Barcelona - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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One of Europe’s cultural capitals, Barcelona genuinely offers something for all tastes, from culture buffs to thrill seekers. It has fantastic galleries and museums, one of the world’s finest sports teams, a beach and much more, your stay in Barcelona has the potential to be action-packed.
Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece La Sagrada Família is architecture on a grand scale. The construction of the building commenced in March 1882, initially as part of a project by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar (1828-1901). At the end of 1883, Gaudí was commissioned to continue the building, a task which occupied him until his death in 1926. Since then a number of architects have taken up the mantle, continuing construction in keeping with his style. As impressive internally as it is externally, it is well worth going inside the building and enjoying the fantastic imagery on offer. The building is in the centre of Barcelona and over the years has become synonymous with Barcelona and Spain. Gaudí himself said: “The expiatory church of La Sagrada Família is made by the people and is mirrored in them. It is a work that is in the hands of God and the will of the people. ” Building work on the ‘Holy Family’ church continues, and is expected to be finished in the first third of the 21st century.
Despite being one of the simplest things to do in Barcelona, taking a stroll along Las Ramblas is one of the most rewarding. Barcelona’s most famous street is actually a series of interconnecting roads that stretch 1. 2 kilometres through the centre of Barcelona, from the Placa Catalunya to Port Vell. What sets Las Ramblas apart is that in a city of small, interconnecting alleys, this wide boulevard has flourished into the focal point of the city for many Barcelonans. Attractions along Las Ramblas include the spectacular La Boqueria, a market place full of culinary delights; Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona’s renowned opera house; Font de Canaletes, a fountain and meeting point for urbanites and the Palau de la Virreina, a beautiful Baroque palace. The street entertainers of Las Ramblas have become world famous and often imitated in other countries. These colourful characters are usually to be found standing perfectly still, statue-like; they will spring into life for a handful of change. You can expect to see anything from contortionists to dancers, and these highly accomplished individuals will always bring a smile to the face of the watching crowds. Market stalls selling an assortment of traditional wares line the street, and with coffee shops and tapas bars aplenty, Las Ramblas is the ideal place to relax with a drink and watch the world go by.
One of Europe’s most up-and-coming cultural centres, the CCCB (Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona) plays host to a wide variety of exhibitions and performances, from national and international artists. Inside the stunning glass structure is a wealth of knowledge which makes the CCCB one of the city’s most popular museums. A diverse range of displays cover elements such as photography, social issues, historical trends, events and art. Since its inception in 1994, the reputation of the CCCB has grown to occupy its now unarguable position as one of Catalonia’s must-see sights for cultural enthusiasts.
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