Category Archives: Barcelona Spain

Give Your Sweetie a Rose on Saint Jordi’s Day in Barcelona Spain

Saint George and the Dragon at Casa Amatller

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Català: Josep Puig i Cadafalch

Català: Josep Puig i Cadafalch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Barcelona Spain

St. Jordi's Day in Barcelona

Barcelona Spain

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

St. Jordi's Day in Barcelona Spain

St. Jordi's Day in Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Barcelona Spain

Happy St. Jordi’s Day– “Felic Diada de Sant Jordi” from your Travel Buddies @

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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Sumptuous Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona Spain: Cathedral of the Sea

Gothic Church of Santa Maria del Mar

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona SpainI love the Sumptuous Santa Maria dei Mar cathedral in Barcelona Spain; also known as Cathedral of the Sea in Catalonia.

Catalonia was part of the great Aragonese maritime power and at one time it was one of the most prosperous cities in the Mediterranean. The foundation stone of the church was laid by King Alfonso IV of Aragon and the Catalan Gothic church was built between 1329 and 1383. In 1428 an earthquake destroyed the rose window on the west end of the church. It was replaced in the 15th century with a Gothic window. Outside the church, visit the trendy Passeig del Born with plenty of shopping and Vino con Vista opportunities.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes travel guides at

Barcelona Spain Santa Maria del Mar

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Flamboyant Flamenco: UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Spain

Flamenco in Madrid Spain

Flemenco is a Spanish fusion of music, singing and dance. Ethnic gypsies from Andalusia in southern Spain had a significant impact on the singing (cante), dancing (baile) and guitar playing (toque) that are used in flamenco. Consider it the “Dancing with the Stars” of Spain.

In this genre, voices can be filled with anguish and pain in cante jondo or express happiness and joy through movements in sevillanas and rumbas. Castanets, hand-clapping and foot-stomping create a lively and energetic performance.

Flamenco culture is native to Andalusia.

Flamenco culture is native to Andalusia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is performed during religious festivals, rituals, ceremonies and celebrations. In November of 2010, UNESCO declared Flamenco one of the masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity which include “traditions, performing arts and practices that are inherited from ancestors and passed on to descendants.”

History and tradition co-exist in the rhythum of tablaos (flamenco stages) and clubs in Madrid where flamenco is very popular. The city offers a wide range of shows and serves as the hub of the record industry that presents this genre to the world.

Corral de la Moreria is one of the oldest Flamenco tablaos in Madrid and has been around since 1956 Another popular venue is Cafe de Chinitas, located in the basement of an 18th century palace. Enjoy the granduer of a Vino con Vista dinner watching flamenco while visiting various regions of Spain.

“The Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity was made by the Director-General of UNESCO starting in 2001 to raise awareness on intangible cultural heritage and encourage local communities to protect them and the local people who sustain these forms of cultural expressions.

Several manifestations of intangible heritage around the world were awarded the title of Masterpieces to recognize the value of the non-material component of culture, as well as entail the commitment of states to promote and safeguard the Masterpieces.

Until 2005, a total of 90 Masterpieces from 70 countries had been proclaimed. 76 more elements were added on 30 September 2009, during the fourth session of the Committee.”

The "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangi...

The “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” is a list maintained by UNESCO with pieces of intangible culture considered relevant by that organization. The map shows the distribution of Masterpieces by State Parties. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Travels from your Travel Buddies @ www.vino-con-vista.comVino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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Alghero’s Museum of Sacred Art is Full of Treasures

Alghero‘s origins date back to the 10th century when the Genoese, with the help of Pisans, repelled the Arabs. Then they obtained land grants from the Judges (giudicati) of Logudoro that governed Sardinia during the Middle Ages.

The first capital city for the Giudicato of Logudoro was ancient Torres (now Porto Torres), but it was exposed to Arab attacks. Eventually, the seat of the judgeship was transferred to Ardara and finally to Sassari.

By the tenth century, the map on the right shows that the island was divided into four provinces or giudicati during the High Middle Ages Logudoro in the northwest section was the largest; Gallura to the east; Arborea to the south and Cagliari to the southeast. Later Logudoro and Arborea were combined into one province at the start of the eleventh century.

The Giudicato of Logudoro  was also known as the Giudicato of Torres, after Porto Torres. This area covered the northwest portion of Sardinia from the tenth through the thirteenth century. This is where Alghero is located.

Alghero was built around a fortified port, founded around 1102 by the Genoese Doria family. The Doria ruled it for centuries, apart from a brief period under the rule of Pisa (1283–1284). The Doria had fiefs in Sardinia from the 12th century to the 15th century. They also had fiefdoms in Dolceacqua, Oneglia and Portofino, in the Riviera to the west of Genoa.

In 1353 it was captured by the Aragonese under Bernardo de Cabrera. The Algherese revolted against the garrison’s commanding officer and killed him.  The Spanish responded by sending 12,000 men and 100 galleys to suppress the revolt.  A treaty was signed and the original Sardinian inhabitants were forced to abandon their homes and move to the town of Villanova about 25 killometers away.

The port became the main route between Catolonia and Sardinia and the town of Alghero was inhabited by Catalan colonists creating a distinctive Catonian settlement. The Spanish dominated the city for 360 years. Today, this region of Italy, enclosed with fortress walls is referred to as Little Barcelona. In 1720, control of Alghero passed to the House of Savoy.

To appreciate the sacred history of this charming town, visit the Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra. It is located in the historical center of the city of Alghero in the Rosary Church (Chiesa Del Rosario). The former church was enlarged between the 14th and 15th century when the upper floor was added to the structure.

