Once upon a time in the town of Montblanc in Catalunya, a terrible dragon terrorized the inhabitants. A lottery system was generated to appease the dragon. The system sacrificed one of the town residents to the dragon. Unfortunately, one day the princess won the lottery and had to be sacrificed. She was rescued from the dragon’s wrath by a handsome knight in shining armour named Jordi (George).
Saint George (Saint Jordi) is the patron saint of Catalonia. Saint Jordi’s Day in Barcelona Spain is a Catalon Holiday that celebrates the chivalrous efforts of dragon-slaying, damsel- in-distress rescuing Saint George. On April 23rd, six million roses will change hands in Barcelona when men become knights for a day. They will give their sweetie a single rose to honor Saint George, the patron saint and protector of the inhabitants of Catalonia who rescued the princess from the terrible dragon. He gave her a red rose plucked from a rose bush that sprouted from the dragons blood after the dragon was killed by St. Jordi’s mighty sword.
On April 23rd, lovers walk arm in arm on Las Ramblas toward the sea or in the direction of Placa Catalunya gazing at the lovely flower stalls and visiting La Boqueria Market.
Lovers also stroll along the Passeig de Gracia buying books from street vendors and book stores. In 1923, the tradition of giving your damsel a rose was expanded. Damsels give their knight in shining armour a book, since April 23rd also coincides with the anniversary of the death of William Shakespear and Cervantes in 1616.
In Barcelona, visit Gaudi’s Casa Batllo (House of Bones) on Passeig de Gracia, 43. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The magnificent art noveau structure is located on the “Block of Discord” with incredible buildings designed by famous architects like Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Enric Sagnier. Casa Batllo has a facade based on the Tale of Saint Jordi (Saint George). The bones of the dragon’s victims frame the elaborate windows of the facade. The facade is covererd with trencadis glazed mosaic tile. The roof has a large arch that represents the scales of the dragon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j31eZTrW0Ss.
Happy St. Jordi’s Day– “Felic Diada de Sant Jordi” from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.com.
Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites