Barcelona – Font Mágica Water Fountain Ballet
Being one of the first water ballet fountains around, the Font Mágica of Montjuïc in Barcelona still holds its magic after all these years! Built in 1929, it came into its own, when Freddy Mercury was asked to create the theme song for the Olympics, hosted by Barcelona in 1992. To get together with one of Spain’s most famous opera singers was an inspired idea. Montserrat Caballé brought her own magic to the song, and she and Freddy had a chemistry that no-one would have imagined to be so captivating.
Couple this with a fountain that uses light, colour and water to perform a water ballet, and you’ll be entertained without a doubt. 5 pumps push about 3 million litres of water through 3620 jets up to 54 metres high, which means around 2600 litres of water are processed in a single second! The way this water spectacle is designed is pure theatre: the oohs and ahhhs from the crowd are proof that young and old are still amazed by the Magic Fountain, day in, day out. Opening times vary throughout the year, but the fountain is open from April til the end of October with different performance times, so we do advise to check the calendar online to avoid disappointment. It is a fabulous experience, a spectacle you will never forget – just make sure you do not stand too close to the fountain, nor in the direction of the wind, as you’ll get soaked by the spray – leaving with a wet shirt happens to people all the time, you’d be surprised!
With both singers having crossed the rainbow, now singing with the angels, there is an even bigger poignance to enjoy Barcelona’s Font Mágica on the Plaça de Carlos Buïgas at least once in a lifetime.
The Sagrada Familia is an architectural gem, spiking the Barcelona skyline with its 4 towers like no other. It was Antoni Gaudí’s pride and joy – a lifetime achievement, which he couldn’t finish in his own lifetime, and which is still in construction to this day, according to Gaudí’s imagination and style. Having had it’s foundation stone laid in 1882, this iconic building is still a decade or so away from completion. However, seeing is believing, and even in its incomplete state, the cathedral offers breathtaking sights, explaining history with the help of light and colour in countless artistic details and facades. Visitors from all over the world come to see this miracle of a building, with its impressive interior and stained glass windows ‘Gaudí-style’, its Cloisters of Dolours and Sacristy, the Crypt of the Expiatory Temple, the world-famous 4 towers, as well as its Nativity Facade and the Passion Facade. The museum explains the Sagrada Familia’s story very well indeed, even giving insight into what Gaudí’s studio looked like.
The website advises that the best time to visit is in the morning, and we disagree, as it happens. The queues are usually well managed and it helps to pay by credit card, as you’ll then get through even quicker. We believe, the best time to visit is when you can catch the afternoon/evening light, as the whole cathedral is then bathed in warm sunlight and the huge stained glass windows then come into their own, it really is a sight to behold when the cathedral’s interior and apse is drenched in primary colours – it’s glorious! Plan a visit to what is almost a wonder of the world, since the unique story of the Sagrada Familia has defied death, time, funding problems, technical issues and last but not least, a prognosis that more often than not looked as if it will never be finished. sagradafamilia.tickets-barcelona.org > live link
One of Barcelona’s most famous food halls, El Nacional offers a huge variety of gastronomic experiences of traditional & authentic cuisine from the Iberian Peninsula under one roof. Situated off the best shopping street in the city, the Passeig de Gràcia, El Nacional is indeed a national institution for Catalonia. With a list of restaurants, eateries and a tapas bar, an oyster bar, a wine & champagne bar and a pub serving a huge range of beers, you won’t ever run out of options to sample a wide range of local delights, without having to leave the building. Some are know to eat and drink their way around the circle of places to eat and drink, because they couldn’t decide which place to go to first. The atmosphere is great in there, with different vibes throughout the day. From coffee meetings to business lunches to afternoon cervezas and, of course, endless evenings of getting together with friends and family, this place is always busy, so make sure you either go for an early lunch or dinner, bearing in mind that in Spain, the siesta or lunchtime is from 14.00 – 17.00h, whilst dinner doesn’t happen for most before 21.00h. Que approveche, say we…
Fundació Juan Miró
Famous all over the world for his unique style, the Juan Miró Foundation is situated on the hill of Montjuïc, not far from the Font Mágica. You will see his artwork on display when arriving at Barcelona airport, just to get you into the mood of what Barcelona is about. The museum was opened in 1975, and shows over 10.000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, stage designs and….carpets. The roof terrace is a particularly special spot, showing his sculptures against the backdrop of Barcelona’s skyline. The views from up there are breathtaking and typical – nowhere else will you see a sight like this one, so very cool indeed. Miró wanted to create an international and interdisciplinary centre, making art available to everyone. His good friend Josep Lluís Sert, a Le Corbusier student, designed the building, reflecting his good friend’s tendency to harmonic forms and playing with light. This seems to be a real thing in Barcelona: to make natural light and colour interact in order to create a mood, an atmosphere or the feeling of a moment in time. The museum is definitely a must-see when visiting the capital of Catalonia, so make sure it’s down on your itinerary when planning your next city-break in this exciting and energetic place.
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