona Spotted by Locals app? I wish I could pay 3.99 euros for every city I visit. It would save me a lot of trouble. So far I just got Barcelona. It comes handy on many occasions. Another good reason is that last year Barcelona Photoblog was selected among the best Barcelona blogs of 2017 by Spotted by Locals. They were kind enough as to try my site and found it useful. I have tried their app and I loved it. And so why would I keep it just for myself if everything Barcelona, everything good in my lovely city is the reason for this blog to exist. I hope you enjoy their great work as much as I do.

February 12, 2018

Best Local Markets to Cover When in Barcelona

Art and craft, vegetables and meat, trinkets and souvenirs, the markets of Barcelona boast of having the most delicious produce, the most intricate art, dynamic people and energetic atmosphere. Plan your vacation in such a way that you can include all of the wonderful things that the city markets have to offer.

Markets of Barcelona

For a true foodie, Barcelona is nothing less than a shrine. Meat, seafood, vegetables and fruits all collected fresh in the morning is a lovely sight to behold. Team it up with local chefs working their magic, the aroma of the fresh spices, and you have the best gastronomic experience one can ever have! For all those looking to take back memories in the form of trinkets, you will find here a number of antique shops giving you precious delicates that will forever be special to you. And for an art lover, adding to the beauty of this ancient city are the modern artists spreading the joy of colours.

Take a look at our list of the best local markets to cover when in Barcelona and plan your trip soon!

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

Often called as La Boqueria, this market is the most famous market of Barcelona. A tourist magnet, you will see people flooding the streets of the market to get the best foodie experience of the city. Famous for the fresh produce that it offers, it prides in selling fruits, vegetables, meat, flowers, spices and everything that would tickle your senses.

Mercat de la Concepció

Photo credits: Gerhidt

Famed to be the best “social” market in the city, Mercat de la Concepció aims to bring people together. With excellent food options, this market organises events and activities for people to get to know the city and one another better. A delight to be a part of, this is shopping, dining and mingling at its best!

Mercat de Santa Caterina

The most significant part of this market is its roof. Not as large as the others, but definitely not less diverse, you will be attracted to its atmosphere like a bee is to a flower! Mercat de Santa Caterina flaunts a vibrant design, a work of art by Enric Miralles, Benedetta Tagliabue and the artist Toni Comella. Mosaic art flashing hues of fresh produce, you will not be disappointed by the offerings of this market.

Mercat del Ninot

Photo credits: Jordiferrer

An authentic experience of Barcelona food, this is the market where the locals shop! Fresh produce of vegetables, fruits and meat fill the trays early in the morning, and the fresh aroma is tantalising. A hidden gem in the city, a casual morning shopping tour will only do you good.

Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep

Mercadillo de la Plaça de Sant Josep is an artist’s haven. Opened as a tradition every week, this market features 15 artists who come to showcase their talents. The hues, the strokes and the emotions that flow through the air are surreal and mesmerising. Also boasting of a fun side to it, artists are more than happy to discuss art, and caricatures can be enjoyed at every other stall!

Mercat de Sant Antoni

Photo credits: Valugi

One place that has it all, Mercat de Sant Antoni showcases to its visitors, clothes, souvenirs, and trinkets, as well as fresh fruits, meat and vegetables. One of the largest markets in the city, it is frequented by locals. To get an exotic shopping experience, don’t forget to include it in your itinerary!

January 29, 2018

Culture to Cuisine: Where to Go When Planning a Vacation to Spain

Spain offers something for everyone. Whether you love cultural breaks, foodie experiences or simply relaxing on a beach, there is a destination waiting for you in the passionate, sophisticated country. Find out where to go when planning a vacation to Spain.

A Cultural Break

If you want to experience mesmerizing architectures, famous art, and interesting museums, you should make Barcelona your first choice. The cosmopolitan city is easily one of the most culturally rich cities in all of Spain, making it the ultimate destination for those who appreciate unforgettable scenery and delicious cuisine. It’s also located in the Mediterranean’s busiest port, so it’s ideal for those hoping to travel via Europe cruises.

A Sunny Experience

Spain is certainly not short of sunny weather and beautiful beaches, which can provide a relaxing vacation in Europe. If you want to spend most of your time on a sandy beach, Andalusia is certainly worth a consideration, which offers beautiful weather throughout the year. Yet, temperatures can soar to an uncomfortable temperature during the height of summer – so time your trip well.

Foodies’ Paradise

Spanish cuisine offers a concoction of delicious flavors that will linger on your tongue throughout your vacation. People who appreciate good food should make their way to Granada, which offers an authentic Spanish experience complemented with delicious tapas. It’s one of few cities that will provide free food with every drink, so you can experience different dishes with every order. You may also love a trip to either Seville or San Sebastian, as both offer internationally acclaimed tapas. Foodies will never want to return home.

