Here we have 10 suggestions and proposals of alternative itineraries to enjoy this Easter holidays without leaving Barcelona. It is the opportunity to know the city with eyes of traveler, taking advantage of the free time in spring days. Discover the medieval walls of the Drassanes on an evening stroll, observe the vegetation of the gardens of Mossèn Costa i Llobera de Montjuïc, revive the streets and the sites of the literary Carmel of Juan Marsé, visit the emblematic buildings of Japanese architects, take the route Of pastry shops to admire the chocolate monkeys and to contemplate the facades of the mansions, factories and palaces of Josep Puig i Cadafalch are some of the ideas to explore singular corners of Barcelona.
1- LA CIUDAD DE MARSÉ
Juan Marsé has just published the book of stories ‘Private collection’ with a view to the sales career of Santa Jordi. We can reread “Late afternoons with Teresa” (1966) and then stroll along the steep slopes of the Carmel neighborhood, where the protagonist lives, Manolo, the Pijoaparte, a Murcia emigrant who fantasizes about ascending fast in a social web that ends up catching him. In the novel there are emblematic areas of the neighborhood, such as the Park Güell, or the nearby tavern Las Delicias, on the street Mühlberg, old cellar of tapas that will only be open until Thursday, 13, at noon.
Nearby are gardens of Juan Ponce on the Carmel Road, frequented by cyclists. And also the land where, between the 50s and 60s, the shacks where Manolo lived, which housed thousands of Andalusian families. On this route, we can see the ascent to Turó de la Rovira, a great viewpoint of the city, a patrimonial space where the remains of an antiaircraft battery constructed during the civil war to try to defend Barcelona from the attacks of the fascist aviation are preserved. In this mountain, the Museum d’Història of the Ciutat (Muhba) dedicates a museum space to the vestiges of the shacks. Thus, near the canyons, the remains of ceramic floors, tiles and stairs that have survived the passage of time are exhibited without weeds.
2.- ON CACTUS LAND
The landscape structure of Montjuïc, largely due to the design of the architect Jean-Claude Forestier, turned the mountain into a large botanical park. A tour to appreciate its richness begins in the Mossèn Costa i Llobera gardens, known for its wide variety of cactus and palm trees, and then continues in the adjoining gardens of Joan Brossa and Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer, where on holiday many families swirl around A haven of peace. Nearby is also the Joan Maragall garden, a small Versailles that only opens the holidays, and those of Laribal, a singular space structured in streets and squares with a very diverse vegetation. Finally, the route ends in the young Botanic Garden of Barcelona, inaugurated in 1991 in the grounds of an old barraquista town, and can be extended with a visit to the small Garden of Acclimatization, next to the Estadi Olímpic, with extremely rare species in Barcelona, And the Historic Botanical Garden, next to the MNAC, which has the largest trees in the whole city. – A. MADRIDEJOS
3.- THE BLUE WALL
On Saturday, April 15, the Drassanes wall is illuminated in blue, from 9:00 pm to midnight, on Avenida Paral.lel. The Ecology, Urbanism and Mobility area of the City Council of Barcelona wants with this action to put in value the architectural heritage of the Wall of Baluard and the Portal of Santa Madrona, the only medieval fortification of the city that has been preserved to this day.
After ascending Rambla up and turn by the street Ferran until arriving at the city council, also an institution of medieval origin that counts on a gothic facade in the street Ciutat. Nearby, the Cathedral rises among other Gothic buildings, such as Santa Maria del Pi and the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar, in the Ribera neighborhood. In this area of the Born deserve a visit the palaces of Montcada Street, which today houses museums, such as Picasso and Les Cultures del Món, and art galleries. From there you should visit La Llotja, a building that hides inside one of the most unknown Gothic Gothic treasures of Barcelona.
