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  • Citywalk | United Kingdom
    Updated at Mar 14,2017


    Main Attractions: The Promenade, Imperial Gardens, Montpellier Gardens, Montpellier Walk, Suffolk Parade, Montpellier, High Street, Bath Road, Sanford Park, Pittville Pump Rooms.

    Start & End: Cheltenham Royal Well Bus Station, Royal Well Road.  Duration: 1 day. Distance: 12 km. Weather: Any weather.

    Introduction: Cheltenham isn’t the most obvious UK city break destination - but, I do, heartily, recommend you to target this splendid town for one of your weekends. Full with white-washed mansions and houses, with its gorgeous Georgian architecture and great places to eat, drink and shop. Cheltenham is, particularly, a big festival city – with annual jazz (May), science (June), music (July) and literature (October) festivals.

    From Royal Well Bus Station, Royal Well Road head southwest toward Royal Well Pl, 80 m. Turn right onto Royal Well Pl, 5 m. Turn left onto and continue to follow St George's, 80 m. Continue onto the Promenade for further 160 m.

    Carry on down the Promenade, Cheltenham’s main shopping street lined with elegant Georgian buildings. Cheltenham's famous Promenade dates back to 1818 when the avenue of elms and horse chestnut trees were first planted. If you’re in the mood for shopping, you can find the usual high-end, high-street shops on the Promenade. the Promenade offers a pleasant place for a stroll and ranks amongst England's most beautiful thoroughfares:

    This impressive building of the Municipal Offices is on the western side of the Promenade in Cheltenham was built in the 1820s. In total it is sixty-three bays long:

    On your left Cavendish House department store on the Promenade:

    The Long Gardens are home to Cheltenham's war memorial: another statue (opposite the Cheltenham Borough Council) is the The Boer war memorial:

    The nearby statue of 1906 commemorates Edward Wilson, born in Cheltenham and lost on Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition of 1910-12:

    The Promenade is very much central to life in Cheltenham and this famous local landmark lies in the heart of the town centre, stretching from (north to south) Pittville Park past the Imperial Gardens and towards Montpellier Gardens. During the summer months, the Promenade is at its best, when it is adorned with colourful hanging baskets, overflowing with seasonal floral displays.

    Further south along the promenade, on your LEFT is the Town Hall.  Cheltenham Town Hall is unusual in that it operates solely as a venue for public events, and NOT as office space - be found in the town's neighbouring Municipal Offices:

    The Imperial Gardens, which can be found at the front of the Town Hall (still on your left) (east), were originally planted out for the exclusive use of the customers of the Sherborne Spa. The spa was constructed in 1818 on the site now occupied by the Queens Hotel (see below). Along the years, the gardens have undergone many changes, with the formal style you now see being laid out just after the second world war. The Promenade's colourful Imperial Gardens are laid out with an ever-changing display of ornamental bedding plants. Each year, approximately 25,000 bedding plants are used to produce the magnificent floral displays enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year. During the summer months, the Imperial Gardens becomes host to many outdoor events and festivals including the Literature, Jazz, Science and Music Festivals:

    Neptune fountain, at the end of the gardens was designed by Joseph Hall and was sculpted in 1893 by local firm RL Boulton and Sons. It is considered to have been styled on the Trevi Fountain in Rome. It was restored in 1989. The building behind the fountain used to be the ABC cinema:

    The Queens Hotel behind the Imperial Gardens:

    Continue further south-west along the Promenade and you see the Montpellier Gardens on your left. This parks is used as festival venues, with marquees, shops, cafés and lots of free events. But even if you’re not there for a festival, you can take a walk around the gardens. A full size bronze statue of Gustav Holst (1874-1934) is the centrepiece of the Imperial Gardens with a fountain and surrounded by octagonal plinth depicting the planets. The renowned composer of works such as 'The Planets' was a native of Cheltenham and the Holst Birthplace Museum can be visited in Clarence Road. This commemorative statue, by Anthony Stones, was unveiled in 2008 and shows Holst with conducting baton in hand:

    Every summer you can see a free exhibition of local artists: "Art in the Park". On Montpellier Walk, on our right, you will find a line of Caryatids (modelled on The Acropolis in Athens) at the side of every shop alongside a feast of cafes with alfresco dining, a deliciously continental feel to the area. The earliest two were made from terracotta by the London sculptor Rossi and date back to 1840, while the remainder were created by a local man from Tivoli Street, with an additional pair added in the 1970s. Developed in the 1830s and 1840s, the Montpellier area of Cheltenham takes its name from the fashionable French town, which was renown at the time for being a pleasant place to live:

    The Montpellier quarter is set at the end of the Promenade just after Montpellier Gardens. At the southern end of the Montpellier Gardens we turn LEFT (south-east) to Montpellier Terrace.  Later, we turn RIGHT (south) to Suffolk Parade. Shopping here is in individually styled shops and boutiques with everything from clothes to homeware, and a dance shop sit side by side in Regency buildings with restaurants and a wine bar to give this quarter of the town a real village feeling to the Cheltenham shopping experience:

    The Suffolks have become popular for antiques, homewares or individual specialist shops. Home to a restaurant in a church and one which used to be an art deco cinema (see immediately below), this quarter has an artistic appeal all of its own. Along the Suffolk Parade - do not miss (on your right) the Daffodil for dinner. The restaurant serves modern British food in a converted art deco cinema, full of gorgeous original 1920s design features. Head upstairs for a drink in the Circle Bar first, with a great cocktail list and half-price Champagne and sparkling wine on Friday nights from 18.00 to 20.00. Then walk down the sweeping stairs to the restaurant – where the cinema screen used to be you can now watch the chefs in action in the open kitchen.

