“There is something quite decadent about a city whose beauty exists in every stone-lined street, every deliciously enticing museum, every plate of edible art, and in every passionate face that passes by you. That is Barcelona.”
Those who know me know Barcelona is my favorite place. It is, in every way, the pulse of life. The architecture, the food, the people … from one spectrum to another, there isn’t a place in Barcelona that doesn’t ooze beauty and the unknown. There are places one must see while exploring this sensational city: Museums, living monuments, artistic design, fare that is plated with passion, Sangria that is the juiciest rainbow of fresh fruit you’ve ever seen, people whose ease makes you feel as if you belong, and a port that beckons you to play on the sand. This is a city that will leave an impression that will feed your soul and beg you to return. From the steps of La Cascada fountain to the tiny corners of the city that house the most delectable fare you’ve ever tasted, there is never a shortage of “life” in Barcelona…
Festes de la Mercè, Barcelona | September
The festival La Mercè, which is held in honor of the patron saint la Mercè (the Virgin of Mercy) on September 24 each year is the “Fiesta Mayor” – the main festival – of Barcelona. It is the largest and most colorful festival in the city’s festival calendar and the absolute climax of Barcelona’s event schedule. The main events of the festival take place on September 24. But during the entire week before and after La Mercè there are many events in Barcelona. The events 2011 take place from September 22 to September 25.
The legend goes that on the night of 24 September 1218, the Virgin appeared simultaneously to King Jaume I in St. Peter Nolasco and St. Raymond of Peñafort. All three asked that a sacred order of monks be created in her name.
Centuries later, in 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts and when the plague left the city the Virgin of La Mercè was credited with banishing the plague. The City Council named her the patron saint of Barcelona but the Pope did not ratify this decision until two centuries later, in 1868. After Pope Pius IX declared the Virgen of Mercè the patron saint of the city, Barcelona started to celebrate the festival in September.
Make sure you go to the tourist information office above Plaza Catalunya (opposite Corte Inglés) to get a programme of events so that you’ll know exactly where and when everything is taking place.
Events include (though there are over 500):
Castellers – the human towers
Correfoc – the procession of the fire-breathing dragons
Gigantes – the giant parade
Cava Week | October
Cava Week: Every year Sant Sadurní d’Anoia celebrates the harvest with a major festival of gastronomic and cultural events. If there is one thing Spain knows – it is celebration, wine, and exquisite culinary
Catalunya’s major Cava producing town is Sant Sadurní d’Anoia (85% of national output) which has a Cava Week celebration dedicated to Catalan champagne with a whole range of gastronomic events and concerts, etc.
The week’s activities get off to a flying start with the inaugural address and ensuing crowning of the Cava Queen. She arrives accompanied by her ladies in waiting and escorted by the mounted brigade of the Barcelona police. Once crowned she receives a glass of the first-pressing from the year’s harvest from the Sant Sadurní Fellowship. The gathering then adjourns to the headquarters of the Cava Fellowship at Torre-Ramona, where a dinner of honor is served.
The week continues with a host of dinners, a 300 person bicycle race, an art exhibition dedicated to Cava and a Petanque evening. There are also Catalan folk music concerts, more gourmet dinners, cava symposiums and, of course, the annual Barcelona train ride. Every 12 October 1,000 people from Barcelona board the Cava train bound for Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Joined at the station by a hoard of carnival characters, including the prerequisite big heads and cabezudos, they are escorted with a glorious fanfare to the town hall and Cava Houses. After a tour of the cellars, followed by lunch and entertainment, they return to the Catalan capital.
El Jardi Barcelona | Terraza y Bar de Tapas
Hidden in the gothic gardens of the old Hospital Santa Creu you find El Jardi, tapas bar. Once inside the garden, surrounded by the thick stone walls, the sound of the city disappears.
El Jardi is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and some tapas. Our proximity to the Bouqeria market allows us to receive fresh products twice a day. The menu and our dishes changes with the seasons and the availability of fresh products. The kitchen is open all day and we have terraces both in the sun and the shade.
El Jardi is located in the city centre of Barcelona, only ten minutes walking from Plaza Catalunya and five minutes from MACBA (the Contemporary Art Museum).