Wine Experiences

Spain is world renowned for exceptional wines, such as a Rioja, Cava, and Ribera del Duero. Those who want to experience wine from the best regions should consider taking a trip to Bilbao and/or San Sebastian, which are in the Basque Country and a stone’s throw away from the Rioja wine region. Yet, the destinations also offer their own homegrown wine: Txakoli. To experience the best wine in Spain, you should look no further than the capital city of Madrid.

Outdoor Adventures

Are you a fan of outdoor activities? You might be surprised to learn you can go skiing in Spain. Of course, the best place to visit to hit the slopes is Barcelona, as it is within proximity of the Pyrenees. You can also participate in The Tomatina Festival, also known as the Tomato Battle, which takes place in the small town of Buñol every August. Locals prepare every year for the epic tomato event by adorning their homes with plastic sheeting. Both its residents and tourists will then begin throwing tomatoes at each other for fun. It’s a unique outdoor experience you won’t find anywhere else in Spain or beyond.

Have you got any top tips for planning a trip to Spain? Have you visited any of the destinations listed above? Share your advice and stories to help others enjoy the ultimate Spanish vacation.

January 27, 2018

7 Best Pro Wedding Photographers in Barcelona

Asian bride in wedding photograph in Barcelona

Documenting your wedding, one of the main events in your life, putting it on record be it digitally or on film is something that we don't want to lay in the hands of an improvised amateur that will spoil our memories forever. With this I don't mean that amateurs lack the talent of an artist but maybe they falter in the technicalities or in something as simple as knowing how to solve last minute complications efficiently without ruining the client's ceremony.

Today I want to give you a list of the best pro wedding photographers in Barcelona which I am sure might make you feel happy about the results and rest assure that your money is well invested. Of course this is a personal selection and there are lots of creative and professional photographers out there. If you know other experts drop me a line so I can make an update later.

As you know there are different styles in wedding photography:

Classic or traditional wedding photography:

Remember those tedious weddings where guests are having a great time while the bride and the groom are tortured with a set of precooked classic poses in classic scenarios? Well, you still have a lot of that nowadays although other options are changing the way we approach the nuptial event. Classic style can be very appropriate if mixed with other styles. We are used to being directed by the master of ceremonies that the wedding photographer has always been but that is changing. Thanks God!


The attempt to break with stereotypes and the need to be in tune with modern times paves the way to a sort of subjective narration, more like a documentary executed by these professional artists who frame the truth of the scene as it is happening. It is not strange to hear comments like: the photographer was fantastic, we didn't even know she (or he) was there. Inside this style you can talk about documentary wedding photographers or reportage wedding photographers but in the end is all about narrating a story with images, the photographer as a storyteller.

Editorial wedding photography:

Editorial wedding photography is similar to photojournalism in the sense that they both tell a story, but it does not have limitations, as the scene can be staged there no need to always concentrate on capturing the moment.

Fine art wedding photography:

As the name suggests this style is about the artistic side of the image, the lights, the composition and the post processing. No need to get a LaChapelle striking artistic result to be regarded as a fine art wedding photographer but more or less you get the idea.

Fashion wedding photography:

A style that borrows from the fashion industry, especially the use of off camera lighting, model poses and  daring backgrounds as well as the display of fashion consumer articles.

Studio wedding photography:

As the word says, this is all in-studio, so I imagine is worse than the classic style!

And now, after the long introduction let's go with the...

List of best pro wedding photographers in Barcelona:

Cesc Giralt Wedding photography
By Cesc Giralt

I start with one of my favorites, Cesc Giralt. He does Wedding Photography and Engagement (Pre Wedding) and Honeymoon (Post Wedding) Photo Shoots in Barcelona and Spain.  If I were to get married again which I won't I'd hire his services to remind me of such big incongruity.

Carla Aymat Wedding photography
By Carla Aymat

Carla Aymat is a Fine art wedding photographer with a very close and natural style. A young photographer with a lot of experience. Discreet and nice person according to her clients comments.

Martina Zancan Wedding photography
By Martina Zancan

Martina Zancan describes herself as 'a brunch addicted, lifeaholic, Italian fashion photographer living the dream in Barcelona and traveling the world to tell stories. She mainly does wedding reportage.

Raquel Benito Wedding photography
By Raquel Benito

Raquel Benito, captures the details, the essence of the subjects in the photograph in a very natural way. She loves to narrate a story in every image.

Santi Roman Wedding photography
By Santi Roman

Santi Roman, an expert in documentary style photography filled with romance and emotion, Santi Roman is a true craftsman.

Veronica Hansen Wedding photography
By Veronica Hansen

Veronica Hansen studied Photojournalism and History. Making artistic portraits of women was her creative outlet while she traveled the world. A real pro with a good background in photography.