    In the intersection of Suffolk Parade and Upper Bath Street (the 7th to the left) we'll see interesting church:

    Suffolk Parade continues as Great Norwood Street and ends at the the Norwood Triangle. Here we take the Gratton Road leg and we turn RIGHT (west) to the Grafton Road. In the corner of Gratton and Grafton roads stands the St Philip and St James, Leckhampton church (popularly called: Pip & Jim). The church is in the Victorian Gothic style, with a fine carved stone reredos in the chancel:

    We continue westward along The Park:

    We turn RIGHT (north) and walk 320 m. along the Tivoli Road until we turn left to the Andover Road. On our left is the Tivoli Stores Area. We cross the road (cautiously) and turn right to the Lansdown Parade. On our left is the Lansdown Pub:

    The Lansdown Parade ends in a roundabout. We shall continue northward along Montpellier Street - BUT, before we take the Parabola Road leg from the rounabout. On the third turn to the right stands the  majestic white building of Malmaison Cheltenham hotel, in the heart of Montpellier – Cheltenham’s most stylish district, with plenty of bars, restaurants and boutiques. Set in a white Regency villa, the hotel is classically grand from the outside but inside it’s modern and stylish, with lots of contemporary furniture and artworks, and Hi-Tech and smart technology features inside. There’s lots of space to relax, with a cosy lounge-come-library and a Victorian conservatory as well as a smart bar, restaurant and spa. After the sterling slump - you can book a double room starting from 105 GBP a night !:

    Retrace your steps and walk back in Parabola Road  - to start walking northward along the Montpellier Street leg. On our left is the Courtyard Specialty Shopping centre. We continue walking north-east along Montpellier Street, crossing the Fauconberg Road. On our left is the Cheltenham Ladies College: an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18. The college gets high UK rankings during the last 10 years:

    Continuing walking along Montpellier Street brings us onto Royal Well Rd. Continue to follow Royal Well for 320 m. and turn right onto Clarence St. Turn left to the High Street. In the intersection of Royal Well and Clarence Street - you hit the Well Walk Tea Room for afternoon tea. It’s one of Cheltenham’s oldest shops and inside is packed with quirky antiques and crafts. Don’t miss a slice of one of their cakes:

    With our back to The Promenade (to the north-east) we turn RIGHT (south-east) to the High Street, and, immediately, RIGHT (south-west) to Regent Street to see, on our left the Everyman Theatre. The Everyman  Gloucestershire's theatre - is running shows from year 1891. The interior auditorium is an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Matcham (it was originally called "The Opera House") and has inspired generations of performers. You visit the Everyman to see ballet, opera, drama, dance, comedy, music events or traditional pantomime. There are two stages in the building - the 694 seat main stage and the 60 seat Studio Theatre, originally named The Richardson after Ralph Richardson.

    Further, along Regent Street, still, on your left is the Kibou Sushi, 18 Regent St. A bit higher prices (compared with regular Sushis) - BUT, wonderful food in a small, beautiful restaurant. A few metres further south-west we see the Regent Arcade shopping centre. Clean, bright  with lots of shops to pop into. Good WC facilities:

    Again, retrace your steps and RETURN the whole Regent Street BACK and turn right onto High Street. Cheltenham’s High Street has been voted the most popular High Street in England. High Street is mainly pedestrianized. On our left (north) is the Beechwood Shopping Centre. Here and there you see buildings, still displaying evidence of the town's regency architecture.

    On the 4th road to the right, we turn RIGHT (south-west) to Bath Road. Forming a quarter of the town, for the local community and visitor alike, shopping in Bath Road has something for everyone from ironmongery, shoes and health food to clothes and gift shops. Added to which are banks, a supermarket, pubs, cafes and restaurants for that all-round local shopping experience if you want to try a different experience to town centre shopping in Cheltenham. I recommend having lunch or dinner at the Wetherspoon / Moon under Water, 16-28 Bath Road. 8 oz. steak, rice plate, basket potatoe, peas, mushrooms and lemonade - £11. Cheap meal. Modern decor and very clean. Polite and efficient service.

    On your LEFT (east) is the Sanford Park. The recreational side of the park, across College Road and adjacent to Sandford lido, is popular for picnics and games, and also has a large play area and toilets. The ornamental side of the park is divided into three sections: The main part houses a fountain with seating, landscaped beds, and stunning flower displays in the summer months. The Annecy Gardens, named after one of Cheltenham's twin towns, are to the north side of the park, and the Italian Gardens (see photo below), complete with sunken pool and fountains, lie to the west. A meandering path leads to the restful cascade pools and the River Chelt. The Cheltenham Lido is an heated pool (BIG one for adults and a small one for children), which means you can be confident of being able to enter the pool in any summer weather:

    Then burn your meal off with a walk to the Pittville Park and Pittville Pump Room, about 30-40 minutes north of the town centre and 1 mile (1.6 km.) walk from Sanford Parks. Built in the 1820s, this was Cheltenham’s largest spa building, surrounded by manicured lawns and ornamental lakes. You can still taste the medicinal spa waters from the pump (open 10.00 – 16.00, unless closed for an event.  From the Sandford Park Alehouse, 20 High St. - head BACK northwest on High St., 160 m. Slight right onto High St, 320 m. Turn right onto Pittville St, 110 m. Continue onto Portland St., 320 m. Continue onto Evesham Rd. , 650 m. and the entrance to Pittville Park will be on the left. Lovely place to go for a walk or a run or just to sit in the sunshine. Stunning park, nicely maintained with a huge brand new playground. Generous investment in new park equipment. A brilliant palce in a sunny day !!!

