"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Sioux under General
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The Montjuïc Communications Tower, popularly known as Torre Calatrava and Torre Telefónica, is a telecommunication tower in Barcelona. Construction began in 1989 and was completed in 1992. The white tower was built for television coverage of the 1992 Summer Olympics Games in Barcelona. The 136m tower is located in the Olympic park, and represents an athlete holding the Olympic Flame. The base is covered with trencadís, Gaudí’s mosaic technique created from broken tile shards. Because of it’s orientation, it also works as a giant sundial, which uses the Europa square to indicate the hour.

During the ‘hop-on-hop-off’ bus tour, we went down whats known as The Avenue of Discord. Between 1898 and 1906 three adjacent houses in one block on the fashionable boulevard ‘Passeig de Gràcia’ were built by some of the most important modernist architects. All three houses were designed in a different interpretation of the modernist style. This lead to the local term ‘Mançana de la Discordia’, which means apple of discord. The word mançana also means ‘block’, so the expression ‘Mançana de la Discordia’ is also translated as ‘Block of Discord’.

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The facade of the Casa Batlló is made of sandstone covered with colorful trencadis (a Catalan type of mosaic). Typical of Gaudí, straight lines are avoided whenever possible. The first floor features irregularly sculpted oval windows. Balconies at the lower floors have bone-like pillars, those on the upper floors look like pieces of skulls. These features gave the house the nickname ‘House of Bones’. The enlarged windows on the first floor gave it another nickname, ‘House of Yawns’. The colorful scaled roof looking much like the scales of a reptile. According to some, the roof represents a dragon; the small turret with a cross would symbolize the sword of St. George stuck into the dragon. The bones and skulls on the facade represent all the dragon’s victims.

The “David & Goliath” sculpture by Antoni Llena, represents the struggle for freedom of expression in an urban planning context. Preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games, began to transform the cityscape in the late 80’s, and seemed to many to be a Council-controlled juggernaut, smashing many of the city’s emblematic spaces.

 

Initially disliked, the artwork has now become a mention in all the local tours.

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The Palau Nacional, which has housed the Museu d’Art de Catalunya since 1934, was declared a national museum in 1990. That same year, a thorough renovation process was launched to refurbish the site. The Oval Hall was reopened in 1992 for the Olympic Games, and the various collections were installed and opened                   over the period from 1995 to 2004. The Museu Nacional d’Art de

            Catalunya (Museu Nacional) was officially inaugurated on 16 December

            2004, and is one of the largest museums in Spain. The famed Magical

            Music Fountains are found in front of the Palau Nacional.

Barcelona has some stunning beaches but between the wind, the heat and my lazy legs, the view from the top of the tour bus was as close as I was going to get to the sandy shores!

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Walking around the city also proved interesting. Wandering through the narrow alleyways was delightful, with many ‘treasures’ to be found!

 

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