Xavi Guirola Wedding photography
By Xavi Guirola

Xavi Guirola, young millennial photographer and video maker with an obsession for new trends in technology, Japan and Netflix. He is a perfectionist in his field.

January 11, 2018

Grand Luxury Hotel Casa Fuster Modernist Landmark of Barcelona

Hotel Casa Fuster Grand Luxe 5 Star Monument Leading Hotels of the World
Hotel Casa Fuster by architect Domenech i Montaner - picture by Carlos Lorenzo

Do you want to discover one of the top modernist landmarks in Barcelona? Come visit with me the Grand Luxury Hotel Casa Fuster, member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World group, a jewel of Catalan Art Nouveau architecture.


Hotel Casa Fuster started being just a casa modernista but it was not any odd house indeed. This beauty was built by the matchless architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner who was commissioned by Don Mariano Fuster i Fuster, illustrious member of the Mallorcan high society apropos of his marriage to Miss Consuelo Fabra i Puig, daughter of the Marquis of Alella.

In fact, Fuster wanted to give this house to his wife as a wedding present and there were no limits for expenses. He put the house under his wife's name and dedicated a rose window to her, on the facade of Jesus Street where you can read her initials CF.

Domenech's work was the first house in Barcelona built with white marble and cost 13 million pesetas, a fortune that made it the most expensive in the city at that time, one year before La Pedrera by Gaudi, which is about 400 meters away down Passeig de Gracia.

Those were times in which houses talked a lot about the class of their owners. The history of this famous street is that of the war of egos among the powerful elite of wealthy businessmen and nobles on each side of the road. Can you imagine this magnificent white marble five story building, shining on top of the hill at the end of Passeig de Gracia? 1,920 square meters of property on the premises of an old chocolate factory demolished in 1905 stating clearly that it was second to none.

Hotel Casa Fuster Corner Tower
Corner of Hotel Casa Fuster facing Gran de Gracia street
The works began in 1908 and ended in 1911, the year in which the family entered to live on the noble floor, that is, the first one. The rest of the floors were for rent. This was very common in Barcelona. It really helped covering the ostentatious expenses.

What is today the main entrance of the hotel was the access for carriages that used to go through till the opposite side, a back alley in which there is a church. On the other hand, what we know at present as Café Vienés was the family events room in which there was a staircase to go up to the private floor of the family.

In the early twenties the family had to sell the house. It was impossible to keep such pace, not even by renting the upper floors. Nevertheless the flats remained for rent long after the owners left.

Over the years, businesses such as a barber shop and a grocery store were prosperous in the area of Cafe Vienes famous for its jazz concerts nowadays every Thursday from 9 to 11 pm. Another part of the building, what at present is the Sala Doménech i Montaner in the underground floor used to be a very popular dance hall in the middle of the 50s known as "The Blue Danube". It was a place of reunion for the different social strata in the city.

Famous Cafe Vienes in Hotel Casa Fuster

But that is not all. The house changed from hand to hand several times according to the historical ups and downs of the city so it was not strange to see the consulate of Hitler's Germany or the Italian Institute during Mussolini's dictatorship occupying one of the floors. Although not all was that fascist in its records! The same floor was taken by the POUM (Workers Party of Marxist Unification) to establish their headquarters in 1936. Also the Defense Committee of the Revolution by the Iberian Communist Youth was organized here. In 1939, once Republicans lost the civil war, Franco's Falange settled in the house and also their official Social Assistance institutions.

By the way, this was the house of the famous Catalan poet Salvador Espriu for 30 years! It is said that he did not want to abandon the premises until a leg injury impaired him and made it impossible for him to climb the stairs. 

In 1962 the company ENHER (the Ribagorzana Hydroelectric Company) bought the house for 11 million pesetas. The intention was to tear down Casa Fuster and start a more functional high rise building called Barcelona Tower. There was a tremendous campaign to defend this urban heritage, led by important personalities and publications such as Oriol Bohigas and Destino magazine.

As a result of the general protests ENHER, not only did not demolish the house, but promised to make a restoration of the building.

The Hotel

In 1999 "Casa Fuster" was on sale and in the year 2000 it was bought by Hoteles Center.

It is now the property of a group of companies called GRUPO NOGA (the initials of the name and surnames of the owner). The group's headquarters are in Granada, where the company opened its first hotel in 1992. There are others in Cordoba, Badajoz, Seville and Valencia.

Opened in 2004, Hotel Casa Fuster started attracting foreign and local clients alike. It was a privilege to sleep in such beautiful landmark not only because of the architecture but because of the history. This well deserved fame made it part of the most expensive hotels in the village. You may easily spend here more than 1000 euros per room although the standard ones are about 255 EUR (+VAT). Of its 105 rooms, only 67 are standard bedrooms. The rest are superior rooms, junior suites and suites. The company also owns Suite Center Barcelona apartments in Passeig de Gracia 128, some steps away from the entrance.

