Santa Maria del Mar – Barcelona’s Cathedral of the Sea

The Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar was built during the 14th century on a site which was once occupied by a Roman Amphitheatre. The church took 55 years to build and is a rare example of pure Catalan Gothic architecture (most churches and cathedrals are a combination of styles). The simplicity of design and …

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The Dark History of Plaça de Sant Felip Neri

The walls of the church of Sant Felip Neri which were badly damaged by bombs during the Spanish Civil War

When I took this photo I was planning on writing an article explaining how the bullet scarred walls of the Església de Sant Felip Neri church are a monument to the people executed here by Franco’s troops during the Spanish Civil War. I’m not entirely sure where I got that version of events from but …

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Enriqueta Martí – The Vampire of the Raval

The best known photo of prostiute and serial killer Enriqueta Marti

With a population of approximately 50,000 people, Barcelona’s El Raval neighbourhood has always had a rather dodgy reputation. Despite being the home of one of the world’s most famous food markets (the Boqueria) Barcelona’s grandest theatre (El Liceu) and two of my favourite museums (the MACBA and the Maritime Museum). Not to mention loads of excellent restaurants …

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MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana – Roman Burial Ground

Close-up view of Roman Tombs at the MUHBA Via Sepulcral Romana, Barcelona

The Via Sepulcral Romana dates back to the first century AD. During the period of the Roman Empre cemeteries were built outside the city limits. In this case the tombs lined the road between Barcino (Barcelona) and nearby Sarria. The cemetery was discovered in the 1950s when buildings which had been badly damaged by bombs …

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Barcelona Motorcycle Museum

Vintage Bultaco and Montesa motorcycles

This small museum in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter houses a collection of approximately 70 classic motorbikes. The museum’s collection is set out chronologically to explain the history of Catalonia’s motorbike industry from 1905 to the present day. In addition to well known Catalan makes such as Derbi, Bultaco and Montesa. There are also …

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The Barcelona Mammoth Museum

A mammoth skeleton in the Barcelona Mammoth Museum

Unfortunately the Barcelona Mammoth Museum is no longer open to the public. Due to financial reasons, it closed down on the 25th of October 2016 and most of the collection has been moved to another museum in Italy. If your kids are fans of the Ice Age films then they’ll love the Barcelona Mammoth Museum. …

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La Casa dels Entremesos – The Giants Museum

A line of giants on display

No Catalan festival would be complete without a procession of dancing giants. The papier mâché giants date back to the 14th century when they first appeared in Corpus Christi celebrations. Over the years they have been joined by “Capgrossos” (big heads), dragons and other animals. All of which can be seen dancing and whirling their way …

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L’Ou Com Balla – Dancing Eggs !

Dancing Egg Number 5 - The Cloisters of Barcelona Cathedral

If you like quirky and unusual traditions then you’ll love “L’Ou Com Balla” aka “The Dancing Egg” which takes place every year as part of Barcelona’s Corpus Christi celebrations. Basically the idea is that an egg is placed in a fountain and dances suspended by a jet of water. There are a total of 12 eggs dancing …

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