Monday, May 30, 2011

CATALONIA - COSTA BRAVA: EMPURIES

In the previous post I suggested to you an interesting cultural visit in La Costa Brava: the Dalí Theatre-Museum. Today I would like to speak about another cultural activity you can do If you spend some days in La Costa Brava: visiting the remains of Empúries.

Empúries is one of the most important archaeological sites in Catalonia. The ancient port city, known to the Greeks as Emporion and to the Romans as Emporiae, was the gateway to the Iberian Peninsula for the classical cultures. The vestiges preserved here are a magnificent testimony to this glorious past.


Emporion was founded by Greek colonists from Phocaea with the name of Emporion. It was later occupied by the Romans, but in the Early Middle Ages, when its exposed coastal position left it open to marauders, the town was abandoned.

The ruins are midway between the Costa Brava town of L'Escala and the tiny village of Sant Martí d'Empúries. There are good car parking facilities and the site may be reached by a traffic-free coastal walk from L'Escala.



If you have more time after visiting Empúries, there are other interesting nearby places to know like:


Next, some pictures I took the day I visited Empúries.


Empúries in La Costa BravaThe greek city of Emporion was located next to the Mediterranean Sea of La Costa Brava


Greek city of Empúries in La Costa BravaAn sculpture which has stood the test of time in Empúries


Greek city of Empúries in La Costa BravaAs you can see, the day was truly lovely in Empúries :)


Greek city of Empúries in La Costa BravaOverview of the remains of the Greek city of Emporion


Roman city of Empúries in La Costa BravaBasilica of the Roman City


Roman city of Empúries in CataloniaHere you can see the remains of a Roman house, called domus

Roman city of Empúries in CataloniaI think that this picture also show the remains of a domus, or Roman house


Roman city of Empúries in CataloniaA well-preserved Roman mosaic shows the place were a domus stood in the past


Roman city of Empúries in CataloniaThe jetty of Emporion, located next to the city


Roman city of Empúries in CataloniaOverview of La Costa Brava. The fishing village of L'Escala appears in the background


Church of Sant Martí d'EmpúriesThe church of the neighboring village of Sant Martí d'Empúries


I also would like to give you some practical information in case you decide to visit this interesting remains:

- Address: C/ Puig i Cadafalch s/n (17130 Empúries-l'Escala).
- Phone: +34 972 77 02 08
.
- Opening Hours


  • From October 1 to May 31: From Monday to Sunday: 10am - 6pm.
  • From June 1 to September 30: From Monday to Sunday: 10am - 8pm.
  • Closed on: December 25th and 26th, January 1st.

- Website: http://www.mac.cat/eng/Branches/Empuries
.
- Clicking on the next link, a
location map of Empúries.

Finally, clicking on the next link you will find more links to other
beautiful places in Catalonia, among them, more nice places in La Costa Brava.

Friday, May 27, 2011

CATALONIA - COSTA BRAVA: TEATRE MUSEU DALI

As well as fabulous clear water beaches and beautiful villages, as I showed in previous posts, La Costa Brava also offers really interesting cultural activities, like the Dalí Theatre-Museum.

The Dalí Theatre-Museum, the largest surrealistic object in the world, occupies the building of the former Municipal Theatre, a 19th century construction which was destroyed at the end of the Spanish Civil War. On its ruins, Dalí decided to create his museum.

This museum has to be seen as a whole, as the great work of Salvador Dalí, for everything in it was conceived and designed by the artist in order to offer visitors a real experience of getting inside his captivating and unique world.

Next, some pictures I took the day I visited this museum.




Theater-Museum DalíMain facade of the Theater-Museum Dalí with eggs on the top. For Salvador Dalí eggs are a fertility symbol


Theater-Museum DalíThe "car-naval" is a Dalí's creation with a Cadillac, tire column, reproduction of the slave by Michelangelo and Gala's boat


Theater-Museum DalíMuseum's central courtyard was the orchestra of the former theatre


This huge painting is the first one I saw as soon as I entered the museum from the courtyard


La Persistència de la Memòria by DalíA carpet which reproduces the well-known surrealist painting of La Persistència de la Memòria. This well-known surrealist piece introduced the image of the soft melting pocket watch. It epitomizes Dalí's theory of "softness" and "hardness", which was central to his thinking at the time


Mae West Room in Theater-Museum DalíThe Mae West Room was created by Dalí expressly for the Theatre-Museum


Mae West Room in Teatre Museu DalíInside the Mae West room you can see a couch shaped like a woman's red lips sat before a nose-shaped fireplace below two abstract paintings. If you climb a staircase and look through a lens the paintings become eyes, sofa lips fireplace nose frames by a giant curtain of hair which frames the small balcony




Theatre-Museum Dalí
Theatre-Museum Dalí lit at night



Dali Museum in Catalonia
Central courtyard of Museum Dalí was the orchestra of the former theatre 



