A weekend in…

A FIRST IM­PRES­SION

Once checked in and set­tled, you can fi­nally start im­mers­ing your­self in the won­der­ful biotope of Barcelona. If you are only here for a week­end, make ev­ery sec­ond count and start soak­ing up the at­mos­phere straight away. As Barcelona is very vi­brant and li

- City Guides · Travel Inspiration · Recreation · Arts · Travel · Architecture · Barcelona · Catalonia · Josep Puig i Cadafalch · Parc, New York

A first im­pres­sion

STROLLING THROUGH BARRI GÒTIC

Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quar­ter) is the me­dieval heart of the city. It has the old­est build­ings and the most fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory. You will find that this neigh­bour­hood has many faces. First, you will see noth­ing but tourist-flooded streets and squares, but as soon as you turn around a cor­ner, you will dis­cover tran­quil lanes and pic­turesque squares. In El Call, a for­mer Jewish dis­trict dat­ing back to the 13th cen­tury, you will find the nar­row­est and most authen­tic streets in all of Barcelona. So, just fol­low your in­tu­ition and dare to es­cape the tourist stream, and you are sure to bump into some­thing sur­pris­ing, stun­ning and spec­tac­u­lar. You will re­turn to this neigh­bour­hood later this week­end, so don’t worry about see­ing it all al­ready – but take your time and en­joy it.

Start your trip at Plaça de Catalunya and en­ter Barri Gòtic through de Por­tal de l’Àn­gel shop­ping street to Plaça Nova, from where you can com­mence your quest.

PROM­E­NAD­ING AROUND

PLAÇA ES­PANYA

Plaça Es­panya and its sur­round­ings were the face of the new Barcelona in the 1930s. The hu­mon­gous, busy round­about was con­structed in 1929 for the World Fair in Barcelona. Apart from Are­nas (a shop­ping cen­tre built in the re­mains of a for­mer bull­fight­ing arena), most of the build­ings and mon­u­ments here date back to this same pe­riod. On the ad­join­ing Avin­guda de la Reina Maria Cristina, you’ll still find the Fira, the ex­po­si­tion halls of the event. The two bright-red Vene­tian tow­ers at the be­gin­ning of this av­enue are relics of the leg­endary hap­pen­ing, as well. At the end of this road, the hill of Mon­tjuïc rises up with the beau­ti­ful Mu­seum of Cata­lan Art (MNAC) at the top. Get the stairs up or opt for the es­ca­la­tors to en­joy the stun­ning views in front of it. At its foot, you’ll find the Font Màg­ica (the mag­i­cal foun­tain), where light and wa­ter shows take place ev­ery night. Next to them, there are four gi­gan­tic col­umns, rep­re­sent­ing the yel­low stripes on the Cata­lan flag. They were orig­i­nally de­signed by the mod­ernist ar­chi­tect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and built in 1919. In 1928, how­ever, they were de­mol­ished by the anti-Cata­lan regime of dic­ta­tor Primo de Rivera. The pil­lars you see to­day were built in 2010 by the pro-in­de­pen­dence gov­ern­ment of Catalunya.

Take metro L1, L3 or L8 to Es­panya, where you can start your trip.

MO­SEY­ING THROUGH

PARC DE LA CIU­TADELA

1929 wasn’t the first time the World Fair struck down in Barcelona, as, in 1888, the event came to show­case art, cul­ture and in­no­va­tion at the Parc de la Ci­u­tadella. This park was built at the lo­ca­tion of an 18th-cen­tury fortress to de­fend the city against the kings of Bour­bon. With the World Fair, they turned the site into a lush park with mod­ernist touches. The grand en­trance to the ex­hi­bi­tion was the im­pres­sive Arc de Tri­omf, which is con­nected to the park by a beau­ti­ful av­enue. In­side the park, you’ll find plenty of sur­prises, such as a bom­bas­tic water­fall with golden el­e­ments, a life-sized woolly mam­moth, and green­houses and palaces from the fair. On the left-hand side of the do­main, you’ll stum­ble upon the his­toric Cata­lan par­lia­ment, and at the back, you’ll find the city zoo.

PARC DE LA CI­U­TADELLA

Take metro L1 to Arc de Tri­omf and en­ter the park the way they did in 1888. Zoo Barcelona, Parc de la Ci­u­tadella. €21.40. Open daily from 10am to 5.30pm or 8pm (de­pend­ing on the sea­son).

 ??  ?? Cathe­dral of Barcelona.
Jelien Mo­er­man
Cathe­dral of Barcelona. Jelien Mo­er­man
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