The Spanish city of Barcelona sits on the Iberian Peninsula, 100 miles from the French border, and just a few steps from the Mediterranean Sea.
With its roots reaching back into pre-history, the hands of many cultures have shaped Barcelona.
But it was the Catalan spirit that created something truly unique. Also, check Assam Tourism here.
In Barcelona, everything you see, taste, reach out, and touch… every detail is an expression of Catalan’s creativity. For this is more than just a city, Barcelona is a dream.
And just like our dreams
Barcelona is sometimes chaotic, often intense, and always, always seductive. The dream begins in the city’s heart, in Placa de Catalunya.
Follow the gaze of Barcelona’s luminaries and legends, along avenues where iron, tile, and stone melt together in a sensual dance.
To the South, drift with the sea of souls down La Rambla, which the poet Lorca called, “the only street in the world I wish would never end.” But beware, the busyness of a Rambla makes it a dream for pickpockets too.
To the north, glide up Passeig de Gracia, a boulevard lined with creations by some of the giants of the Art Nouveau and Modernista movements.
But it’s not just the city’s main avenues that lull the senses into a divine stupor; Barcelona’s side streets and alleyways are often rabbit holes into the sublime.
And when the Mediterranean sun turns up the heat, cool off in one of the many plazas and let the city come to you.
Barcelona is a dream shaped by the past.
Lose yourself in the old town, Barrio Gotico, where each turn reveals some new layer of the city’s 2000-year-old history.
Pass through the Roman towers, which guarded the city when it was known in ancient times as Barcino.
Just beyond, Barcelona Cathedral, a Catalan-gothic masterpiece 600 years in the making rises from the ruins of a Roman temple.
While a few streets away, visit Saint Mary of the Sea, a spiritual safe harbor for generations of seafarers.
Barcelona is a city that has forever looked to the sea.
High above Port Vell stands Christopher Columbus, the intrepid mariner Cataloniansproudly claim as one of their own.
Nearby, set sail on your own voyage of discovery in the medieval dockyards.
Though the sound of shipbuilding faded long ago, the Maritime Museum preserves the glorious echoes of Barcelona’s sea power throughout the days of sail.
Nearby in the old general stores, explore the Museum of the History of Catalonia.
A portal into the daily lives, nightmares, and aspirations of Barcelonans across the centuries.
If Barcelona is a dream, it is a dream set to music.
Music is everywhere…on the streets, in flamenco bars, and clubs.
For this is a city whose soul is laid bare in the stirring laments and pounding heartbeat of the song.
This passion reaches it’s crescendoing the Palace of Catalan Music, where even the statues, intoxicated by the joy of music, burst from the very walls.
La Boqueria began as a goat marketing in the 13th century.
Today, it’s the place to sample delicacies from across Catalonia.
Such as Jamon from forest-roaming pigs fattened to perfection on herbs and acorns. Wherever hunger strikes in Barcelona, a tapas bar is just a few steps away.
For like everything they do, Catalans have turned the humble snack into an art form.
In Barcelona, life and art are inseparable.
Explore the galleries the European Museum of Modern Art, which celebrates the daring works of artists building on centuries of Catalan tradition.
From Plaza Espanya, climb the steps to the National Palace, the home of the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
Here, take a deeper dive through Catalan creativity, from Romanesque murals to the glittering works of the Catalan Renaissance.
The National Palace sits on the slopes of Montjuic, a broad hill laced with trails, gardens, and historic treasures.
Take the cable car even higher, and enjoy the commanding views from Montjuic Castle.
For it was against these walls that prisoners cried their final defiant words before Franco’s firing squads.
Over the last 100 years, Montjuic has been continually reimagined and re-shaped, first by the World’s Fair in 1929, and again by the Summer Olympics of 1992.
Millions of tonnes of sand were pumped onto two miles of shoreline, giving run-down waterfront barrios a new lease of life.
And lifting Barcelona high into the ranks of the world’s great beach cities.
And this dream was at its wildest the imaginations of the Catalan Modernists, who embraced nature’s lyricism in defiance against the harsh lines and cold logic of the Industrial Revolution.
Experience Catalan Modernism in full bloom, at Sant Pau Hospital, the visionary work of Lluís Domènech I Montaner.
With an entrance representing open arms, and grounds scented by the medicinal fragrance of lavender, laurel, and lemon, if ever a hospital could heal on aesthetics alone, surely it was this.
But it was another Catalan, Antonio Gaudi, who took Modernismto the next level, and far beyond. Of the nine UNESCO World Heritage sites in Barcelona, Gaudi is responsible for seven of them.
Visit Casa Vicens, the first residence designed by this future architectural superstar.
Unlike anything built before, Gaudi fused Moorish and oriental styles with eclectic materials to create the foundations of a new architectural language.
But for Gaudi, this voyage into modernism was only the beginning.
Just off La Rambla, step through the arches of Palau Guell, whose tree-like basement pillars and rooftop chimney pots were but a taste of things to come.
Halfway along with Passeig de Gracias the Block of Discord, where contrasting buildings by four modernist masters jostle for attention.
But it’s Gaudi’s Casa Batllo that steals the show.
It is here Gaudi began to realize his full powers, breaking every city by-law to create what locals call, the house of bones.
Gaze up at the facade, which resembles a lily-covered pond straight from the brush of Monet.
Then follow the serpentine halls and swirling interiors ever upward before emerging onto the back of a dragon.
Some say the facade evokes coastal cliffs festooned with seaweed; others say it conjures up the mist-shrouded peaks of Montserrat.
Whatever the case, Casa Mila has inspired generations of artists, including a young American filmmaker, who in these chimneys found the inspiration for Darth Vader and his Storm Troopers.
Gaudi would have loved that, for he was more than just an architect; his genius extended to furniture design, interior decoration, and, landscaping. Pass through the gatehouses of Park Guell, and explore paths laden with historic and mythical symbolism.
Cool off amid a forest of stone columns, bending under the world’s weight. Visit the house where Gaudi lived in later life.
La Sagrada Familia is due for completion within the next decade, to commemorate the 100-year passing of the man they called, God’s Architect.
Gaudi is the very essence of Barcelona.
Barcelona is a city that shares with the world a message… such are the wonders we create, such is the life we live when we allow ourselves to dream.
Written By Ashfaqur Rahman