If you have more time after visiting this museum, there are other interesting nearby places to know like:



I also would like to give you some useful information in case you want to visit this interesting museum:

- Address: Gala-Salvador Dalí Square, 5 (17600 Figueres, Girona)
- Website: http://www.salvador-dali.org
- How to arrive:
  • Road: AP7 motorway (Barcelona-la Jonquera), Figueres exit, or Main Road Nacional II (Barcelona-France). Drive to the city centre.
  • Train: RENFE train line from Barcelona to Portbou. Stop in Figueres. The Dalí Theatre-Museum is 12 minutes walking.
  • Bus: SARFA regular line, station in Figueres. The Dalí Theatre-Museum is 12 minutes walking.
- Opening Hours
  • From 1 November to 28 February: Open from 10:30 to 18 (Access until 17:15)
  • From 1 March to 30 June: Open from 9:30 to 18 (Access until 17:15)
  • From 1 July to 30 September: Open from 9 to 20 (Access until 19:15)
  • From 1 October to 30 October: Open from 9:30 to 18 (Access until 17:15)
- Closed on:
  • 1 January and 25 December, Every Monday between 1 October and 31 May (except on holidays), holiday eves and 24 December.

Finally, clicking on the next link you will find links to other beautiful places in Catalonia, among them, more nice places of La Costa Brava.

Monday, May 23, 2011

BARCELONA GOTHIC QUARTER: BARCINO ROMAN CITY

Inside the Barcelona Gothic Quarter there are plenty of places where you can discover the ancient roman city of Barcino, the origin of the current Barcelona. The route I suggest to you begins in a quiet square called Villa de Madrid, located very near La Rambla and Plaça Catalunya.

This route will let you visit:

  • A Roman Necropolis
  • An aqueduct arch
  • La Casa de l'Ardiaca (Archdeacon’s House)
  • Columns of the Temple of Augustus
  • Wall and defense towers


Roman Necropolis


Villa de Madrid Square in BarcelonaVilla de Madrid Square contains the most important burial site from the Roman city of Barcino

Tombs in the Roman NecropolisSome of the tombs you can see in this Roman Necropolis

Tombs in the Roman Necropolis of BarcelonaDetail of two tombs, all of them of 70 tombs dating from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD

Barcino, by Joan Brossa


Visual poem by Joan BrossaIn the Plaça Nova, in Barcelona Gothic Quarter, very near the wall of the former Roman city, seven giant letters form the visual poem by Joan Brossa. This poem is his own particular homage to the origins of Barcelona

Aqueduct


Aqueduct arch in Barcelona
In this point of the Plaça Nova, the aqueduct entered the Roman City

Casa de l'Ardiaca


Casa de l'Ardiaca in BarcelonaOn the other side of the aqueduct, stands the entrance to the Casa de l’Ardiaca, or Archdeacon’s House, which contains interesting archaeological remains. The Casa de l’Ardiaca was the residence of the ecclesiastical hierarchy from the 12th century onwards

Columns of the Temple of Augustus


Columns of the Temple of AugustusThe columns of the Temple of Augustus, which are more than 2,000 years old, is one of the city’s best-kept secrets in a building on Carrer Paradís. Inside a small medieval courtyard, the four columns from the Temple of Augustus have survived despite the passing of the centuries

Carrer del Bisbe (Bisbe Street)


Carrer del Bisbe in BarcelonaYou can discover the route of the Decumanus Maximus of the Roman city walking along el Carrer del Bisbe, one of the most interesant streets in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter

Carrer de la Llibreteria (Llibreteria Street)


Carrer de la Llibreteria in BarcelonaYou can discover the route of the Cardo Maximus of the Roman city walking along el Carrer de la Llibreteria

Plaça Sant Jaume (Sant Jaume Square)


Plaça Sant Jaume in BarcelonaThe Plaça Sant Jaume is located at the place where the main streets of Roman Barcino converged: the Cardus and the Decumanus. This place was the Roman forum, the centre of the Roman city where the Temple of Augustus once stood

Walls and defence towers of the Roman City of Barcino


Barcelona Roman wall
This picture shows the location of the sections of the Barcelona Roman wall which can be still seen

Barcelona Roman wall
The royal chapel of Santa Àgata was built in the 14th century, as part of the Palau Reial. It stands elegant on top of the Roman wall, which provides its foundations. If you take a closer look at the Roman wall, you will see that the wall was constructed with materials obtained from other buildings

Defense tower of the Barcelona Roman wall
One of the defense towers of the Barcelona Roman City in Sots-Tinent Navarro Street

House built inside the Barcelona Roman wall
A house built inside one of the section of the Barcelona roman wall in Sots-Tinent Navarro Street





In the old city of Barcelona you can also visit other beautiful places:








Next, some useful information about these places:

Roman Necropolis


- Address: Pl. Villa de Madrid- How to get there:
  • Metro L1 and L3, stop Catalunya.
  • Bus 14, 59 and 91.
  • FGC, stop Catalunya.
  • Barcelona Bus Turístic, stop Pl. Catalunya.

