|The fortress of Castell de Montjuic, now a museum, overlooks the Mediterranean sea.|
Spain's second largest city sits along the shores of the Mediterranean and was founded as a Roman colony in the second century. So, its history and culture have deep roots that influence the architecture and ambiance of this city by the sea with a very Gothic core.
|Placa Reial is a grandiose square with arcades and classical facades modeled after the squares of Paris.|
Take note: The paella served at sidewalk cafes along La Rambla is excellent.
|The striking Arenas de Barcelona, a former bullfighting arena, stands at the perimeter of Placa d'Espanya.|
Barcelona's modern history is closely associated with the work of renowned visionary Antonio Gaudi, who left a legacy of distinctive architecture and art throughout the city. Gaudi began construction of La Sagrada Familia (below) in 1883 and work continues even today.
|Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's Temple of the Holy Family, is perhaps Barcelona's most famous building.|
The round and flowing forms of Casa Batllo (above) contribute to the Gaudi masterpiece. Mosaic ceramics on the modern outer walls give the building a 'fish scales' appearance.
Casa Mila, designed by Gaudi and completed in 1912, has a facade that looks like a stone coral reef and a rooftop with surreal chimney pots. (To me, they look like knights wearing jousting helmets.) The seven story, steel-framed structure was one of the first with an underground parking garage.
And, one of the most important bits of travel knowledge came from a good bottle of Spanish wine. It's always good to know how to decipher the labels from Spain ...
I think its about time to plan a trip to neighboring Penedes, where Catalan wine is produced. Maybe, I'll even take in a tour of the Museu de Vi (Wine Museum). Adios! I have a trip to plan.