OLD PLACES HAVE SOUL
I’m currently living in Barcelona for a couple of month which is part of my training to get to my Conference Interpreter’s Master. I chose to come to Spain and it was a last minute decision because I wanted to go to Cuba, to discover something completely different and of course to improve my third language which is Spanish. But things didn’t really go the way I planned so I ended up in Barcelona. Sometimes we face some situations with anger in the first place and then we enjoy whatever comes next. In my case, I completely fell in love with this place and I’m planning to live here until my Spanish gets perfect… Anyway, Barcelona is known to be one of the most touristic city in the World, and this is undeniable since you meet people from any countries and hear several languages. I feel like I speak English more than I actually speak Spanish !
In this section of the site, I will be posting articles about the places I will be visiting, especially the historical places. I started with the Arc de Triomf and Parc de la Ciutadella because they are opened to the public. However some parts like the ZOO or the Museum of Natural Science in the Park aren’t free and need more time to schedule a visit so it will be for the holidays in a couple weeks.
I’m really glad to share my adventures with you and I hope you will enjoy and learn as much as you can. Feel free to leave some comments below !!
ARC DE TRIOMF
The Arc de Triomf or Arco de Triunfo in Spanish, is an arch in the manner of a memorial or triumphal arch in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.
The arch is built in reddish brickwork in the Neo-Mudéjar style. The front frieze contains the stone sculpture Barcelona rep les nacions (Catalan for “Barcelona welcomes the nations”) by Josep Reynés. The opposite frieze contains a stone carving entitled Recompensa (Recompense), a work from Josep Llimona’s the earliest period, representing the granting of awards to the participants in the World Exposition. The friezes along the side of the arch include allegories of Agriculture and Industry, works by Antoni Vilanova, and of Trade and Art by Torquat Tasso.
The arch presides over Passeig de Lluis Companys, a wide promenade leading to the Ciutadella Park. It is located at the top of the promenade, where it meets Passeig de Sant Joan.
Similar structures, though with other uses or aims, can be found in Paris (France), London (England), Brooklyn (New York) and Bucharest (Romania), among many others.
PARC DE LA CIUTADELLA
In 1714, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Barcelona was laid siege for 13 months by the army of Philip V of Spain. The city fell, and in order to maintain control over it, and to prevent the Catalans from rebelling as they had in the previous century, Philip V built the citadel of Barcelona, at that time the largest fortress in Europe.
Hundreds of Catalonians were forced to work on the construction for three years, while the rest of the city provided financial backing for this and for warfare-related expenses as well, with a new tax named e/cadestre. Three decades later, a quarter was rebuilt around the fortress named Barceloneta, which is located inside the neighborhood Ciutat Vella.
The Cascada (waterfall or cascade in Spanish) is located at the northern corner of the park opposite to the lake. It was first inaugurated in 1881 without sculptures or any meticulous details, and was thereby criticized by the press, after which this triumphal arch was thoroughly amended by the addition of a fountain and some minor attributes, which required six years of construction from 1882 to 1888, and was thenceforth put on display at the Universal Exhibition, and hitherto not been redesigned. It was erected by Josep Fontsére and to a small extent by Antoni Gaudi, who at that time was still an unknown student of architecture. Fontsére aimed to loosely make it bear resemblance to the Trevi Fountain of Rome. Two enormous pincers of gigantic crabs serve as stairs to access a small podium located in the centre of the monument. In front of it a sculpture (designed by Venanci Vallmitjana) of Venus standing on an open clam was placed. The whole cascade is divided in two levels. From the podium on a path leads to the Feminine Sculpture and to the northeastern corner of the park, and upon following the route down the stairs, the fountain’s pond is rounded and the southern tip of the artifact is reached.
The Park’s Bandstand
Glorieta de la Transsexual Sonia, is dedicated to a transsexual, Sonia Rescalvo Zafra, who was murdered there on 6 October 1991 by right-wing extremists.
” A Sonia Rescalvo Zafra, que va morir brutalment assassinada el 6 d’octubre de 1991 en aquesta glorieta per un grup de neonazis a causa de la seva identitat de gènere. La ciutat de Barcelona condemna aquest crim i rebutja qualsevol actitud o accio que vulneri els drets recollits a la Declaracio Universal dels Drets Humans “.
” To Sonia Rescalvo Zafra, who was brutally murdered on 6 October 1991 in the bandstand by a group of neo-Nazis for her gender identity. The city of Barcelona condemns this crime and rejects all attitudes and actions that violate the rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “.
Exploring the Park…
PS: All photos are mine using Iphone6+