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It’s hard to leave Barcelona!

It is very hard to leave Barcelona, especially its spirit of Gaudi who seems to be present everywhere: It is hard to leave Barcelona without seeing its traditional Sardana dance. We saw this dance here, on Montjuic hill, as a sculpture: It is hard to leave Barcelona’s amazing modernista architecture …

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The Manresa of Saint Ignatius

Saint Ignatius Loyola lived in Manresa from March 1522 until February 1523. Manresa wants to bring to light the presence of Saint Ignatius in the town. For that reason, they published several interesting pamphlets presenting the most significant Ignatian places. They also marked these places throughout the town: The Saint …

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Manresa – the heart of Catalonia

Before we visit Manresa, I would like to write more about Catalonia. The following information is important to understand what is going on in this autonomous Spanish community. Spain is divided in 17 parts called autonomous communities. Catalonia is one of them, with its capital and largest city of Barcelona. …

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Montserrat: the most sacred place in Catalunya

    This dramatically situated monastery has been Catalunya’s most important pilgrimage site for a thousand years. This is how we got there: first we took a train from Placa d’Espanya: Then, the little German-built cable car: According to the local tradition, in medieval times, some shepherd children saw lights …

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Barcelona: more Gaudi

Here is a picture of the Block of Discord, the one with three colorful Modernista facades that compete for our attention, on Passeig de Gracia. The first one on the right side is designed by Gaudí: Casa Batllo. If after seeing La Sagrada Familia, Park Guel, Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, …

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The Story of Christopher Columbus

He was born in 1451 in or near Genoa. He moved to Lisbon around 1476 and, after failing to persuade King Joao II to finance an Atlantic crossing, transferred his quest for patronage to Spain, where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella gave him a contract to discover the sea route …

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Barcelona: the Barri Gotic

Barcelona’s Barri Gotic is a bustling world of shops, bars, and nightlife packed into narrow, winding lanes and undiscovered courtyards. This is Barcelona’s birthplace-where the ancient Romans built a city: Now you can visit these ancient Roman ruins in the Museum of History of Barcelona. It is the place where …

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Barcelona: Park Güell

The Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona. With urbanization in mind, Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the leader of Catalan modernism. The park was built between 1900 …

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Plaça d’Espanya, Barcelona

Plaça d’Espanya  is one of Barcelona’s most important squares, built on the occasion of the 1929 International Exhibition. Rick Steves: What do you do with a big bullfighting arena that’s been sitting empty for decades? Make a mall. The grand Neo-Moorish Modernista placa de toros functioned as an arena for …

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Modernista architecture in Barcelona

First, a good lunch with Melanie’s aunt and uncle. And  then, a walk on Passeig de Gracia, to see some of the best examples of Barcelona’s Modernisme. Modernisme is Barcelona’s unique contribution to the Europe-wide Art Nouveau movement. Modernista architects experimented with new construction techniques. The movement was a response …

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