Sunday, 10 July 2011

Barcelona, Spain

I'm so excited!! I think I've mentioned here that I'm getting married next month.. Well, this week me and Matt booked our honeymoon trip. We'll be going to Barcelona, Spain for a week at the beginning of September. I'm a little overwhelmed as this is our first proper holiday (= no family/parents) together in the 5+ years we've been together. And there's going to be so much see... I already know I want to see Park Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Sagrada Família, Barri Gòtic and La Boqueria, but what else? Ahhh, I'm really looking forward to this trip! Hopefully it'll be a bit warmer there than it is in England at the moment. :P

My postcard pal Hanna was on an interrail in Europe this May/June and sent me this lovely card showing Casa Batlló from Barcelona. Casa Batlló is a building restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the year 1877 and remodelled in the years 1904–1906; located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia, in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Spain. Gaudí's assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras , Josep Canaleta y Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.

The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), and indeed it does have a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.

The building looks very remarkable — like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.

It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudi's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.

I most definitely want to see this building, if only from the outside.

The stamp is from a set of 4 stamps issued earlier this year, depicting butterflies.

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