Urbancreations

Las Ramblas | May 12, 2009

The group met this morning at Plaça de Catalunya for our tour down las Ramblas and through the center of the old city. Catalunya is a public square at the head of the Ramblas and has an interesting fountain (above) that, if you drink from it, supposedly makes you “of Barcelona.” I was tempted, but I was worried that drinking it would also make me “of the pigeons,” so I passed. We headed down the pramenade toward the sea. The public thoroughfare used to be a riverbed that lined the old wall of the city, but by the mid-nineteenth century the wall came down and the backs of the old buildings started to take on facades that you see below.

We eventually ended up at the Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar and sketched while listening to some pretty impressive organ. The building (below) isn’t so much reminiscent of a specific time in history as it is the product of the passage of time itself. There is a quality aquired by such lengthy existence that can’t be calculated or explained.

Outside our instructor got bombarded by this old woman rambling on for about 15 minutes in the most dramatic spanish I could imagine. She appeared to be giving an animated peoples history of Barcelona, and we were all very much amused.

Towards the end of the walk, we saw a pretty interesting facade technique illustrated on the building below. I forget the term for it, but it basically means graffiti, but the official kind, not the crap tagging that Barcelona has on every steel security door. The do it by layering different kinds of stucco on the facade and then peeling away the outer layers of it before it dries. Pretty simple, but they get some incredible detail.

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Posted in Barcelona_09

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About author

I'm a young aspiring architect. This blog is a record of my journey in this great profession.

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