Sunday, April 06, 2014

The bohemian beauty of Barcelona

The bohemian spirit of artists past plays a critical role in the cultural makeup of Barcelona. Wherever you venture in this beautiful Catalonian capital, their influence is always present. From the bars of El Born to the monuments of Picasso, Barcelona is a hub of bohemian beauty just waiting to be captured on camera.

A jaunt to the capital city of Spain’s autonomous community Catalonia is always going to provide shutter-happy travellers with an abundance of scenic shots and beautiful locations. From the many buildings of Gaudi to the stunning parks, there is a plethora of picturesque points to shoot from. To pick only three is near impossible, however, if you’re looking to capture the true bohemia of the city, the follow destinations cannot be missed.

There are also a range of cultural tours which combine the bohemian art, history and stories of 1990s Barcelona. If you’d rather be shown such attractions by an experienced guide, companies like Icono Cultural Tours can offer something suitable. If there is a range of tours and attractions you want to see, it is advisable to arrange these before you travel. If that requires transferring money online to international organizations, companies like Travelex can help you do this securely.

The cafés of Gràcia

Gràcia is made up of five neighbourhoods, all which contribute to the district’s stunning and notable squares. Head to either Plaça del Sol, or Plaça de Rius i Taulet and you’ll be able to sit with a coffee and enjoy the stunning setting enjoyed by many of Spain’s free spirits.

The most famous of all of Gràcia’s landmarks however, is Gaudí’s Parc Güell— a garden complex with architectural elements dotted throughout. It is one of the largest architectural works in southern Europe and boasts stunning mosaics, sculptures, and even a house which Gaudi called home from 1906 to 1926. Take a stroll through the footpaths or simply relax in the main terrace; the photographic opportunities are endless!

The alleys of El Raval
El Raval is a historical neighbourhood which borders La Rambla with Barri Gòtic. Situated in the Ciutat Vella district, it has now become a major tourist attraction, however, this in no way should deter you from experiencing the historic alleys and architecture it has become famous for.

While navigating the alleys, capturing thinly-railed balconies and historic doorways, it’s worth visiting several of the landmarks El Raval has. One of the most famous is the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, often simply referred to as La Boqueria – an impressive public market that offers a range of goods.

The Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp is a stunning, but rather mysterious monument ideal for capturing. There are no sources which can indicate when the monastery was actually built, although it is believed to have been constructed in the late 9th century. Steeped in a violent history that saw the monks driven from it by several invading armies, its unconventional charm makes it an ideal subject for photographing.

Also worth visiting are the old wall and gate of the medieval city of Portal de Santa Madrona, Fernando Botero’s large feline statue, and Palau Güell.

The Quatre Gats
There are several locations throughout Barcelona which can claim a slice of Picasso fame. From the Llotja School, where he studied, to the many studios in which he worked. However, a trip to the Quatre Gats is a must. The café, which opened in 1897, was said to be the artist’s famed hangout during the early stages of his career.

Modeled on the Parisian café Le Chat Noir, the establishment is a true architectural and bohemian beauty.

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