El Jardi Barcelona
C/ de L’Hospital 56
933 291 550
firstname.lastname@example.orgMetro: L3 LICEU
Parkings: C/ Pintor Fortuny 19
C/ Hospital 25
“In the tradition of the sublime and surreal, comes an eatery that inspires through an offeringof carefully handcrafted gastronomic sculptures.”
In and between meandering shadowy alleyways and amidst stunning architectural settings where vibrant energies converge and spill into the everyday senses, lies an eatery that takes inspiration from its surroundings.
Bilbao Berria is the flagship of the new Bilbao and its renowed generations of chefs – experts in the preparation of sensorial experiences. From our kitchen, our team creates hundreds of gastronomic varieties on a daily basis, thought up with only the intention of nuturing your curiosity.
Tapas is our specialty and we consider the art of tapas making, an expertise passed on from craftsman to apprentice, from generation to generation. Our tapas are a constant evolution, introducing to our creative process diverse new ingredients and methods as we share our inspirations through carefully crafted gastronomic sculptures.
Fundacion Antoni Tapies
Fundacion Antoni Tapies: There are works from all periods of the artistic development and a beautiful library devoted to modern and Asiatic art. The Tapies foundation is housed in a building by the modernista Architect Lluís Domenech i Montaner, and is crowned by a controversial work by Tapies (Nuvol i Cadira – Cloud and Chair). The roof terrace alone is worth a visit.
Bookshop: Book on Tapies
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 8pm.
Telephone: 93 487 0315
Address: Arago, 255 (near to Passeig de Gracia).
Metro: Passeig de Gracia (L2, L3, L4)
Fundacion Thyssen Bornemisza
Fundacion Thyssen Bornemisza: The collection is housed in the medieval dormitory of the nuns in the Monastery of Pedralbes and the grand hall of the Palace of Queen Elisenda of Montcada. The works shown are from 5 periods: medieval; first German renaissance; Italian renaissance; Baroque and late Italian Baroque. The following artists are represented: Fra Angelico; Bernhard Strigel; Wolf Huber; Lorenzo Lotto; Titian; Tintoretto; Veronese; Zurbarán; Velazquez; Rubens; Canaletto and others.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 10am – 2pm.
Telephone: 93 280 1434
Address: Baixada del Monestir, 9 (inside the Monastery of Pedralbes).
Metro: Palau Reial (L3)
Museu Picasso: The Museum occupies five medieval palaces in the secluded Carrer Montcada. The museum has many works from Picasso’s formative years from 1895 to 1904. Don’t forget to visit the place where Picasso met with other artists and intellectuals during his years in Barcelona, it is still a cafe and restaurant to this day – Els Quatre Gats (C. Montsio, 3 – Barrio Gotico).
Bookshop: Book on Picasso
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday & holidays: 10am – 8pm; Sundays: 10am – 3pm.
Telephone: 93 319 6310
Address: Carrer Montcada, 15-23
Metro: Jaume I (L4)
Fundacion Joan Miro
Fundacion Joan Miro: The building was designed by Josep Lluis Sert, and has examples from all periods of Miro’s development. A visit to the foundation is a total experience of light, beautiful spaces, views over Barcelona, and temporary exhibitions of other artists.
Bookshop: Book on Miro
Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday: 10am -7pm; Thursday: 10am – 9:30pm; Sunday: 10am -2:30pm.
Telephone: 93 443 9470
Address: Av. Miramar, 71 (On Montjuic “mountain”. Take bus 50 from Pl. Universitat or Plaça de Espanya, or by funicular from Paral.lel Metro Station ).
MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art
MACBA: The building is the work of the North-American architect Richard Meier. The white, curved and rectilinear walls combine to create harmonious and beautiful spaces. The gallery is devoted to works from the second half of the 20th century. There are few works in the permanent collection but frequently interesting temporary exhibitions.
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays (except holidays), 25 December and 1 January.
Summer Hours Weekdays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays in July and August until 12 a.m.
Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closed Tuesdays (except holidays).
Telephone: 93 412 0810
Address: Pl. Angels, 1 (in the El Raval area of the old city).
Metro: Catalunya (L1, L3), Universitat (L1, L2)