    The two lakes straddle the main road, however, the lake with the new playground adjacent also has large menageries with various birds and small animals and two cafes, one by the playground and one nearer Cheltenham Town Centre. The lakes are exquisite and include an island nature refuge. There are many flower beds which look superb in early Spring and Summer:

    The park is beautifully landscaped and on the rise is Pittville Pump Rooms, 800 m. walk along a special path. It is standing at the northern end of Pittville Park, and here you can take the spa waters that made Cheltenham's popularity more than a century ago. The Pump Room was built by the architect John Forbes between 1825 and 1830. The Pittville Pump Room was the last and largest of the spa buildings to be built in Cheltenham. The Pump Rooms building is overlooking the lawns and lakes of Pittville Park. The striking Main Hall with its ornate domed ceiling and crystal chandeliers, accommodating up to 400 seated guests. It is used for concerts, exhibitions, parties and dinners. The original marble spa water pump stands proudly in the apse, which can accommodate smaller meetings. Upstairs the bright and sunny Oval and West Rooms. The benefits of Cheltenham's mineral waters had been recognized since 1716, but not until after the arrival of Henry Skillicorne in 1738 did serious exploitation of their potential as an attraction begin. After the visit to Cheltenham in 1788 of King George III, the town became increasingly fashionable, and wells were opened up at several points round the town. Pittville, the vision of Joseph Pitt, was a planned 'new town' development of the 1820s, in which the centre-piece was (and remains) a pump-room where the waters of one of the more northerly wells could be taken. When not in use, you can wander into the Main Auditorium to see its fine interior and sample the fountain’s historically medicinal Spa Waters for free. Open: WED - SUN: 10.00 - 16.00:

    From Pittville Park we head south on Evesham Rd, 75 m. Turn right, 45 m.
    Turn left, 480 m. Sharp left onto Hudson St, 3110 m. Continue onto Hanover St. Head south on Hanover St toward Dunalley Parade. Turn left onto Dunalley Parade, 320 m. Turn right onto Marle Hill Parade, 70 m. Continue onto Dunalley St, 160 m. Continue onto Henrietta St., 160 m.
    Turn left onto High St, 320 m. Turn right onto Clarence St., turn left onto Imperial Circus and turn right onto The Promenade.

  • Citywalk
    Updated at Jul 7,2017


    Tip 1: (see Tip 2 below for Shakespeare Childhood House and Henley Road).

              (see Tip 3 below for a short walk along the river Avon).

              (see Tip 4 below for 1/2 day walk to Shottery, Ann 

               Hathway's Cottage).

    Tip 1 Main Attractions: Bancroft Gardens, Tramway Footbridge, Stratford Butterfly Farm, Clopton Bridge, Sheep Street, Chapel Street, The Guild Chapel, King Edward VI School, Hall's Croft, Holy Trinity Church, The Swan Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company Tower, Bancroft Gardens.

    Start & End: Bancroft Gardens. Duration: 1 day. Distance: 7 km. Weather: ONLY bright days. Lodging: Morris Ohata, Moonraker House Guest House, 40 Alcester Road, T: 01789-268774, 500 m. from the mainline station (but, opposite direction from the city centre): convenient room, superb meals, fantastic dining room. Transportation: You can travel directly to Stratford-upon-Avon train station from Birmingham (Snow Hill or Moor Street stations). Last train back to Birmingham, Monday - Friday at 23.30. Trains from London travel from Marylebone station via Banbury, Leamington Spa and Warwick. The last train back to London, Monday – Friday, is at 23.15.

    Introduction: Stratford-upon-Avon lies, formally, in Warwickshire. It rests, magnificently, on the River Avon, 163 km north west of London, 35 km south east of Birmingham, and 13 km south west of Warwick. The estimated population is approx. 29,000 BUT visited every year by millions of visitors. I know, Stratford had been criticized as a 'big tourist trap' and as a 'dump town'. The town is a popular tourist destination owing to its status as birthplace of English playwright and poet William Shakespeare, and receives approximately 2.5 million visitors a year. The Royal Shakespeare Company resides in Stratford's Royal Shakespeare Theatre. BUT, I found this city, during my 3-4 sunny days of visit - charming, colorful, fluent with attractions and routes for walking. So, my conclusion is that with bright days - DO NOT MISS this lovely town - mainly, due to its water-ways, bridges and natural surroundings. The historical aspects are the minor point in this story. Note: Stratford is densely packed in weekends and, ESPECIALLY, during local, annual festivals. You can't find a table in its restaurants during these massive events or times. Another danger (and influx is the water: Stratford's location next to the River Avon means it is susceptible to flooding, including flash floods...

    Stratford was originally inhabited by Anglo-Saxons. In 1196 Stratford was granted a charter from King Richard I to hold a weekly market in the town, giving it its status as a market town. As a result, Stratford experienced an increase in trade and commerce as well as urban expansion. During Stratford's early expansion into a town, the only access across the River Avon into and out of the town was over a wooden bridge. In 1480, a new masonry arch bridge was built to replace it called Clopton Bridge, named after Hugh Clopton who paid for its construction. The new bridge made it easier for people to trade within Stratford and for passing travellers to stay in the town. The Cotswolds, located close to Stratford, was a major sheep producing area up until the latter part of the 19th century, with Stratford one of its main centres for the processing, marketing, and distribution of sheep and wool. Stratford is a major English tourist town due to it being the birthplace of William Shakespeare, whom many consider the greatest playwright of all time. In 1769, the actor David Garrick staged a major Shakespeare Jubilee over three days which saw the construction of a large rotunda and the influx of many visitors. This started the process of making Stratford a tourist destination.

    Orientation: I spent 3-4 lovely days in Stratford. Two days will suffice. The first for the town itself. The second for the Avon river walk and historical sites around Stratford. Many of the town's earliest and most important buildings are located along what is known as Stratford's Historic Spine, which was once the main route from the town centre to the parish church. The route of the Historic Spine begins at Shakespeare's Birthplace in Henley Street. It continues through Henley Street to the top end of Bridge Street and into High Street where many Elizabethan buildings are located, including Harvard House. The route carries on through Chapel Street where Nash's House and New Place are sited. The Historic Spine continues along Church Street where Guild buildings are located dating back to the 15th century, as well as 18th and 19th century properties. The route then finishes in Old Town, which includes Hall's Croft and the Holy Trinity Church.