4.- CHOCOLATE STICKERS
The sweetest route is especially interesting during the Easter holidays, when the sideboards of the city are filled with chocolate monkeys. The most comfortable itinerary for walking begins on Calvet Street where you will find the Canal bakery and its chocolate houses that look like they come out of a fairy tale. Then, go down to Francesc Macià square, turn on the Diagonal direction Passeig de Gràcia and, before crossing it, stop before the windows of La Farga. The third stop is on Rambla de Catalunya, at the height of Provença, before the windows of Mauri, founded in 1929. There you can taste a coffee, as in the next visit in the street Aragó, next to Enrique Granados. Pastisseria, by the master pastry chef Josep Maria Rodriguez Guerola, proclaimed world champion in 2011, fills these days with colorful recreations of chocolates of blue parrots, yellow robots and pink bunnies. At different ends of the city, it is worthwhile to escape to the Born to visit the Xocolata Museum on Comerç Street, 36, which today is full of children looking for their famous Easter eggs, and at the other end, in the middle of Sarrià , It is worth visiting the traditional pastry shop Foix, in the square of Sarrià. It was inaugurated in 1886 by the parents of the poet Josep Vicenç Foix.
5.- JAPANESE ARCHITECTS
To start a day dedicated to Japanese culture, you must trace the works built in Barcelona by famous Japanese architects. The idyll began with Arata Isozaki (Oita, 1931) when in the pre-Olympic years he designed the Palau Sant Jordi, one of the symbols of Montjuïc. Then, on the slope of the mountain, is the patio that gives access to the main entrance of CaixaFòrum, located in basement and public character, which he built in 2002.
Toyo Ito (Tokyo, 1941) was inspired by Gaudí and the water to create the Fira de Barcelona, located at the entrance of the city from the airport, which highlights the red hotel tower of the Plaza de Europa in L’Hospitalet designed by He as an icon to contemplate from the highway. The same architect is located in the Paseo de Gràcia, in front of the Pedrera, Suites Avenue, an avant-garde building with a colorful aluminum facade.
6.- THE GRÀCIA SHOPS
The small shops that give sense to the local commerce are the great patrimony of Gràcia, a bustling, cheerful, cosmopolitan and bohemian neighborhood. The streets and their squares are full of life especially on Saturdays, when people from other areas and also tourists visit enclaves such as Astúries, Gran de Gràcia, Sant Domènec, Verdi and Joanic square to discover unique spaces. In this square is the charming wine cellar Verema i Collita (in the photograph), which comes to be a social club that revolves around the oenological world. Other curious places are Llegums Graneria Sala (Travessera de Gràcia, 137) and Ego Galego (corner of Mozart with Goya), a place dedicated to the sale of empanadas, cheeses, wines and Galician preserves. The Plaza de la Vila de Gràcia, with its bell tower that was built at the end of the 19th century, is the neuralgic center of the neighborhood with its various shops, artisan workshops and bars with terrace.
7- FROM PICASSO TO MIRÓ
Joan Miró (Barcelona, 1893-Palma de Mallorca, 1983) wrote in 1971 that his donation to the Catalan capital would be by land, sea and sky: “A mural at the airport to welcome people who arrive from the air , A monument (which was the sculpture ‘Dona i ocell’) to receive anyone who comes by road, a mosaic on the Rambla (in the photo), for people entering the sea, and the Fundació Joan Miró, in Montjuïc , As an open door to a future of cultural exchange “. So it was. All this is part of the legacy of Miró to Barcelona, which has given its name to a street of the Olympic Village and, in the old Escorxador park, a sports center and a library.
Pablo Picasso has his own museum in Montcada Street, which will only close on Easter Monday. In front of the Plaza Nova you can admire the unique piece of the artist that is in a public space of Barcelona. These are three friezes that the Norwegian sculptor and photographer Carl Nesjar made on the facade of the Col.legi d’Arquitectes, drawing on the drawings of the author of ‘Guernica’.