Casa de l'Ardiaca


- Address: Santa Llúcia, 1
- How to get there:
  • Metro L4, stop Jaume I.
  • Bus 17, 19, 40 and 45.
  • Barcelona Bus Turístic, stop Barri Gòtic.
- Opening time:
  • From Setember 1st to July 1st: Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8.45pm. Saturday, from 9am to 1pm.
  • From July 2nd to August 31st: Monday to Friday, from 9am to 7.30pm.

Columns of the Temple of Augustus


- Address: Paradís, 10 (Centre Excursionista de Catalunya)
- How to get there:
  • Metro L4, stop Jaume I.
  • Bus 17, 19, 40 and 45.
  • Barcelona Bus Turístic, stop Barri Gòtic.
- Opening time:
  • From October to May, from 10am to 2pm & 4pm to 8pm.
  • From June to September, from 10am to 8pm.

Finally, clicking on the next link you will find links to other beautiful places in Barcelona and other interesting places in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter.


Friday, May 20, 2011

BARCELONA GOTHIC QUARTER: STREETS AND SQUARES

The Gothic Quarter of Barcelona and El Born hide plenty of lovely streets and squares I will try to show you in this post. These streets and squares, usually peaceful and quiet places, are the essence of this beautiful area of Barcelona. And, of course, they belong to the more beautiful places in Barcelona.

Some of the most charming streets and squares of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona are:

- Streets:

  • Carrer dels Comtes
  • Carrer del Bisbe
  • Carrer de la Pietat
  • Carrer del Paradís
  • Carrer de Marlet
  • Carrer de la Tapineria
  • Carrer Petritxol
  • Carrer de Montcada

- Squares:


Next you can see some pictures of this streets and squares.


Around Portal de l'Angel



Carrer Amargós in the Gothic QuarterCarrer Amargós, a typical narrow street in the Gothic Quarter

Around Barcelona Cathedral


Carrer dels Comtes in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter
Carrer dels Comtes, one of the most important streets in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter. In this picture you can see El Palau del Lloctinent on the right and the Frederic Marès museum on the right

Carrer del Bisbe inside the Barcelona Gothic Quarter
Carrer del Bisbe, another important streets in the Gothic Quarter, leads you from the Cathedral to Sant Jaume Square

Plaça Garriga i Bachs in BarcelonaPlaça Garriga i Bachs, located in front of the entrance to the cloister of the cathedral


Carrer de la Pietat inside the Barcelona Gothic Quarter
Carrer de la Pietat, in the rear of the cathedral


Carrer del Paradís in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter
At the end of el Carrer del Paradís, on the left, you can visit the remains of the Temple of Augustus

Around Sant Felip Neri Square


Carrer de Montjuic del Bisbe in the Gothic QuarterCarrer de Montjuic del Bisbe, just before arriving at Sant Felip Neri Square, one of the most charming places in the Gothic Quarter


Sant Felip Neri Square inside the Barcelona Gothic QuarterSant Felip Neri Square, located in the heart of the Barcelona Gothic Quarter


Carrer de Marlet in the Jewish Quarter
Carrer de Marlet, one of the streets of the Jewish Quarter

Around Plaça del Rei



Carrer de la TapineriaCarrer de la Tapineria, which let you go from La Plaça de la Catedral to La Plaça del Rei


Plaça del Rei in the Gothic Quarter
Plaça del Rei, surrounded by buildings of the Royal Palace, another lovely square in the Gothic Quarter


Around Plaça del Pi


Carrer de'n Roca around Plaça del PiCarrer de'n Roca, one of the lovely streets around Plaça del Pi



Carrer de Petritxol around Plaça del PiCarrer de Petritxol, a perfect place to have tea (or coffee) in the afternoon in one of its Cafés


Plaça del Pi and gothic church of Santa Maria del PiPlaça del Pi with the gothic church of Santa Maria del Pi on the left

Plaça de Sant Just (Sant Just Square)


Plaça de Sant Just inside the Barcelona Gothic QuarterPlaça de Sant Just, one of the most peaceful places in the Gothic Quarter, is located near the Barcelona City Hall

Around Carrer de Montcada (Montcada Street)


Carrer dels Cotoners near the Picasso MuseumCarrer dels Cotoners ends in Carrer de Montcada, very near the Picasso Museum, another typical street of the Gothic Quarter


Carrer de Montcada in BarcelonaWalking along Carrer de Montcada you will arrive to the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar




In the old city of Barcelona you can also visit other beautiful places:






Clicking on the next link you will find more links to other beautiful places in the Barcelona Gothic Quarter, without any doubt, one of the most charming areas of Barcelona.