    Itinerary of 1st day in Stratford-upon-Avon City Centre: We start at the Bancroft Gardens which are situated on the River Avon adjacent to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. This is one of the most visited places in Stratford. The gardens are right in the heart of the town. It is a great place to people watch. There many many attraction spread along these extensive gardens (Avon river, 2 canal basins, 2 bridges, Gower Memorial (Shakespeare with Hamlet, Lady Macbeth, Falstaff and Prince Hal) , many statues, fantastic fountain, flower beds. But, we stay here, just to get a glance and initial impression - before heading, from the gardens, to the Butterfly Farm. It is a very pleasant place with a lot of space, very busy during weekends and holidays. It the perfect place to get views of the town, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) Theatre and the Avon river.

    The RSC from the Gardens:

    You can get a boat trip from here, along the Avon to the south and back, which is very enjoyable too. The canal basin is in the focal point of the gardens. You can take a stroll along the riversides. Many tourists from all over the world visit or sample these gardens.

    The Bancroft Gardens space was originally an area of land where the townspeople grazed their animals, and the Canal Basin formed the terminus of the Stratford to Birmingham canal, completed in 1816. The Gardens also occupy the site of former canal wharves, warehouses, and a second canal basin, which was built in 1826 and refilled in 1902

    We cross the Avon over the Tramway Pedestrian Footbridge, a nice walkway parallel to the Clopton motor bridge You can walk along this footbridge (packed very frequently) and gaze at the swans and mallards down in the river. It gets you from one side of the river to the other and to the Butterfly Farm. Tramway Bridge, which was built in 1823, got its name from being part of a 28 km. long horse-drawn tramway which ran between Moreton-in-Marsh (with a branch to Shipston-on-Stour) and the canal basin at Stratford-upon-Avon:

    We head to the Stratford Butterfly Farm. When we complete crossing the footbridge - we turn right (south-west) (turning left is to the Charlecote Park) we connect with Swans Nest and continue along this path until we see the farm's entrance on our left. In the end of the footbridge there are clear signs that will take you from the foot bridge to our farm's entrance.

    Opening hours: Winter: 10.00 - 17.00, Summer: 10.00 - 18.00. Prices: Adults £7.25, Seniors and Students £6.75, Children 3-16 Years (under 3's free) £6.25, Family (2 adults & 2 children) £22.50. Disabled accessible.  Toilets available. A MAGICAL SITE. Wonderful place to see butterflies in many colours and varieties and the way they develop in their natural eco-system. Allow, at least,1.5-2 hours. Stratford Butterfly Farm was opened  in 1985. The key area in the farm is the tropical rain forest with  approximately 1500 free-flying, spectacular and colourful butterflies flying all around. The  tropical greenhouse is the largest tropical butterfly display in the UK. The following paragraph is quoted from the farm's web site:"Some of the butterflies breed within the Butterfly Farm, the rest are imported from the tropics. All of the places we buy butterflies from are either Conservation projects or Village projects. Butterfly breeding is the main source of income for most of the villagers. These breeding operations have been set up to enable communities to earn a living without causing any damage to the environment and wildlife around them. Not only this good from a conservation point of view, it also allows families all over the tropics to earn a sustainable income and helps to preserve the rain forest whilst educating our visitors".

    Other zones in the farm are devoted to: insects (in glass containers), spiders, reptiles including snakes and iguanas, caterpillars and wildflowers garden:

    VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: it is very hot and humid inside the butterflies' zone of the farm. Prepare a T-shirt for the tropical, rain forest zone. After spending, at least, one our in this area (probably, taking tens/hundreds of photos) - you'll be dripping with sweat, but, fell very happy... The paths, inside, are incredibly narrow so they become, easily, crowded.

    From July 2016 had been installed in the farm of around 30 replica Maya & Mesoamerican sculptures which originate from the ancient rain forest civilization in Belize, Central America. Many of the beautiful butterflies on display at the Butterfly Farm are supplied by Fallen Stones, butterflies Farm in Southern Belize, particularly the stunning Blue Morpho:

    We return to Bancroft Gardens to explore, more thoroughly, its treasures and to take part with its mass events and festivals. We return back along the Avon Footbridge - heavily packed with locals and tourists, and, down in the river with rowers. Enjoy sunny days in the wide grass lawns and gardens with the backdrop of the river. Features include a human sundial celebrating the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, a new performance area and two fully accessible bridges over the canal basin and the lock:

    During our stay the River Festival took place in the Recreation Ground. On the other side of the river to the Bancroft Gardens and the theatres is the Recreation Ground (or ‘The Rec’). Occupying a large area running right the way along the river from Tramway Bridge (a pedestrian-only bridge adjacent to Clopton Bridge) to beyond Holy Trinity Church, this is one of the best areas for picnics with plenty of space to play and run around. There’s a large playground here, too. The above Tramway Foot Bridge connects the Recreation Ground with the Bancroft Gardens:

    The adjacent motor Clopton Bridge is very busy and not recommended for walkers. Built at the end of the 15th century (from year 1490 !), this wooden bridge over the River Avon was an important section of the road to London during medieval times. it is the only bridge to bring two major roads into and out of the town centre (to/from Banbury, Shipston and Tiddington). Sir Hugh Clopton was a rich merchant and Lord Mayor who paid for the construction of a stone bridge over the Avon:

    Take half an hour to explore the various attraction around the Bancroft Gardens. The Country Artists Fountain was made for the 800th anniversary celebration of the granting of the Charter for Market Rights by King Richard I (the Lionheart) in 1196. The fountain was sculpted by Christine Lee and is made of stainless steel and brass. It was unveiled by the Queen in 1996:

