BARCELONA – LOCATIONS OF INTEREST

Barcelona Cathedral
Plaça de la Seu – Barri Gòtic
933 151 554
Originally dating from 1298 there have been additions and alterations during the various centuries the, most notable in the 4th and the 11th.
Daily from 08.30 hrs to 13.30 hrs, and from 16.00 hrs to 19.30 hrs.

Other notable Churches: Santa Maria del Mar (1330) – Sant Miquel & Església al Monestir de Pedralbes (1340) – Sant Pau del Camp (900) – Sant Pere de les Puelles (800) – Santa Maria del Pi – Santa Àgata (1500)


Castell de Montjuïc
Parc de Montjuïc
A fun way to visit this 17th Century castle is to take the cable car from near the entrance to the Park. There is a military museum within the castle walls. We suggest you walk back down through attractive gardens and enjoy the views.
Open daily from 10.30 hrs to 20.00 hrs.


Font Màgica
Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina
906 301 282

A special fountain designed by Carles Buigas in 1929. As darkness descends a series of jets are choreographed to classical music ending up with a single jet that is 15 meters high.


Familia SagradaPedreraGaudí - The Top Ten Architectural Creations
Located in Barcelona Area

Sagrada Familia – La Pedrera – Parc Güell – Casa Batlió – Palau Güell – Bellesguard – Finca Güell – Casa Calvet – Colegio Teresiano – Casa Vicens
 

 


La Rambla
The heart of Barcelona which consists of a long very crowded street with fascinating shops of all types, sidewalk cafés and street entertainers. The world meets in La Rambla.


Mirador de Colom
La Rambla - Barri Gòtic
This is an 80 metre column as a statue to the famous explorer Christopher Columbus. Within the actual column is an elevator that takes visitors to the viewing platform at the top.
Daily from 10.00 hrs to 19.30 hrs.

 


L’Aquàrium
Moli d’Espanya del Port Vell – Port Vell
932 217 474

Located in the harbour area the L’Aquàrium has over 10.000 species of fish and water reptiles on display for visitors. A fascinating feature is a 80 meter glass tunnel through which visitors walk and view fish of various sizes swimming overhead. For children there are more than 50 inter-activities for their entertainment. It is open from 09.30 hrs until 21.00 hrs, and later in the evening in summer months.


Palau Sant Jordi
Avinguda de l’Estadi
This is the star of the architectural creations especially for the 1992 Summer Olympics.


Parc Zoològico
Parc de la Ciutadella
A Zoo for animal lovers. For children there are fun things such as pony rides, electric cars and a train ride. For the adults there is a museum devoted to the same subject.


Outskirts of the City of Barcelona & Further

Andorra
The Principality of Andorra which is located to the north of Barcelona and is sandwiched between the borders of Spain and France. It covers 464 square kms and is ruled jointly by Spain and France. The Bishop of the nearby province of La Seu d’Urgell represents the Spanish interest whilst the President of France in his title of Count of Foix rules for France. This joint control came about in a Treaty signed between the two countries in 1278. In 1419 the local inhabitants were allowed to create their own parliament which has politically successfully avoided being involved in any war since that year. However, this peaceful record was nearly broken in 1934 when a Russian Count announced himself to be the King Boris I of Andorra and declared war on the joint ruler, the Bishop at La Seu d’Urgell. The Bishop calmly sent for armed representatives of Spain to give support. This force turned out to be four soldiers of the Guardia Civil who proceeded to the Count’s residence and placed him under arrest. The Count was promptly escorted to Barcelona and then subsequently out of Spain. The attempted coup lasted but just two weeks!

