Saturday, May 16, 2015

Postcard from Barcelona - part II

The Barri Gotìc (Gothic quarter) is the oldest part of Barcelona, it's foundations go back to Roman times. You can wander through streets of medieval buildings which lean forwards and backwards, see gargoyles perching on roof edges, and turrets and towers watching over churches. Hidden courtyards reveal small oases of tranquility, where trickling fountains and arched walkways provide coolness and shade. The most perfect day for strolling in this quarter would probably be a misty autumn day, but even on an overcast spring day, you can't escape the the slightly eerie and mysterious atmosphere of the Barri Gotìc.

The small streets of the quarter resemble a labyrinth like maze, but most of them open out onto squares. The largest square is the Pla Seu, where you find the 'Catedral Barcelona', a gothic cathedral with vaulted ceilings, the main construction of which took place in the 14th century. A neo-Gothic facade was added later, in the 19th century.

The cathedral's cloister has a secluded courtyard, a magical spot filled with palm trees fountains and a beautiful geese pond, where white geese are kept to this day (in the old days their task was to warn against intruders). 

The cathedral's main entrance

This mysterious bridge (outside the cloister's courtyard to your left, spanning Carrer del Bisbe street) reminded me of Venice...

The courtyard of the building which houses the Archive of the Crown of Aragon (on the other side of the cathedral, next to the museum Frederic Marès. )

Just a couple of blocks away you see the Cereria Subirà candle shop, founded in 1761. Here you can find every kind of candle imaginable, from church candles to novelty candles, as well as wax sculptures and seals, incence and candle making kits. They also sell their own hand made beeswax candles.

The shop still maintains it's original appearance and decor from the time that it moved to it's current location in 1847.

And just around the corner is Selvaggio - a stationer and antique book shop, where you can find lovely old postcards of Barcelona, dating back to the early part of the last century.

Cathedral of Barcelona and cloister: Pla Seu, 08002 Barcelona, Tel: +34 933 15 15 54

Courtyard (next to the Frederic Marès museum): The Archive of the Crown of Aragon

Cereria Subirà candle shop: Baixada de la Llibreteria, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Tel: +34 933 15 26 06

Libería Selvaggio, Carrer de Freneria, 08002 Barcelona

Part three coming soon. Have a wonderful weekend everyone xx

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  1. This city is truly breathtaking and your photos even more so, my friend! Wow, the architecture is stunning and stark by contrast. It would be fun to shoot this city with black and white film! Let me know if you decide a return trip is in order and I will have bags packed and camera ready!
    This little birdie is ready to go<3
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Big hug, T xx

    1. Shall we say next week, darling Trudye? B&W is a great idea, and I'm ready when you are!! Have a most wonderful remaining weekend too xx

  2. Trudye is right, your photographs are amazing, my dearest Mai Tai.
    Love the entrance to the shop and can recognize some characteristics of the gothic architecture. Will happily join you and Trudye next week. :-) Have a happy and relaxing remaining weekend, Manuela xx

    1. Come aboard, dearest Manuela! Thank you for the lovely and sweet comment, and have a most wonderful weekend too xx

  3. Dearest most artistic MaiTai,

    I'm sorry for my tardy post-B-day arrival; new toys in my sandbox had me buried for days!

    Thank you for your most glorious travel log from Barcelona. The proud and majestic buildings are simply breathtaking, and even more so that your photos captured their towering presence. (never an easy feat to capture a redwood, a towering structure, or the flutter of a bird...but you always do so w/ such a keen eye).

    Those signature archways you've captured from the courtyard of the Archive of Aragon reminds me of the H scarf pattern, Jardins d'Andalusia....

    I so love your 'postcards' series, as I feel as though I'm taken away in time, away from the everyday, to just soak in the sites through your lens.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful world w/ us MaiTai. mwahs!.

    P.S. Wak wak wak!!! My favorite pictures are of the geese!!! I LOL as they so impatiently 'pose' for you as you attempt to take their 'group' picture!!! Their quick movements seem to jump off the written page. Geese are amazing animals. One of the best 'watchdogs' ever, ya, honestly. Also, they have a special ability to withstand hypoxia a they make their flight back to their nesting grounds. What instinct drives them to endure such conditions and to 'return' 'home' is a wonder.


    1. Dearest sammie, oh you are spot on with the Andalousie scarf, what a perfect association! Love Aline Honoré, and wish I'd have this one in my collection.

      And the geese! You won't believe how many pictures I took...I could have filled three more posts with them alone ;-) Their pure whiteness was such an amazing contrast to the dark and mysterious atmosphere surrounding them.

      Have a great weekend, and fun playing with your new sandbox tools! xx

  4. Oh, duh...forgot that in this day and age you don't need film anymore! Digital it is...
    Yes, next weekend sounds just about right;-)) T xx

    1. Film or digital... we'll have a fun and fabulous time whichever way!

  5. Oh, I love cloisters! If I were a zillionaire I would build a cloister/courtyard at my house. And the geese photos are just wonderful. Definitely must add Barcelona to my travel wish list. What a happy change of plans Barcelona turned out to be!
    Warm aloha,

    1. A cloister courtyard would be the the ultimate courtyard indeed, dearest Fifi! We might have to substitue the geese for sculptured ones though, the real birds are just a little bit too fierce. And yes, the change of plans led to a most wonderful and happy adventure, what wonderful luck! Hugs

  6. Dear MaiTai,
    looking at places through your camera's lens is an utmost pleasure. You always manage to capture little details that one may have overlooked at first glance - and at the same time, you take amazing shots of the whole scenery. If you're planning to revisit, I'm in and I will be your most attentive photography student:)
    Weiter so, liebe MaiTai und danke für die wundervollen Eindrücke von Barca.
    Have a relaxing Sunday,

    1. Liebe Katja, Putting the posts together feels like visiting again, only with all of you lovely ladies as company! Vielen lieben Dank! Our Barcelona film crew is growing steadily... we count on your participation :-) Have a lovely Sunday too!

  7. What a wonferful tour and so well explained and pictured dearest. Really everything that we like to visit even we have seen many times and your "reportage " makes me wishing to be there already!

    1. Thank you, dearest Monica, so happy you enjoyed these. Not long to go now, wish I could sneak into your suitcase! Amitiés

  8. Très chère Maitai
    J'adore le cloitre qui est magnifique !Les oies sont de vrai chiens de garde
    Le pont est vraiment ressemblant a Venise .
    Les bougies donnent envie d'en possédée
    Vivement la 3ieme partie
    Bonne fin de dimanche

  9. Dear MaiTai, thanks a lot for your beautiful Barcelona posts, we came back from Barcelona just on Monday. We spent 4 wonderful days there.

  10. Barcelona is beautiful, especially through your eyes - magnificent, romantic and fierce.

    But, I have to truthfully admit . . . I love those crazy fluffy butt geese watchdogs most of all. Thank you for another perfect trip.


    PS - I have a sneaking suspicion that you're saving the very best treat for last I can't wait to see!