    In case you are hungry - take the WEST end of Bancroft Gardens and head straight westward to Sheep Street. With The Town Hall at the top of Sheep Street, this road takes you up from the Waterside (east) to the Town Hall (in the west end) past an array of independent shops and restaurants.  There is a wide variety of shops in this street including gifts, fashion and footwear. You will see several pretty timbered houses along Sheep Street - more in the western end near the Town Hall:

    The junction of Sheep Street (or, better its continuation Ely Street)  x High Street and Chapel Street is a good spot to start exploring several timbered houses close around. With your face to the Town Hall (coming from Sheep Street) - turn LEFT (south-west) to Chapel Street to see on your left the Mercure Shakespeare Hotel: another stylized timbered house:

    Nash's House, Chapel Street is next door to the Mercure Hotel. It was built on the ruins and gardens of William Shakespeare's final residence - New Place. It has been converted into a museum.
    The house was built around 1600 and belonged to Thomas Nash. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust acquired New Place and Nash's House in 1876. The museum traces the history of Stratford-upon-Avon from the earliest settlers in the Avon Valley to Shakespeare's time. NOT recommended for paying a special fee for this museum:

    Opposite Nash House, still in Chapel Street is the Falcon Hotel / The Oak Bar:

    Walk further south-west along Chapel Street until it meets Church Street and Chapel Lane. In the end of Chapel street stands the The Guild Chapel dating from 1269 and a fascinating part of the history of Stratford-upon-Avon. It is one of Stratford-upon-Avon’s best-known and most important historic buildings. The Chapel houses some of the finest medieval wall paintings in Europe (note: hardly visible), covered up on orders given to Shakespeare’s father in the 16th century following the Reformation, when he was the then Chamberlain of the Corporation of Stratford. They were discovered hundreds of years later and are recognized as some of the very finest surviving. These extraordinary wall paintings, had to be painted over during the time of reformation apparently and were discovered during the chapel's restoration process. The Guild Chapel is open daily between 10.30-16.30. It is free:

    The modern stained glass east window features notable Stratford characters including John Shakespeare and Sir Hugh Clopton:

    In 17 Church Street you see the Old Grammer School or King Edward VI School an elongated timbered house. It is almost certain that William Shakespeare attended this school, leading to the school describing itself as "Shakespeare's School":

    We walk further south along Church Street and turn LEFT (South-east) to Old Town road. On our left is the Hall's Croft - the beautifully furnished Jacobean home of Shakespeare’s daughter Susanna and her husband, Dr John Hall. It is really a beautiful Tudor mansion, with stunning gardens. The interiors are less outstanding: it shows a variety of medical instruments and examples of furniture. But, the garden, outside is beautifully laid out but non-manicured. The cafe in Hall's Croft, is superb. I would recommend the Hall's Croft ONLY if you have the collective Shakespeare's houses pass:

    Old Town road ends, in the east, in Holy Trinity Church grounds. Amateur theatre groups stage Shakespeare's plays' performances most afternoons in a park that is adjacent to the church:

    Holy Trinity Church grounds - view of the Avon river:

    The Holy Trinity Church is often known also as Shakespeare's Church. William Shakespeare is buried and was baptised in Holy Trinity church, and visitors can view not only his grave, but the parish registers that recorded his birth and his death. It is one of England's most visited churches. More than 200,000 tourists visit the church each year. Summer opening hours (April - September): MON-SAT: 8.30 – 18.00, SUN: 12.30 – 17.00. Winter opening hours (November - February): MON-SAT: 9.00 – 16.00, SUN: 12.30 – 17.00. The  building is built on the site of a Saxon monastery. It is Stratford's oldest building, and is situated superbly on the banks of the River Avon.  In the fourteenth century, John de Stratford founded a chantry, which was rebuilt between 1465 and 1491 by Dean Thomas Balshall, Dean of the Church, who is also buried at the Church. The building is believed to have originally had a wooden spire, which was replaced by William Hiorne in 1763. The Holy Trinity Church and its grounds are brilliant place on its own:

    DO NOT MISS taking a pleasant stroll along a tarmac path around the church with fascinating views of the Avon River and its by-side park. If you take a walk to the back of the Church there are some lovely views:

    William Shakespeare was baptised in Holy Trinity on 26 April 1564 and was buried there on 25 April 1616. Shakespear's tomb is located at the rear of the church. The church still possesses the original Elizabethan register giving details of his baptism and burial, though it is kept by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust for safekeeping. He is buried in the beautiful 15th-century chancel built by Thomas Balsall. To see the Shakespeare's tomb - you must pay a special fee of £3. it says donation but the narrow entrance is deliberately manned and you feel obliged to pay. Shakespeare funeral and burial being held at Holy Trinity on 25 April 1616. His wife Anne Hathaway is buried next to him along with his eldest daughter Susanna. Good information boards about Shakespeare's birth, baptism, marriage and funeral, and they also explain the significance of these events within Christianity:

    Holy Trinity's stained-glass windows. Several large stained glass windows featuring major English and Biblical saints are at the church's east and west ends:

    Holy Trinity's east window from the exterior, depicting St Andrew:

    Holy Trinity Church Interiors:

    Holy Trinity contains many interesting features, including a special ornate chapel is named after Sir High Clopton (1440-1496), a native of Stratford who rose to become Lord Mayor of London (1491-2). Clopton never forgot his roots, and provided funds to pay for Clopton Bridge, which still bears traffic over the Avon in the centre of Stratford. He also built New Place, which later became William Shakespeare's retirement home (see above). Clopton had an ornate tomb built for himself in the Lady Chapel of Holy Trinity, but he was actually buried in London. This did not stop his descendants from claiming the Lady Chapel as their own chantry chapel, and it has since been referred to as The Clopton Chapel:

