Everything going well I’ll be on my way back to the UK when you read this post, and I thought I’d share a few pics from my recent visit to Barcelona. As you know I visit quite often for family reasons, but this time, I was there for La Mercè, that’s a festival in honour of the Virgin of la Mercè, patron of the city. You can check a bit more about it here.
As you’ll see if you check the link, plenty of things go on, but I decided to take a chance and go and explore a couple of places that I hadn’t had a chance to visit before, at least in detail. During the festival many of the museums are free, and, better still, some of the buildings that usually aren’t open to the public are.
First I went (with my mother), to visit l’Hospital de Sant Pau (St Paul’s Hospital) the largest art-nouveau (or Modernista, as we call it here) complex in the world, designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (who also famously designed el Palau de la Música Catalana, and absolute wonder) between 1905 and 1930. Now it’s open for visits and has not been used as a hospital for a while, but it’s well worth a visit and is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The buildings are pretty special and the wrought iron features, stained glass windows and gorgeous tiles are to die for. My pictures don’t make it justice, but…
In the afternoon we went to visit el Palauet Albéniz (Albéniz Palace, the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family when they visit Barcelona. It’s a small place and if there are big banquets or receptions they use another bigger Palace in Pedralbes, that houses a museum most of the time. To tell you the truth they don’t visit very often). It’s in Montjuich and if you’ve visited the Olympic Stadium, the Olympic museum, el Poble Espanyol or any of the other features in the area, including Plaça Espanya and the magic fountains, you might have gone by it, but other than the garden, it’s not usually possible to visit inside. But it was open to the public. Not only that, but there were music and dances in the gardens, food vans, and entertainment, including actors playing the part of butlers and maids, keeping the people queuing amused by giving instructions as to what to do, introducing each person to everybody, asking where they were coming from…
Here a few pics:
The hospital is open to visits, but the little palace isn’t usually open although the gardens can be visited some mornings, but do check the information if you’re curious.
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And, in case you are planning a trip to Spain and looking for things to do (especially if you’re travelling with an RV), this post, listing 100 Things to Do in Spain is pretty comprehensive and full of interesting things (quite a few I’ll have to try myself).