Grand Luxe Hotel Casa Fuster on Passeig de Gracia 132 - Front Façade
Hotel Casa Fuster Front Façade on Passeig de Gracia 132
The list of famous guests is countless but as you know a hotel like this strictly protects the privacy of its clients. You'd better Google them up.

Not only you can sleep in an enormous King size bed with a view of Sagrada Familia but you can enjoy the popular terrace from where Passeig de Gracia is all in front of your eyes right until Plaça Catalunya, 10 blocks away.

The hotel has eleven meeting rooms, a gym, a sauna and a massage room. There is the Galaxó Restaurant on the first floor which has an average price of 60 euros and has a menu called 'modernist' for 40 euros. Besides being a place to stay and find solace, Hotel Casa Fuster is much more. It is the central spot for all sort of events and activities, such as weddings, anniversaries, baptisms, bachelor parties, business meetings, congresses, cocktails, spots, name it.

Guests are pampered by hotel staff from the doormen till the last employee and that is perhaps what makes it so unique on top of the architecture and history.

The Architect

Lluís Domènech i Montaner was a prolific architect. His professional life began in 1874 with the pantheon project for Anselm Clavé, in Poblenou's cemetery in Barcelona, and ended in 1919 with Casa Domènech in Canet de Mar.

During forty-five years he produced more than seventeen buildings among other projects, of which 46% corresponds to housing, 25% to public architecture, 16% to funeral architecture, 6% to monuments, 4% to religious architecture and 3 % to industrial architecture.

Doménech i Montaner, also known for Hospital de Sant Pau and Palau de la Musica, which he build in parallel to Casa Fuster was a modernist architect of international renown and a professor of architecture. In fact, Gaudi was Montaner's pupil in the school of architecture.

His style may look more sober than Gaudi's but it is by no means less solid as he was the father sort to say, of Catalan modernisme.

Check the images above and admire the impressive facades of Casa Fuster, in which the architect avoids the straight lines as much as possible with the intention of creating movement while highlighting representative ornaments of nature like flowers, plants and birds. Remember that Doménech i Montaner was also a botanist! This man was a genius overshadowed by the Messi of architecture, Antonio Gaudi.

January 07, 2018

The 4 Best Animals to Hunt in Spain

Spain is a geographically diverse country located in Southwestern Europe; its southern tip consists of the British Overseas territory of Gibraltar, with the narrow Strait of Gibraltar separating the territory from the Northern tip of Africa. Its position gives rise to a broad range of wildlife and scenery which makes Spain a fantastic country to explore, as well as an increasingly popular hunting destination.

Here is a brief guide to some of the most popular game animals found in the country.

Hunting in Spain

Gun laws in Spain are much more restrictive than the US, as is the case for most European countries, and organized hunting trips will often provide visitors with a hunting rifle. Again, like most European countries there are less restrictions on small caliber hunting weapons. If you are just visiting, then you will probably want to rent equipment rather than purchasing it. Note that prices also vary when compared to the US. In the US you can find a 9mm for sale under 200, however guns of this type are not available for purchase in Spain.

Red Deer

The Iberian red deer is smaller than its European counterpart, weighing in at somewhere between 180-220 lbs on average. Its coat is not as thick as the European variety and tends to be lighter in color. Its antlers are very fine and can have upwards of 20 points, but are not as long or as heavy when compared with European red deer. The national population is estimated to be around 350,000 and it is probably the most popular game animal in the country. The second half of September is peak hunting season for the Iberian red deer.

Fallow Deer

The fallow deer is a medium-sized deer, its shoulder height is around 36-43 inches and it weighs in at between 140-220 lbs on average. The color of its coat varies more than with most other deer species. It is a diurnal animal, meaning that it is usually active very early and very late during the day. The fallow deer has excellent senses, its vision, hearing, and sense of smell are exceptional, especially when compared to other deer. It stands out among other deer as being one of the few that barks when it is startled.


The European mouflon is one of the smallest wild sheep in the world, it has a shoulder height of around 30 inches and weighs in at under 100 lbs. Its appearance is similar to that of domestic sheep in the Unites States, the main difference being that its outer coat consists of hair with the wool being concealed beneath.

Ronda Ibex

The ibex is one of Spain’s most iconic animals and is a popular game mammal. The Ronda ibex is the smallest variety of ibex found in the country and also has the smallest horns. It is popular as a hunting target owing to its small size and agility.

Spain is an excellent location to take a hunting vacation, it offers a variety of wildlife to hunt and scenery to hunt it in.
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