The edifice became a church in the second half of the 17trh century. It was used as a place of worship until the first post-war period and ultimately became a museum in 2000. It is next to the Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The treasures of the diocese of Alghero-Bosa are preserved in this Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art.

The Museum is in the former Church of Rosario on Piazza Duomo. The building was originally the Oratorio del Rosario; it belonged to the confraternity that founded the church of San Francesco in 1568. The small museum is packed with precious sacred art, artifacts and liturgical treasures.

The museum collection is divided into six sections: silver,  paintings, wooden sculptures, wood carving, stone and bronze. You will find an early 16th century “Our Lady of Sailors” from the Cathedral of the Virgin next door. It is attributed to a Catalan workshop. The museum opened on June 30, 2002 and preserves the Cathedral’s liturgical art, as well as sacred art from other churches in the diocese of Alghero-Bosa.

Our Lady of the Sailors

There is a beautiful “Eucharistic Throne” from 1720 from the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary. It is embossed and engraved from the workshop of Giovanni Andrea Lay from Cagliari.

Eucharistic Throne

There is a 17th century marble statue of  “Our Lady of Mercy” from the Church of Saint Michael that was created by a Ligurian workshop.

I loved the 19th century wooden carving of  “Baby Jesus” (Bambinello) from the Church of Saint Michael. It was adorned with coral and attributed to a Sicilian workshop.


The 17th century “Assumption of the Virgin” is  from a Sardinian workshop.

Assumption of the Virgin

There are precious sacred treasures from Alghero’s historical churches.

St. Lucy

Holy Family

In the Silver section there are beautiful objects created by silversmiths.  There is an impressive Catalan reliquary of the True Cross created by an unknown silversmith from Alghero in 1500.

The 17th century, Reliquary of a Holy Innocent Martyr is embossed in chiseled silver from a Sardinian workshop. It was originally in the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary.


Ornate Crucifix in Alghero Sardinia

This beautiful 17th century jeweled Monstrance (Ostensorio) was made by a silversmith from Trapani in 1679.

In the “Wooden Sculptures” Area of the Museum, there are many saints and representations of the Virgin. The golden statue represents the “Madonna dei Naviganti” by an unknown Catalan artist from the 15th century.

Madonna dei Naviganti


Some of the polychrome wooden carvings from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth centuries include a gigantic San Michele Arcangelo (St.Michael the Archangel) from the end of the 17th century. It was formerly displayed in the church dedicated to St. Michael a few blocks away. The 18th century “Saint Joseph with the Child” from the church of Our Lady of Carmelo  is a polychrome wooden carving from a Neapolitan workshop.

There is a lovely 18th century oil on canvas Italian painting of “The Holy Family with the Saints Joachim and Anna.”

There are also a series of mid-17th century paintings by Genoese painters of scenes from the lives of Jesus and the Virgin. The 17th century brutal Ligurian School representation of the  “Scourging of Christ”  painting below is from the Church of Our Lady of Mercy.

Scourging of Christ

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @

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I Love Antoni Gaudi’s Amazing UNESCO “Vino con Vista” Park Guell in Barcelona Spain

English: Image of the multi coloured mosaic dr...

English: Image of the multi coloured mosaic dragon fountain at the main entrance to Park Guell in Barcelona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

barcelona españa park guell architecture gaudi...

barcelona españa park guell architecture gaudi master piece arquitectura obra maestra color (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Gaudi (Photo credit: Heesterbeek Ineke)

English: Portrait photograph of Antoni Placid ...

English: Portrait photograph of Antoni Placid Gaudí i Cornet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ceiling Mosaic Tile

Ceiling Mosaic Tile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Figurine by Antoni Gaudí in Parc Güell

Figurine by Antoni Gaudí in Parc Güell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barcelona Spain

Barcelona is privileged to be the renowned city of the some of the seven seductive architectural UNESCO jewels of Antoni Gaudi.  Antoni Gaudi was commissioned by his patron, Eusebi Guell to create the Park Guell between 1900 and 1914. The design of the park follows the lines of an English Garden and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1884, Gaudi designed the pavilions of the Guell estate, with a lodge and stables as well as a spectacular dragon gate. The Parc Guell ia a garden-city of 60 lots. In the center of Park Guell is the Casa Museu Gaudi. Gaudi lived here until his death in 1926. The house contains paintings, personal objects and momentos.

Park Guell in Barcelona Spain

Gaudi lived here until 1926

Gaudi's Park Guell in BarcelonaGaudi's Park Guell in Barcelona

At the entrance of the Park Guell everyone loves to have their picture taken with Gaudi’s “Great Dragon” who protects the subterranean waters. The dragon is above a huge cistern. After taking your cursory photo with the dragon, walk up to the Hypostyle Chamber, “The Sala de les cent columnes” that are formed by 86 Doric-inspired columns. It was designed as a food market and offers outstanding acoustics for live music. It supports the esplanade above it with incredible mosaic benches that generate the perfect “Vino con Vista” view of the park.

Gaudi's Park Guell in Barcelona SpainPar Guell in Barcelona

Gaudi's Park Guell in BarcelonaGaudi's Park Guell in BarcelonaGaudi's emblematic genius

The benches in the park are in incredible sight to behold. They compose a collage of intricate fragments of Manises ceramic tile work. The serpentine bench plays an important role in collecting and diverting rainwater. The viaducts and columns throughout the park, accommodate the uneven terrain for pedestrians and carriages. The retaining walls were built with brick and then covered with stone to achieve aestetic harmony throughout the park.

Gaudi's Park Guell

The dome of the Gatehouse is covered with coffee cups.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero is a college professor and writes Travel Guide Books @ Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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