    Here you will find one of the most ornate and expansive (and no doubt expensive) memorials in any parish church in Britain. This is the memorial to Sir John Carew (d.1628), and his wife, Joan Clopton:

    Another interesting feature in the Holy Trinity Church are the 26 misericords in the choir stalls. These misericords, or 'mercy seats' are fancifully decorated with carvings of mermaids and mermen, unicorns, and scenes of daily life:

    Note, also, the 14th century sanctuary knocker in the church's porch (built c. 1500):

    Note also the pre-reformation stone altar slab that was found hidden beneath the floor in Victorian times and has now been re-instated as the High Altar:

    We leave the Holy Trinity Church grounds from their north-east edge.First, we notice this moving wall painting into the Avon Park around the church:

    We find a path that leads to the western bank of the Avon river and continues northward along the river bank, boats basin and the riverside Avon Park. The park ends in its north edge in the Ferry - where you can hire boat or pay for guided boat. These small chain link ferries complete a short circular walk taking in the canal basin and theatre or just cross the ruver from side to side. It cost 50p which is super value: always lots to see on both sides of the river so the ferry saves your legs. Otherwise it is a long walk round... 50p for a short ride and £6 for 45 minutes boat ride. The only remaining chain ferry in the U.K ! :

    This green area you pass on your way to the city centre and Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is comprised of, actually, TWO gardens from south to north:  Avonbank and RSC gardens, two connected gardens that run between the northern bank of the river and Southern Lane. The Avonbank Garden, also owned by the RSC, is quieter still, except on days when open-air productions are performed. Sitting between the RSC Garden and the Holy Trinity Church, it is leafier than any of the other open spaces. The ‘pilgrimage’ footpath from Shakespeare’s Church to the theatres also runs through these two gardens. Nearer to the town centre, the RSC Garden looks over the Swan Theatre and is where the RSC puts on occasional events. Despite its proximity to the Bancroft Gardens – only the theatre stands between the two – it is considerably quieter and holds a different atmosphere.

    We walk from south to north along the Avon river or along the Southern Lane approx. 800 m. until we see, on our left (west) the Swan Theatre and the RSC - the Royal Shakespeare Company complex. This is  a riverside walk which stretches from the Bancroft Gardens, past the theatre, towards Holy Trinity Church. The Swan Theatre is a theatre belonging to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. It is built on to the side of the larger Royal Shakespeare Theatre, occupying the Victorian Gothic structure that formerly housed the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre that preceded the RSC but was destroyed by fire in 1926. It Is a wonderfully atmospheric galleried playhouse. As we said, the original Victorian building fell victim to a fire in 1926. The new building was built in 1932 and the inside has been designed to reflect an actual Elizabethan style theatre. The theatre was launched on 8 May 1986 and has subsequently been used for many other types of drama including the works of Chekhov, Ibsen and Tennessee Williams.

    Right: The Swan Theatre. Left: Royal Shakespeare Company:

    We approach the adjacent RSC building from the south, bordering the Bancroft Gardens to its west side. The Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres are on the western bank of the River Avon, with the adjacent Bancroft Gardens providing a scenic riverside setting. The Rooftop Restaurant and Bar overlooks both the river and the Bancroft Gardens. The complex includes two theatre spaces with rehearsal room, front of house and backstage facilities, exhibition areas, restaurant, cafes, shop and viewing tower. The two theatre auditoriums are placed back-to-back with the fly tower of the principal auditorium at the centre. Designed by a number of architects, principally Dodgshun and Unsworth, 1877-9 and 1881; Elisabeth Scott, 1928-32; Michael Reardon and Associates, 1984-6; Bennetts Associates, 2005-11. The Rooftop Restaurant is situated on the third floor of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

    As you approach the main entrance to the building, go inside and turn left and take the lift to the third floor. The Riverside Cafe is on the ground floor of the main RSC building. The Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres were re-opened in November 2010 after undergoing a major renovation known as the Transformation Project. The Royal Shakespeare Theatre was officially opened on 4 March 2011 by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who were given a performance of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet.

    RSC from the EAST side of the Avon river:

    You can take an one hour guided tour that departs from the cloakroom and ,mainly, explores the RSC tower. Make sure you get a space by booking in advance - online or by calling our Box Office on 01789 403493. Note: significant amount of climbing involved. You get a bit (...) closer to the world of theatre on this tour and enjoy spectacular views from the RSC Tower. Tower opening times: Winter (until 27 March), SUN to FRI 10.00 - 16.30. RSC Matinees: 10.00 - 12.15, 14.00, 16.30. SAT: 10.00, 12.15. Summer (from 28 March): SUN - FRI 10.00 - 18.15, RSC Matinees Including SAT: 10.00 - 12.15, 14.00 - 18.15.

    Much Ado About Nothing:

    Garments from Henry IV play:

    Midsummer Night Dream Gregory Doran production in 2005 - super modern costumes:

    Hamlet - David Warner in Peter Hall 1965 production:

    David Tennant as Richard II in Gregory Doran 2013 production:

    Julian Glover as Henry IV) in 1991:

    Titus Andronicus - Vivien Leigh as Lavinia and Laurence Olivier as Titus in 1955 production of Peter Brooks:

    Picture of William Shakespeare:

    View of Bancroft Gardens from the 3rd floor (rooftop):

    View of Palmer Court in Stratford from the 3rd floor (rooftop):

    The more you climb up higher in the tower - The more beautiful views of the city and the Gardens you get:

    Bancroft Gardens:

    The Tramway footbridge and Clopton motor bridge:

    The Avon flow to the north:

    We exit the RSC building and continue walking north along the river or along Southern Ln until arriving, again, to Bancroft Gardens. Here, we hit,first, the the 800th Anniversary Fountain Basin and a sculpture behind:

    Nearby, is, the statue of Shakespeare - the work of Lord Ronald Sutherland Gower, It was presented to the town in 1888:

    The smaller figures of Shakespearean characters are of:


    Lady Macbeth,


    and Prince Hal;

    symbolizing philosophy, tragedy, comedy and history.

