Barcelona’s Cathedral of the sea, isn’t actually a Cathedral at all, but a beautiful 14th century Gothic church. It was on my list of places to see in Barcelona this time, but on no particular day. In the event, we stumbled upon it by accident while wandering around El Born and La Ribera areas. In case you want to find it, it’s at the end of the street where you’ll find the Picasso museum, heading towards the sea.
The exterior of the church is a little dull, squeezed as it is in the narrow streets of the Ribera, and once you climb to the rooftop, you’ll see just how densely built the area is. You can enter the church without any cost at certain times of the day, but we were happy to pay our 8 euros for a tour of the rooftops. A tour was about to begin, so we had little time to consider the impact on our knees of climbing 140 steps!
There’s another chance to draw breathe after 60 more steps, then just 10 and you’re on the roof.
The church of Our Lady of the Sea was well worth the visit, I’m so glad we stumbled upon it. I believe that if your timing is good, you may get to hear musical rehearsals. It’s known as the people’s church, and because of it’s beauty, it’s also one of the most popular for weddings. I hope you enjoyed sharing my visit.
I went to Park Guell last year, but my friend didn’t so that was a great excuse to go again! But I won’t bore you with more of the same, instead, I’ve created a gallery of some of the smaller details, the Trencadis mosaics.
It’s commonly believed that Gaudi, Park Guell’s architect, invented the Trencadis modernist style, but it’s more likely that it originated in the ancient Arab world. I’ve tried mosaic work, just making a house number. The result was pretty good, but it was very hard on my hands, and I wouldn’t want to do it again. I can’t imagine the number of hours it must have taken to create Park Guell.
The day we arrived in Barcelona we were shattered, but determined to hit the streets after a bit of a snooze. Wanting to get out of the Ramblas as soon as possible, seeing a sign for the cathedral seemed a good idea. The Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia as it’s called in Catalan, was on the must see list.
We soon became distracted by the sights and sounds of the city, but knew we must be heading in the right direction, and once cooled by an ice cream we soon found it.
The Cathedral, which is the seat of the bishop of Barcelona, is known for its rather unusual cloisters and I have to confess that was what particularly drew me. There’s an odd looking fountain, but in the background . . .
Despite the crowds, the cloister was an extraordinary peaceful place, and it warranted more time than our tiredness would allow. Maybe next time.
Architect Domenech Montaner’s stunning concert hall in Barcelona marks the zenith of the Modernista movement in the city. He called it his ‘Garden of Music’, and it is a joy to behold. As soon as you arrive you can tell you’re in for a treat.
When you turn from the narrow street, there’s a new entrance.
Just inside there’s a rather elegant bar. On a guided tour we learn that a church beside the Palau was pulled down and the new entrance created, with a small auditorium. Then we get the first dazzling glimpse.
While on the balcony I have to wait to photograph a row of mosaic pillars where too many people had the same idea.
Then we go back inside on the top floor to see what we’ve really been waiting for.
You should be able to click on the image to get a closer view. It’s a kind of inverted dome, a stained glass orb skylight, totally entrancing. The tour finished with a short performance of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, I can’t think of anywhere better to hear it.
I’m sorry, I’m way behind and owe many of you messages!
A few weeks ago, I had half an hour to kill in London, so I walked from Victoria, up Buckingham Palace Road, wondering if Her Majesty had time for a cup of tea. Strangely, she had more pressing matters to attend to, so I just looked at her garden fence, click these for a bigger view,
Oh well, I suppose I would have only had about ten minutes free to chat, but maybe next time.
Paula at Lost in Translation has given us a list of five words to chose from for her Thursday Special this week. Her words are,
Flying over north east Borneo to Sabah, there’s good chance you’ll see Mount Kinabalu, unless you’re very fit, you’ll find it pretty elusive otherwise. Even seven years ago I wouldn’t have been fit enough to climb it, mountain are for looking at!
Taken from a plane window, this is isn’t the clearest image, if it was it wouldn’t be quite as elusive would it?🙂
Paula would love to see you too, pop across and say hello.
I regularly drive past the sign for Buckfast Abbey, a place I hadn’t visited since I was a child fifty years ago. A return visit was long overdue.
Benedictine monks first arrived there in the early 11th century, but the monastery was destroyed in 1539, during Henry V111th’s dissolution. In 1882 a group of French Benedictine monks settled there and a slow rebuild began.
This is what happened next.
What an achievement.
Once inside, initially I was distinctly underwhelmed, until I stopped comparing it to the Cathedral in Exeter. The vaulting is different but interesting.
A beautiful screen.
And some pretty chapels.
Buckfast is a peaceful place, the part that filled me with joy was an amazing stained glass area, where photography was not allowed. I’d go back just to see that again. I did manage to buy a postcard of part of it,
But you will get a better idea here.
Now, once I went outside to the gardens, I really started to enjoy Buckfast. There’s a lavender garden, but it was past it’s best, as well as a sensory and a physic garden.
So this is Buckfast, a tranquil place to spend and hour or two. They have a restaurant and gift shop, as well as a conference centre. Visiting, and parking is free, so if you’re driving along the Devon Expressway why not call in?
I’m tempted to link to Jo’s Monday walk, because I didn’t sit down for a couple of hours even if i didn’t walk very far, and I don’t think she’ll tell me off!