Barcelona – City of Art and Architecture
Admired for its magnetic beauty and modernism, Barcelona has been dubbed “La Gran Encisera,” the Great Enchantress. Throughout its history the city has inspired more than a few great writers and painters – Ernest Hemmingway, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali among them. Construction by the Catalan architects Antoni Gaudi and Lluís Doménch i Montaner have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. So
it is not surprising that this city is particularly known for its cultural interests – museums, exhibitions, open-air sculptures, concerts and plays – all of which draw visitors from around the world.
The National Art Museum of Catalonia is particularly of interest, containing collections of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art, in addition to modern art, drawings, engravings posters, and photographs. Artistic works by El Greco, Diego Valázquez and Francisco de Zubarán can be viewed at the museum, which is architecturally of interest as well.
At Picasso Museum, art admirers can enjoy more than 4,000 works exhibited in five Gothic architecture palaces that show the painter’s formative period and his close relationship with Barcelona. It includes display of his childhood sketches, works from his Rose and Blue periods, and the famous 1950s Cubist variations on Velázquez’s “Las Meninas.”
When in Barcelona, one must also be sure to see the famous Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, an impressive Gaudi masterpiece that has been under construction since 1882. The basilica is undeniably one of the city’s greatest tourist draws.
Barcelona also enjoys a temperate Mediterranean climate with a lovely seashore and marine resorts, as well as mountains in the Cordillera Litoral range and the Catalan Pyrenees. For a fun, leisurely afternoon, walk along the cobblestone streets of Barri Gotic, the oldest part of the city, exploring vintage shops, museums and literary cafes. Or stroll down La Ramblas, Barcelona’s most famous avenues.
With a pleasant climate, myriad cultural attractions, and a reputation for exceptional cuisine, there is plenty of reason to visit Barcelona, the pride of Catalonia.