I took a trip to Barcelona in September 2010. I hadn’t gotten round to sorting out the hundreds of photos I took till now. I’ve boiled down the images to ten stills that I think capture the modern Barcelona.
Right at the centre of Barcelona is the square, Placa Catalunya. This sculpture is one of the many statues and fountains that decorate the square. The bull is clearly a symbol of Catalonia, with the tradition of bull-fighting going way back.
Santiago Calatrava is one of Barcelona’s finest architects. A Modern answer to Antonio Gaudi. His fantastic Torre De Calatrava stands proudly on the hill overlooking Barcelona on a prestigious site next to Barcelona’s impressive olympic stadium.
Gaudi designed the magnificent Park Guell on a hillside overlooking the city. An extremely decorative and sculptural park and garden. I found myself using it as a very picturesque running route, and I wasn’t the only one.
Parc De Collserola was a great find. Located about 12 miles north of Barcelona, near Cerdanyola Del Valles, it quickly became my regular run route. Rather than show off a landscape, I enjoyed this natural form, affected by the toyfulness of a young couple.
The political tension between the Catalan community and the Spanish people is clear in this graffiti, also found in Parc De Collserola.
Barcelona is a city that attracts plenty of football tourism. The souvenir shops are as packed with FC Barcelona merchandise as much as cheap plaster effigies of the Sagrada Familia. I was lucky enough to stumble into the stadium site on a Champions League night, and found myself watching Barcelona’s golden generation of players thrash Olympiakos 4-0.
The cranes surrounding Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece are as much part of the landscape as the mighty Sagrada Familia itself
This stunning stained glass window inside Gaudi’s church makes a fantastic play of colour upon the interior walls of the cathedral.
Antonio Gaudi’s work is on display all over the city. This detail mosaic adorns a fantastic dragon sculpture on the roof of the exuberant family house, Casa Battlo
Barcelona is clearly a city of the modern. The Museum of Contemporary Art is a fantastic collection of Barcelona’s modern artwork as well as being an architectural statement in itself
The city is a fantastic mix of new and old with the wonders of its gothic quarter sitting very close to its various displays of modernity. I only scratched the surface with my week long visit.