Monday, December 16, 2013

tracking through history of Barcelona

Weekend I - 10 day to xmas

La Rambla and Barri Gotic are where the old city locates and a true centre of culture for tourists. The streets are winery and narrow. Gaudi's modernist buildings are replaced by structures in much older style: gothic stone castles and churches, pillars of Creek temple, Roman arch gates and archaeologic sites of the city relics.

The wide pedestrian boulevard - La Rambla, once meant 'stream of shit' before 14th century, now centred between rows of pine trees, shops and cafes and lead people from the urban centre straight to the harbour. At the end of La Rambla was there the column of Columbus viewpoint.

The waterfront in a sunny Saturday morning was just delightful. The Tango dance music pumped up to its full level. After passing over the dancing couples at the open square, I walked into the tune of bossa nova jazz played by a guitarist at the bank.

Hearing the fading out music, I returned to La Rambla and entred the maze of ancient streets. The history of Barcelona, Catalan, the Crown of Aragon and Iberian peninsular slowly was unraveled under my feet. (also google later)

Stunned by the story of patron saint of Barcelona - Saint Eulalia (most stories of catholic saints are like scenes at abattoir), I convinced myself 'donating' 6 euro to visit La Catedral where St Eulalia's coffin was placed in the Crypt. Saint Eulalia was martyred for her faith to Christianity by Dacian, the Roman Governor of Barcelona during the period of Diocletian, the Roman Emperor from 284 to 305.  She was decapitated after being tortured 13 times in 13 ways. [1](saint-eulalia)

La Catedral was famous for its access to the rooftop where you would overlook these bell towers stuck out from the city and imagine you were right in the scene of Marry Poppins movie (Marry Poppins danced with the chimney cleaners on roofs in London); the central garden in Cloister where thirteen white geese were kept to remind the age of 13 when St Eulalia was killed.

A statue of the Virgin of Monsterrat was found in one of the side-chapels in La Catedral. It featured black Madonna and Baby Jesus. The Virgin of Monsterrat was not black when it was created before 8th century. The colour of Madonna and Jesus's face and hands had faded out through out the time. Then, for some reason around 18th century restorers started to paint the statue in a black skin colour. 

black Madonna and Jesus

At the front square of la Catedral a dead pigeon laid in the corner of the church wall and front stairs. The white fluffy feather fell off from the corps, scattered on the ground and moved in the wind. I walked close to it and hoped it might be not dead yet. A seagull jetted down and landed next to the pigeon. Before I understood what was happening, this seagull started to pick the meat out from the pigeon. Uuuum~~~ a group of children saw the dead bird and run toward it with heavy steps. The seagull flew away. The dead pigeon with a hollow chest was seen. This melancholic image fitted very well at this cathedral.

a pigeon with a hollow chest

Sunday in Barcelona was sociable and relaxing. The most of museums and art galleries were open for free after 3pm.

Museum Ferederic Mares [2] was a great fun place definitely worthwhile to visit. It was located inside a part of the Lloctinent palace of Crown of Aragon. The incredible three floor full collection in this museum included statues of Madonna and Jesus and stains from 7th - 12 centuries, iron works, ceramic, lady dresses and photographs in early 19-20centuries and more... You could easily spend a good 4-5 hrs inside.

The statue and image of Saint George were often seen in the museums and churches. He was the patron saint of Catalan. Usually Saint George was depicted as a brave solder with a handsome face. But I saw a St George looked pretty sad at Museum Ferederic Mares.

a statue of st george at MFM

There is another major museum inside Lloctinent palace: The Barcelona History Museum. [3]A large archaeologic site of Roman Barcino was displayed under ground. On the ground level inside the palace there was a chapel. another disturbing painting was seen there: a lady holding a plate in one hand, a giant scissors in the other hand. On the plate was a pair of breasts. Two angles stood by her side.
the detail view of the painting at the chapel in the palace

When the sun disappeared behind the roof tops, music started to be heard on the streets. A concert was held outside The Barcelona History Museum. A small orchestra played folk songs. (catalan, i guess.) A couple sung Italian opera at the corner near Museum Ferederic Mares. A guitarist and a singer were seen inside the metro stops.

My weekend sounded like this (08:15sec):

No comments:

Post a Comment