Thursday, 9 June 2016

Spain: Catalonia and Barcelona

Last week I was in Catalonia and there I bought some postcards for my collection.

Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain. It is one of the most economically dynamic Spanish communities. Although Catalonia is one of the communities with the highest degree of autonomy, it seeks for its independence from the rest of Spain. 

The Flag of Catalonia is known as Senyera. It is based on the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon. If a five-pointed star in a triangle is added to the flag it is known as Estelada and is flown by Catalan independentists.
The Catalan Donkey recently became another symbol of Catalonia. It is used against the Toro de Osborne.

The Paella is a dish from the Spanish east coast. It is based on rice and became a symbol of Valencia.

I found in Catalonia also a very special card showing people in traditional dresses. The dress of the woman is made of real cloth, which was affixed to the card.

Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia. It is also the second largest city of Spain, the second largest city of the European Union which is not the capital of its country and the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore it is a popular tourist destination and was the fifth most visited European city in 2011. In 1992 the city hosted the Summer Olympics.

The Barcelona Cathedral is a church in the Barri Gòtic, Barcelona's old city centre. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona.

The Columbus Monument was built between 1882 and 1888. It was built for the Barcelona Universal Exposition held in 1888.

The Palau Nacional was the main building of the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. It houses since 1934 the National Art Museum of Catalonia.

Antoni Gaudí was a Catalan architect. He was born in Reus in 1852 and died in Barcelona in 1926. He was one of the most important representatives of the Modernisme and his works were inspired by the nature.

Some of his works were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1984 the Park Güell, the Palau Güell and the Casa Milà were added. In 2005 the site was extended by the Casa Vicens, the crypt and nativity facade of the Sagrada Família, the Casa Batlló and the crypt at the Colònia Güell.
I am looking for a card of the Church of Colònia Güell. Anyone can help?

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is the most important work of Antoni Gaudí, although it is not completed. Gaudí was involved in the construction between 1883 and his death. It became a basilica minor in 2010 and is the most visited sight of Spain. According to current schedules it will be completed in 2026. Then it will have 18 towers and will be the tallest church in the World.

The Casa Vicens was built between 1883 and 1885. It is the first house designed by Antoni Gaudí and is considered to be one of the first structures built in the style of the Modernisme. There are plans to open the house to the public as museum in late 2016.

The Palau Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí for his patron Eusebi Güell, a Catalan industrialist. It was built between 1886 and 1888.

The Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements created by Antoni Gaudí. It was built for Eusebi Güell between 1900 and 1914.

The Gaudi House Museum is located within the Park Güell. Between 1906 and 1925 it was the residence of Antoni Gaudí and in 1963 the museum opened.

The Casa Batlló was already built in 1877, but between 1904 and 1906 it was redesigned by Antoni Gaudí. It is considered to be one of his masterpieces and one of the most beautiful buildings of Barcelona. The facade depicts the legend of Saint George.

The Casa Milà is the last civil building constructed by Antoni Gaudí and was built between 1906 and 1912. Special features of the building are the wrought iron balconies, the underground garage and the natural air conditioning. It is also known by its nickname La Pedrera, the quarry.

The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is a former hospital complex. It was built between 1901 and 1930 in the style of the Modernisme and was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It is known for its artistic decorations, but was also perfectly adapted to the needs of the sick. The hospital service ended in 2009 and since 2014 it is used as cultural centre.

The Palau de la Música Catalana was built between 1905 and 1908 according to plans of Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It was designed as concert hall for the Orfeó Català, but is today also used for other musical performances.

The Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau are since 1997 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The building of Human Towers is a tradition in many Catalan towns. The Human Towers are since 2010 an Intangible Heritage of the UNESCO.

The Montserrat is a mountain near Barcelona. It is known as location of the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, a symbol of Catalan nationalism.

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