When we got back home, the tour book was on the corner of the table where there was no way to leave it behind. The page for the El Born walking tour had a bookmark for easy reference.
So, off we go on the 54 bus to the university stop.
BU. We have a BU back home, too, but it’s not quite as grand as this one.
And, of course, we discover that we don’t have the tour book. From memory we start toward the beginning of the tour. After a few restarts, we find the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, which turns out to be as much skate park as museum. Lots of university aged kids showing off their skills.
I know the tour starts at yet another market. There it is!
The Santa Caterina Market has a gorgeous and unique roof in the modernisme style of Gaudi, but was built in 2005.
They could have used simple steel or concrete supports, but instead bent these steel posts to look organic.
I thought the undulating roof was just an after thought over a conventional roof (a roof facade?), but no, it’s the actual roof of the building.
Let’s see, I remember from the tour book that we have to walk through the market and out the other side. So far, so good, but then it all gets real vague. We wander around and by accident find another stop on the tour, the El Born Community Center.
The building itself is impressive, a huge, open, airy space constructed of iron and glass. The history is even better.
The land was originally by the shore, until areas like Bacelonetta reclaimed so much land from the sea that it “moved” inland. The area was called Vilanova de Mar. In 1713, during the massive scrum that was the war of the Spanish succession, the city came under siege and eventually fell. Retribution followed. A massive star-shaped citadel was built to consolidate control over the city. This required demolishing a large portion of Barcelona. The citadel stood until 1863, hated by the residents of the city. Then it was demolished in stylish fashion.
General Espartero razed most of the buildings within the fortress as well as its walls by bombarding it from the nearby mountain fortress Montjuic, which helped him gain political popularity.
–from Parc de la Ciutadella
A few buildings were saved, including what is now the Catalan Parliament. Most of the citadel site became a park, and in 1876 was built the impressive market building that still stands today. For almost 100 years, it was the El Born market. After that, it was no longer used, and fell into disrepair. Starting in 2002, the building was restored. Much of the floor was removed and excavated to reveal a section of the city from before the siege. So, this historic 1876 building is now a museum for 1700’s Barcelona.
From the CC, it’s easy to find the Santa Maria del Mar, which was the end of the book tour, had we only brought the book. I only took a couple of pics.
It was starting to get late, and we wanted to stop for a glass of wine before ending the untour and catching the bus for home.
We love and miss you all.