The population is in the region of 65,000 and most of them live in the main town which consists of the old part named Andorra la Vella and the new commercial section named Les Escaldes. As it is a Tax Free haven in Europe the shops tend to stock popular branded named items and often at interesting prices. The country of Andorra consists of many deep valleys and mountain slopes, of which many still have old charming stone built dwellings. It is an excellent location for walkers during the summer and then fills up in the winter with skiers. There are four Ski areas of note; Arinsal, Massana, Pas de la Casa and Soldeu. The slopes present ideal holidays for families but are of little interest for the more advanced skier. For those skiers wishing to vary their ski areas it is recommended that they stay in the main town as it is easy to reach each area from this central location. Due to the popularity as a location for reasonably priced winter holidays many small farmhouses in the various valleys have been converted into restaurants serving recommendable traditional regional food.
Andorra Tourist Office – 972 226 575

Find Accommodation in Andorra


Beslaú
This classical small medieval town to the north of Girona retains some of its past in the fortified bridge over the river Fluvià, the two Romanesque churches and some of its original walls. The town existed prior to 800 AD when it was taken by Louis le Deboinair who declared it as an independent country. However, this was brought to an end in 1020 when it was integrated into the powerful State of Barcelona. It possessed a fine Benedict monastery which was destroyed in 1835 and is now just a town square. A find this century was a ritual Jewish bath built in 1264 and is one of only three to date surviving in Europe.
Tourist Office –
972 591 240
 


Barcelona Beaches
The immediate city beaches with the advent of the Summer Olympics of 1992 were transformed by the importation of thousands of tons of sand and the construction of facilities such as showers, toilets, children’s play area and sports centres for those inclined. Unfortunately, one feature has remained from previous times which is bag-snatchers so be warned.

Castelldefels
Within easy reach just 20 kms to south of the city is this 5 kms long sandy beach with shallow water.

Premià & El Masnou
These two beaches are to the north of Barcelona and possibly are the nicest within easy reach of the city.

Costa Brava
The well known holiday area of Costa Brava lies within easy reach of Barcelona and basically commences at the coastal town of Blanes and stretches 200 kms to the north up to the frontier with France. The coastline presents a mixture of crowded typical holiday resorts with long open beaches to smaller sandy coves. Many holiday makers tend to take advantage of their location to explore the medieval villages and buildings that are located just off from the coast.

Begur
A small town set slightly back from the cliff top providing good sea views over small coves and beaches.

Blanes
Besides being a holiday destination this town is also has a working port. The two main attractions are the very long beach and the interesting Jardí Botànic Mar I Murtra. This later is a Botanical garden and was designed by a German by the name of Karl Faust. There are over 7,000 different plants from the Mediterranean and the tropics.
Tourist Office – 972 330 348

Cadaqués
Perhaps because the beaches are small and stony this town has maintained more of its distinctive Spanish atmosphere rather than be swamped by the influences of tourism.

L’Escala
This port lies at the southern end of the same sweeping bay as the resort of Roses. The location is popular with the regional population.

L’Estartit
Due to its proximity to the Islands of Medes this is a good choice for the lovers of Scuba diving. The islands were reputedly in their past a home for pirates and is now a marine reserve.

La Platja d’Aro’s
This popular location as a typical holiday resort with many modern hotels lining the long sandy beach.

Llafranc & Calella de Palafrugell
These two resorts are joined by along promenade approximately stretching along a sandy beach for about 1 km.

Lloret de Mar
This town tends to attract the most tourists which is reflected in the number of hotels providing charter holidays. For those visitors who wish to escape the crowds there are a number of smaller beaches within easy reach, such as Santa Cristina.

Palamós
This is a working port and combined as a holiday destination. To the north of the town there are many sandy beaches in sheltered coves.

Roses
This resort is tucked in the northern corner of a long sweeping pay providing shelter from the northern and western winds. It is therefore a popular destination for lovers of water sports.

Tossa de Mar
This is an old fortified attractive town with a small cove style beach and is popular with holiday makers for its natural medieval charm.

Costa Dourada
To the south of Barcelona the coastline which stretches beyond and below Tarragona is ideal for family holidays. Long sandy beaches can be found in the resorts of Cambrils, Casa Nadiva de Pau Casals, El Vendrell, Port Aventura, Salou and Vilanova I la Geltrú.

Sitges
This resort town is possibly the favorite for many of the inhabitants of Barcelona for its long sandy beach and its wild night life! This is created by a crazy cocktail mixture consisting of the extremes from society drawn from the whole of Europe.

