After you cross under Arc de Triomf on Passeig de Lluís Companys in Barcelona and stroll down the lively walkway, the gates to Parc de la Ciutadella materialize. For decades following the creation of the park in the mid-19th century, it was Barcelona’s only green space. The park is about 280,000 m2 and includes a zoo, a parliament building, a small lake, museums and a large fountain designed by Josep Fontserè. The fountain is located at the northern corner of the park near the lake. In the centre of the elaborate two-level fountain is a sculpture of Venus standing on an open clam designed by Venanci Vallmitjana. Other interesting statues in the park include a sculpture of “El desconsol” (distress) in the middle of a pond in front of the parliament building and a giant mammoth across the lake. Parc de la Ciutadella is a carefully planned peaceful space in the bustling cosmopolitan city of Barcelona.
As a massive football fan, you cannot travel to Barcelona without enjoying a match with some of the greatest footballers in the world. The experience felt surreal as if I was not actually living the moment and seeing stars like Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique only a few feet in front of me.
On December 2, 2017, FC Barcelona played a home game at Camp Nou against Celta de Vigo. Thanks to the generosity of the art teacher at my school, who is a season ticket holder, I got to see this match live, only a few rows away from the south net.
The game was full of excitement and action with a total of four goals scored, two from Barça and two from Celta. The first goal was a spectacular counter-attack from Iago Aspas who scored off of a rebound. Only two minutes later, the Magic Man, Lionel Messi, blasted the ball to the back of the net.
Shortly after in the first half, Luis Suárez scored a legal goal that was disallowed as an offside.
Barça took the lead in the 62nd minute of the second half when an offensive attack between Messi and Jordi Alba ended with Suárez hitting the back of the net.
With only 20 minutes left of the match Celta’s Maxi Gómez got an equalizer goal after Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti got what looked like a pulled hamstring and had to leave the game.
The game ended with a 2-2 draw and was a brilliant display of attacking, defending, goal scoring and goal keeping.
Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera, is a modernist building designed by the great Antoni Gaudí on the bourgeois street of Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona. The building’s design and roof-top terrace is a masterpiece in itself resembling a giant sandcastle with intricately crafted peaks and twisted seaweed wrought-iron balconies. Casa Milà is the official name of this work of art, but shortly after it was constructed, it adapted the name La Pedrera, “The Stone Quarry,” because of its rough outer appearance and design that resembles a large, deep pit where stone is extracted. In 1906 the building was commissioned and owned by Pere Milà and his wife Roser Segimon. The building was built between 1906 and 1912 and was the last private residence built by Guadí and his fourth and final work in Passeig de Gràcia. Casa Milà was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 and remains one of the most famous buildings of Catalan Modernisme. The building is now the headquarters of Fundacio Catalunya La Pedrera, which hosts exhibitions and other cultural and educational activities. La Pedrera is now a beacon of information about Gaudí’s life, inspiration and architecture. Gaudí viewed architecture as a total art and paid close attention to every detail, like the railings of the balconies and handles of the door. He was fascinated by nature and geometry and studied and observed it intensively. Gaudí’s love of nature can be seen everywhere in his work, including the attic of La Pedrera, which resembles the skeleton of a python with each arch spaced about 80 centimeters apart. Casa Milà has a self-supporting facade, free-plan flats, an underground garage and a spectacular terrace. It is a prominent example of why Gaudí is one of the most imaginative and daring modernist architects in the world.
CosmoCaixa is a 30,000 square meter science museum in Barcelona, Spain. The building was designed in 1904 with a Modernista style by architect Josep Domènech i Estapà. CosmoCaixa was named the first interactive science museum in Spain and is one of the largest in the country. The museum is an exciting facility of nine floors, six of which are underground, and a large patio offering views of the city. When visitors first enter the building they walk 30 meters down a gigantic spiral ramp surrounding an Acariquara tree from the Amazon. On the main floor of the museum visitors can test out science experiments first hand and produce their own waves, sandstorms, tornadoes and rock formations. A 1,000 square meter jungle greenhouse lies within the museum with 30 meter tall Amazonian trees floating above the water. This Flooded Forest contains a wide biodiversity of animals including fish, turtles, snakes, frogs, stingrays and even a capibara. The museum also hosts a planetarium, where visitors can have an interactive look at the stars, as well as many temporary exhibits, including the “Languages and the Brain” exhibit which tackles linguistics. CosmoCaixa is an exciting facility, booming with knowledge and information about life and science.
At 512 meters overlooking Barcelona stands Tibidabo, the tallest mountain in the Serra de Collserola range. At the summit of this giant mountain rests the massive Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor Roman Catholic church, designed by architect Enric Sagnier. The Romanesque fortress is built of white stone and decorated with carefully crafted peaks, intricate arches, sculptures of saints and a sculpture of Jesus with outstretched arms at the highest point. Adjacent to the church is Tibidabo Amusement Park, Spain’s longest running amusement park and Europe’s third-oldest. This park is among the oldest amusement parks in the world, with some rides dating back to the 20th century. The top of the mountain provides an outstanding view of the city, shoreline and rolling green hills. The church and amusement park are prominently visible in the city of Barcelona and provide a spectacular view when lit up at night.