8.- THE YEAR OF PUIG I CADAFALCH
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Josep Puig i Cadafalch (Mataró, 1867-Barcelona, 1956), the Generalitat promotes L’Any Puig i Cadafalch which has an intense program of congresses, exhibitions, seminars and workshops dedicated to the architect Modernist who was president of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya from 1917 to 1925. Barcelona is one of the cities with more buildings built by him.
The route begins with the Casa Macaya, an emblematic building built between 1898 and 1901, at number 108 of the Paseo de Sant Joan, with a white façade with sgraffito in ocher, neogothic forge windows with colorful crystals and sculptural openings. From there, walk down to the Diagonal, 420, where the Casa de les Punxes stands, which in its emblematic towers hides a minimuseo dedicated to the architect. Across the avenue, is the Palau del Baró de Quadras, which currently houses the headquarters of the Institut Ramon Llull. Following Diagonal you turn on Rambla de Catalunya and on the corner with Còrcega stands the Palau Serra, the current headquarters of the Diputació de Barcelona. Nearby, on Passeig de Gràcia, between Aragó and Consell de Cent, just next to the Casa Batlló, Puig i Cadafalch built the Casa Amatller. You can visit its luxurious first floor. From there, a walk to Ciutat Vella to see the café-restaurant Els Quatre Gats, which occupies the ground floor of Casa Martí in Montsió street. In 1899, at age 17, Picasso began to frequent this place, which hosted his first exhibition.
Montjuïc deserves another tour to observe the four columns located on Avenida Maria Cristina built in 1919, demolished in 1928 and rebuilt in 2011, and the Casaramona Factory, built at the beginning of the 20th century, before the 1929 Universal Exhibition, which urbanized the Montana. Today is the headquarters of Caixafòrum.
9.- HISTORICAL-POLITICAL ITINERARY FOR THE YESTERDAY OF LA RIBERA AND BARCELONETA
The website Memòria BCN proposes a walk along the Ribera and Barceloneta, where one of the most feared detention centers of the Franco dictatorship is to be found, until reaching the seafaring district, which was heavily affected by aerial bombardments during the civil war. The route begins at the Palau de la Música, where on May 19, 1960, during the celebration of the centenary of the birth of the poet Joan Maragall, which was attended by four ministers of Franco, the public began to sing ‘El Cant de la Senyera ‘, Catalan hymn forbidden by the Franco regime, thus erupting the incidents of’ Els Fets del Palau ‘. Crossing the Via Laiena is located the Upper Police Prefecture. Many opponents of the dictatorship were interrogated and tortured. Further down, at number 32, is Foment Nacional del Treball, Catalan employers’ organization whose building was from 1936 to 1939 headquarters of the CNT.
The next stop is the Estació de França, which was the arrival point of thousands of immigrants in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. The itinerary continues in the direction of the Escola Nàutica de Barcelona, where in 1936 the Central Committee of Milk Antifeixistes. Already near the sea is visited the disappeared street of Miquel Pedrola, leader of the POUM that died in the battle front, that was in the current Sant Miquel. Look for a graffiti claim. And also the Mercat de la Barceloneta, where panels explain the ravages caused by the bombings of the fascist aviation to the neighborhood.
10.- AFTER THE FOOTPRINTS OF THE INDIANS
The itinerary emphasizes the legacy of the Indians, the great fortunes that returned from America to Barcelona from the middle of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century. Old industries and businesses are crossed that were enriched by the technical or monetary contributions of the returnees and the mansions that constructed, especially Josep Xifré and Antonio López. In the present Hotel 1898 of the Rambla was the general company of Tabacos of Philippines, that ran López, who in spite of its past esclavista still has a place in his honor with statue included at the end of the Via Laietana in front of Correos. Another stop is Cases d’en Xifré, a block of flats which is located in Pla del Palau, very close to the port, better known as Porxos d’en Xifré, where the Café de les Set Portes survives since 1838.
And remember, I’m all planning and many more you can do on board our Rickshaws. Discover our Tours and Routes specially designed to show you Barcelona in a unique way!