Costa Del Maresme
The coast between Barcelona and Blanes has been given the name of “Costa del Maresme”. Although not so popular with the foreign holiday tourist as a destination this part of the coast is well served with both modern hotels and long sandy beaches. Two locations recommended are Arenys de Mar and Calella de la Costa.
 


Empúries
This ancient town has extensive ruins dating from the Grecian Roman times and lies on the coast to the north of Barcelona. History records that it was a place of importance in 600 BC when the Greeks established a port and subsequently later occupants have rebuilt the town. The Roman occupation of the peninsular was reputed to have stated here in 210 BC. The Emperor Julius Caesar gave the place the name of “Neapolis” in 49 BC.
Tourist Office – 972 770 208
 


Figueres
The town of Figueres which is to the north of Girona is not practically notable in itself but its painter son Salvador Dalí has left an indelible mark on history by his often outrageous creations. In 1929 he became a member of the “Surrealism Movement” and his works were so conventually challenging that he became the principle artist of the movement. In the Teatro-Museo Dalí a visitor will be sure to find enough mind provoking exhibits that it will justify the fact that this museum is the second most visited one in Spain after the Prado Museum in Madrid. We are told that Dalí in the beginning of the Civil War offered to go to Barcelona to create a department for the “irrational organization of daily life”. His request was officially rejected on the basis that apparently this department already existed!
Tourist Office – 972 677 505
 


Girona
The houses overlooking the River Onyar in Girona are painted in various pastel colours partly reflects the character of the city. Many parts were rebuilt in the 19th Century after a seven month siege in 1809 by a French army of 35,000 that destroyed the Roman city walls. The north gate into the city was once part of the Via Augusta road built by the Romans from Tarragona to Rome. In the old town the street named Rambla de la Llibertat is a smaller echo of its bigger sister in Barcelona. The Banys Arabs (Arab baths) dates from the 12th Century and are questionably related to the Moorish occupation which terminated some 300 years previously. The Jewish quarter is named El Call and is now partially restored. In the early 12th Century a Girona Jew by the name of Moses Ben Nahman was largely responsible for an upsurge of Cabalistic studies in Europe. The Cathedral was built in 1416 and in it is a marble throne known as “Charlemagne’s Chair” after the Emperor who occupied the town in 785 AD. An interesting tapestry is on show dating from the 12th Century.

The Museu d’Art is housed in a former Episcopal palace and has on show a fine selection of items from the Romanesque period to the present day. Another museum of interest is the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat. This musem is a former 18th Century convent and on show is the history of the town and region. It also includes a collection of instruments form the past used in accompanying the “Sardana” dancing.
Tourist Office – 972 226 575
 


La Seu d’Urgell
This small and ancient town can be found shortly before leaving Spain on the road to the State of Andorra. In the 6th Century it was made a bishopric by the Visigoths and it was due to latter feuds over land ownership that Andorra was created in the 13th Century. The cathedral dates back to the 12th Century and holds a venerated statue of Santa Maria d’Urgell. The museum has many medieval works of art including a 10th Century copy of the Saint Beatus of Liébana treatise named “Commentary on the Apocalypse”.
Tourist Office – 973 351 511
 


Mirador de la Torre
934 069 354
Perched on a hill overlooking the City is 560 meter telecommunication tower providing a spectacular panoramic view over many of Barcelona’s most interesting buildings? It has 13 viewing platforms and is open to the public except on Mondays and Tuesdays. There are regular buses from the City.
 


Monestir de Monserrat
Monserrat
938 777 777

The mountain of Montserrat is famous for the image of the Virgin that was recorded as being seen in 1929 in Santa Cova. However, this location which is 1.000 meters above sea level. It is reported that in 880 AD a dark faced image of the Virgin was discovered and a chapel was built to commemorate the event which was later in 976 made the responsibility of the Order of the Benedictines in Ripoll. Subsequently a monastery was constructed and in 1025 it became a home to the Benedictine monks and was granted independence from Rome in 1409. Unfortunately, the original buildings were badly destroyed by the French forces during the War of Independence in 1811. Happily, a decision to reconstruct was taken in 1840.

