Mosaic Masterpiece of Barcelona
Few can resist the compelling charms of Catalonia and Barcelona – both first-class Spanish tourist destinations. The beautiful beaches of the Costa Brava, an inexhaustible trove of artistic treasures and the lively activity of a city like Barcelona are set against a background of exquisite architecture including Romanesque churches.
One could spend a lifetime here and, regretfully, never see it all. Just a few immortal names associated with the area: Dali, Gaudi, Miro, and Picasso. And for sports fans, this is the homeland of also FC Barcelona’s football team - reigning Spanish La Liga, UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Club Cup champions. By the way FC Barcelona, considered to be one of the best three soccer teams in the world by sports pundits, travels to Champions League away matches on a THY aircrafts as THY are Official Airline of the Spanish club.
But despite the endless depth of Barcelona, some “must see” sights stand out:
Las Ramblas, Barcelona's premier promenade, is also one of Europe's best. Stretching for one mile from the Plaça Catalunya to the Plaça Portal, near the waterfront, this broad boulevard is divided by a center pedestrian walkway and contains a lively mix of cafes, shops, flower stalls, and street performers. It's a place where you might spot an organ grinder cranking out music for his dancing dogs, or a mime covered from head to toe in silver paint frozen like a statue. At La Boqueria, a popular produce market just off the Ramblas, fruit vendors proclaim the merits of pyramids of ripe grapefruit and cherries, and fishmongers prepare slabs of salmon and haddock.
Montjuïc, was the site for some 1992 Olympic events; Barri Gòtic, the old city; and the revitalized waterfront are more sights to see. A funicular takes visitors from seaside to the hilltop sites of Montjuïc. Rising 699 feet above the city, the large urban park is a mix of greenery and museums.
The Fundació Joan Miró is filled with the witty and colorful paintings, graphics, and sculptures by the Spanish master. Highlights of the hilltop Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya are the Roman frescoes, icons, and other religious art of the 13th through 15th centuries. Also on Monjuïc, more than 100 structures by Poble Espanyol show Spanish architecture throughout the ages. Young children tend to like the ersatz structures, inexpensive souvenirs, and festival atmosphere. The Museu Picasso displays many of Picasso's early works, even some he did as a teenager.
For real but fantastical architecture, check out renowned architect Antoni Gaudí's buildings, especially his Sagrada Familia. Tourists always have something to say about the unfinished cathedral's twisting shapes, spiral staircases, and otherworldly feel. Güell Park is known as one of Gaudí's most colorful works and its playful architecture makes it one of Barcelona's top attractions. The park was originally meant to be a housing development for rich socialites, but thankfully the wealthy decided not to move to the hilltop, leaving it a public playground.
Gaudí spent the first 15 years of the 20th century constructing the numerous fountains, pedestrian walkways and benches in the signature style that are still enjoyed by today’s visitors. One of the most popular spots in the park is at the top of the hill, where one can sit in brightly colored mosaic tile seats and bask in a panoramic view of Barcelona – while capturing some great photos! Another must-see attraction in Güell Park is the Gaudí House Museum. This pink house near the base of the park is where Gaudí spent the last two decades of his life and it is filled with furniture and other works designed by the artist
The Barri Gòtic is a warren of narrow alleys lined with centuries-old stone walls, some of which date to medieval times. Visit the Catedral de Barcelona – begun in the 13th century – during the day, but come back at night when the cathedral's lighting make the arches and the intricate stonework seem weightless, as if made from paper cutouts instead of stone.
L'Aquarium de Barcelona, the biggest in Europe, anchors the city's waterfront. Wall size tanks display colorful fish from the Red Sea and reefs of Australia and Hawaii. Walk through the acrylic tunnel and see sharks and fish zig-zagging all around you. For sand castle building or swimming, head to Barcelona's beaches. Then get some exercise by doing laps at the Piscina Bernardo Picornell, the pool built for the Olympic athletes to race.
Catalonian cuisine is well known worldwide because of its variety, tradition, and innovation via influences from other cultures. Standard dishes include Rossejats, Esqueixada, Butifarra con Judías, Faves a la Catalana, while among desserts the honey with requesón and the excellent and popular Catalan cream are favorites. There is also an exquisite variety of wines which continually gain international respectability including Alella, Catalunya, Costers del Segre, and Empurdà.
Barcelona is an extremely practical city for shopping, everything’s available in the center and in the historical city. Women’s fashion is particularly well represented – every famous fashion brand has a store in Barcelona, but also with young creators also increasingly present. You’ll also find interior design and decoration stores, fields in which once again Barcelona excels.
This city has a Mediterranean climate, inviting tourists any time of the year, although in August it can be too warm and humid. The best moments are in spring, early summer and autumn.
HOW TO GET THERE
Barcelona International Airport also known as El Prat, is a major transport hub and has flights from all over Europe and beyond. You can get to Barcelona directly from Lviv via transfer in Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines’ representative office in Lviv is located at 4 Mickiewicza Sqr. and is open every weekday (closed Saturday and Sunday)
For further details please call + 38032-2970849.