From behind the altar is a wooden statue named the La Morenta (Black Virgin). Is is reputed to have been carved by Saint Luke and brought to Spain by St Peter in the year of 50 AD and in 1881 the Region of Catalunya adopted the statue as its patroness. Recent carbon dating has placed the carving as likely being from the 12th Century.

The Basilica has a large domed roof and the interior is decorated by works by Cátalan artists. It is in here that the famous 50 strong boys choir performs their religious chants twice daily.

It is an attractive place to visit and lies conveniently close to the north-west of Barcelona on the N11 and there is a small hotel and prior booking is recommended. Alternatively, there are trains from Plaza Espanya Railway Station every day every hour. Upon arrival there is a fun funicular train taking visitors up the mountain and there are spectacular gorges to be seen. Your access ticket also provides a 5% discount on a nights lodging in the hotel.
 


Monestir de Poblet
Montblanc
977 862 291

This charming peaceful Monastery founded in 1151 is set in an isolated valley is a home to the Order of Cistercians. It played an important part in the consolidation of Christianity in the region after the region had been captured from the Moors by Count Ramon Berenguer IV in the 12th Century. Her are the tombs of Alfonso II (1196) and Juan II (1479). Unfortunately, this monastery was another of the places sacked by the invading French forces in 1814 and again by rebels in the 2nd Carlist War in 1834 who believed that the monks had oppressed them and ravaged their women. Happily, in 1940 the monks returned to the monastery and have reconstructed the ravaged parts including the royal damaged tombs.

Another monastery to be visited as it dates from the same period in history and also played an important part in the spread of Christianity is the Monestir de Santes Creus near Tarragona and is the resting place of Jaume II (1291-1327).

The Monestir de Poblet is 10 kms outside the town of Montblanc off the N240.
 


Parc d’Atraccions del Tibidabo
Tibidabo
932 117 942

An amusement park opened at the turn of the century and located to the north on the fringe of the city. The park is reached by a fun funicular which takes visitors up 517 metres to where there is a 360 degree view of Barcelona and the surroundings.
 


Tarragona
This town played an important part in the Roman occupation in the 3rd Century BC. It was chosen as the Roman capital of the district know as “Tarraconenis” and evidence of their presence is seen in the ruins of the Amphitheatre, a Roman wall with towers stretching a kilometer, and a museum housed in a Roman tower exhibited a fine collection of items from the period. It became a centre of Roman Iberian culture with its abundant locally grown food, fine wines and a lively social life and by the 2nd Century had a population of some 30,000. The later Visigoths who replaced the Romans also appreciated the place making it in the 5th Century one of their bishoprics. Curiously, during the rule of the last invaders, the Moors, the town became a haven for the Jews and it is related that they made up more than half of the town’s population.
Tourist Office – 977 233 415

 


Torre de Collserola
Parc de Collserola
A communications tower risin to 560 metres above the city near to Parc d’Atraccions del Tibidabo. It has a glass-fronted elevator that takes visitors on the outside of the structure up to its viewing platform. Once there the visitor will have 360 panoramic views of the city.


 


Universal “Mediterranea”
933 425 180
A Fun Play Park designed on USA lines for the whole family. It is located to the south of the City along the coast past Tarragona. The large area of the Park is divided into sections with each one taking the culture and architecture of a part of the world. Caribbean Coast, China, Mediterranean, Mexico, Polynesia, USA Far West, themes are represented.
Open all year and hours range depending on evening entertainment. Daily buses are organized from Ronda Universidad, 5
 


Various Churches and Monasteries
Figueres - Monestir de San Pere de Rodes – 22 kms east of Figueres
Girona - Catedral de Santa Maria
La Seu d’Urgell - Catedral de La Seu d’Urgell
Lleida- Sant Climent i Santa Maria de Taül – 140 kms north of Lleida
Montblanc - Monestir de Santes Creus – 25 kms northwest of Montblanc
Ripoll - Monestir de Ripoll
Sant Joan de les Abadesses – Sant Joan de les Abadesses
Trarragona - Catedral de Santa Tecla

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