    In case you have spare time - try to enjoy the Avon river. The alternative to your own muscle power is to take a sightseeing cruise. Two companies are licensed to take passengers. Avon Boating run half-hour cruises leaving from the Bancroft Gardens in a fleet of vintage boats while Bancroft Cruisers take 45-minute trips from outside the Holiday Inn on the northeast side of Clopton Bridge.

    We skip to Tip 2 - continuing our walk along Shakespeare heritage sites. We shall walk 500 m. from Bancroft Gardens to Henley Road (Shakespeare's House).

  • Citywalk
    Updated at Feb 20,2014

    From Burlington Arcade to Trafalgar Square - Picadilly, St. James, Waterloo Place and Haymarket.

    Start: Picadilly Circus or Green Park tube station. or: Buses: 8, 9, 14, 19, 22, 38.

    End: Charing Cross tube station.

    Duration: 1 day.

    Weather: Very good itinerary for a gloomy or even rainy day. Many shelters along the first half of the day.

    From Picadilly Circus - take the Picadilly street to the west. From Green Park - take the Picadilly to the east. It takes 5-10 minutes ( 500 m.) to arrive from Picadilly Circus to the Burlington Arcade or 3-4 min. (300 m.) to arrive from Green Park station.

    Opening times:

    MON: 09.00 - 20.00, TUE: 09.00 - 20.00, WED: 09.00 - 20.00, THU: 09.00 - 20.00, FRI: 09.00 - 20.00, SAT: 09.00 - 20.00, SUN: 11.00 - 18.00.

    Not to be missed. A wonderful enclosed walkway. This is the best known of London's grand shopping arcades. The Burlington Arcade is not not for me and for you...  You cannot afford it!!!   All things here, on sale, are of luxury style. Fabulously expensive array of shops and goods. Uniformed concierge at both entrances of the arcade/passage.  Priceless jewelry and top brand watches. Wood paneled shops. All you can do is just walk up and down the Arcade and marvel at the variety of the luxuries and smell the perfume of the old world - in this special arcade.

    Cross the whole arcade and exit at the far end (starting at Picadilly). Head north toward Burlington Gardens. Turn right onto Burlington Gardens and after 50 m. you face the Royal Academy of Arts. Opening times: 10.00 - 18.00 Saturday-Thursday (last admission to galleries 5.30pm), 10.00 - 22.00 Friday (last admission to galleries 21.30).  Admission: Adult: £14, Senior (aged 60+): £13. Student ID - entitles for discount. Quite expensive. The Academy was founded by George III in 1768. The Academy, today, continues to present a broad range of visual arts to the widest possible audience. The Academy is an independent institution. It is a privately funded institution led by artists and architects. Past Royal academicians include: John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner, while current Members include Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, David Hockney, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor. The enjoyment of a visit depends on the current exhibition(s). The RA collection is impressive and the summer exhibits - exceptional. An annual feature of the RA is its summer show.It is a monster exhibition of over 2,000 items and more than a thousand artists housed in a number of large rooms - most of them for sale. Most of them submitted by the public and unknown artists. The Royal Academy is housed in magnificent old buildings (exterior and interior).

    We return to Picadilly to see the Fortnum and Mason shop. Head northeast and walk 40 m. on Burlington Gardens toward Savile Row.  Continue onto Vigo St. After 60 m. turn right onto Sackville St. Walk 200 m. and turn right onto Piccadilly. Fortnum and Mason will be on the left. Fortnum’s began in 1707, when William Fortnum set up shop in St James’s with his landlord, Hugh Mason. One of London most famous, upscale department stores. Fortnum and Mason is a part of the British tradition and a London icon. It is a delight for all senses. A special feeling of luxury. Elegant and classic. F&M can take you hours to browse. Spend at least one hour in the store. You are unable to cover every floor and the whole store:


    If all these luxury shopping stores and galleries are not enough for you - head to another arcade in Picadilly. The Princes Arcade is located at 192/196 Piccadilly & 36/40 Jermyn Street. Continue with the Picadilly for further 60 m. and the arcade will be on your right. Open: Sunday: 10.00-17.00, weekdays: 08.00-19.00. Princes Arcade forms part of Princes House which was originally built to house the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in 1883. The Arcade itself was opened in 1933:

    Picadilly Arcade, Jermyn St. 23:

    Continue walking along the Picadilly (north-eastward) until number 198. Here you find the Picadilly Market (opposite the St. James Church). Most of the week the market is about handicrafts, clothes, pictures, pub signs etc, but on Monday a food market is held and on Tuesday an antiques market. On Sunday there is no market. Not a "must see" in London, but a nice stopping place. Mainly for tourists:

    St. James Church was designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren. The church was consecrated on July 1684 by the Bishop of London. The church was severely damaged in 1940, during the Second World War. Restored in 1954. A London contemporary art gallery  is running outdoor sculpture exhibitions in Southwood Garden in the grounds of the church.  St James Piccadilly often holds FREE lunchtime concerts performed by talented students. Acoustics and general ambience are great. There are lots of monuments to look at within the church. The interior is peaceful - quite a contrast to the noisy traffic in Piccadilly:

    Parallel to the {icadilly (southward) stretches Jermyn Street (you could enter this road by passing the Picadilly Arcade). Leaving St. James Church and exiting to Jermyn Street - you meet the statue of George Bryan "Beau" Brummell (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840). The statue was created by Irena Sedlecka (2002). His most famous saying:  "To be truly elegant one should be noticed" - says it all. He established the mode of dress for men. His mode was based on dark coats and full-length trousers. His style of dress is often referred to as Dandyism:

    In Jermyn Street, with your face to the north (to the Picadilly),  turn left onto Duke of York St (southward), walk 110 m. and enter the roundabout to face the the only square in the exclusive St James's district - St. James's Square. St James's Square was built after the restoration of Charles II (in 1660). It has neo-Georgian architecture and a PRIVATE garden in the centre (no access). It is now home to the London Library (access only to members. You are unable to use their toilets). The buildings round St James Square are now occupied by clubs and the HQs of large corporations but it remains what it has always been: London's grandest square - isolated green area with a ring road around it. In the square stands the statue of William III:

    There are two intersections of the ring road St. James Square and the Pall Mall road. In one of them stands this nice red-bricked house:

    Turn left (westward) onto the Pall Mall. Walk until its end and you see the St. James Street on your right. Here stands the St. James Palace. it is often in use for official functions and is not open to the public. St James's Palace is one of the five buildings in London where guards from the Household Division can be seen (the other four are Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, The Tower of London and Horse Guards). Main entrance of St James's Palace in Pall Mall survives from Henry VIII's palace. The nearby Queen's Chapel (the opposite side of Marlborough road) , built by Inigo Jones, adjoins St James's Palace. While the Queen's Chapel is open to the public at selected times, the Chapel Royal in the palace is not accessible to the public:

    St. James Palace - The Friars Yard:

    St. James Palace - Queen Alexandra Memorial opposite St. James's Palace outside Marlborough House:

    The Queen's Chapel (Marlborough House):

    Now take the Pall Mall from west to east. The name of the street is derived from "pall-mall", a ball game that was played there during the 17th century. The street starts at St.James Palace (West) and ends at the National Gallery and Trafalgar Square (East). Pall Mall is best known for being the home of various gentlemen clubs built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. These include the Athenaeum. This club at Pall Mall 107, was home to several famous authors including Thackeray, Dickens and Anthony Trollope. It was also home to Kipling, Conrad and Charles Darwin. It started up at Somerset House, but moved to its Pall Mall premises in 1828:

    Admittance to these clubs is strictly by invitation only – so don’t try and blag your way in. Other members clubs are: the Army and Navy Club,  the Reform Club, the Oxford and Cambridge Club (No. 71), the Royal Automobile Club and the Travellers Club (No. 106). The Reform Club at 104–5, opened by the Liberals in 1841. It was here that the fictional Phileas Fogg made a bet that he could travel around the world in 80 days:

    From Pall Mall turn RIGHT to Waterloo Place road (a purposefully wide endpoint of Regent Street). Walk until it meets the Carlton Terrace. On your left is the Carlton House - the Royal Society's home since year 1967:

    On Your right are the Waterloo Gardens or the Carlton House Terrace Gardens:

    On your right (intersection of Waterloo Place avenue and the Carlton House Terrace roads stands the Duke of York Monument or Column. The Duke of York Column or monument - memorial to Prince Frederick, Duke of York, the second eldest son of King George III. The designer was Benjamin Dean Wyatt. In its southernmost side - Regent Street meets The Mall. The three very wide flights of steps down to The Mall adjoining are known as the Duke of York Steps:

    Return (northward) along the Waterloo Place (avenue)  to the Pall Mall. You face the Crimean War Memorial monument. It is located, actually, at the junction of Regent Street and Pall Mall. It commemorates the Allied victory in the Crimean War of 1853-56:

    Don't miss the Balcon Hotel, adjacent (more to the east) to the Crimean War monument. Great internal decor:

    Here, you can continue along the Pall Mall until Trafalgar Square (see next paragraph) or go down through the flights of steps to the Mall and continue until the Admiralty Arch. Until year 2012 the building housed government offices. In 2012 the government sold the building to a property developer for redevelopment into a luxury hotel. Admiralty Arch plays an important role on ceremonial occasions: royal weddings, funerals, coronations and other public processions.  At the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games the final processions, at the end of the games, passed under the Admiralty Arch:

    Second option: take the Pall Mall until you arrive to the Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery (on your left). It is, supposedly, the afternoon or evening hours of the day. Climb on the National Gallery steps to catch a view of the Trafalgar Square lit by the afternoon sun:

  • Citywalk | France
    Updated at Jun 5,2017

    Tip 2: From Pont de l'Alma to Pont de Bir-Hakeim:

    Tip 2 Main Attractions: Palais de Tokyo, Jardins du Trocadéro, Pont d'Iéna, Pont de Bir-Hakeim.

    From Pont de l'Alma we head westward along the Seine river (Avenue de New York).  This avenue was formerly named Quai Debilly and later Avenue de Tokio (from 1918 to 1945). The name Palais de Tokyo derives from the name of this street. 300 m. further, from the bridge, we see the Palais de Tokyo on our right. The Palais de Tokyo (Palace of Tokyo), 13 avenue du Président-Wilson (near the Trocadéro) is a centre dedicated to modern and contemporary art. With your face to the complex (and your back to the river Seine) - the right (eastern) wing of the building hosts the Musée d'Art Moderne (Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris). The left (western) wing hosts the Palais de Tokyo / Site de création contemporaine, the largest museum in France dedicated to temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. Closest Metro station: Alma / Marceau. OPen: 12.00 - 24.00 (!) everyday except Tuesdays. Price: 12€, Concessions: 9€. Under 18, it's free. It is a mind-blowing site for lovers of modern art. Before you arrive to the Palace of Tokyo - get updated about the current exihibitions running in this centre. In our visit - there were NO significant exhibitions. The exhibition of Abraham Poincheval, had ended at 08.05.2017. if there is a good temporary art expo inside, most chances it as it is a good art. Many people state that it is the most trendy museum in Paris:

    From the terrace of the palace and from both of  the buildings, of the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, You have a beautiful view on the Eiffel Tower. More or less, the same view - you see from the Port Debilly which extends along the Seine - when we walk further south-west along the right (north) bank of the Seine:

    Port Debilly and Tour Eiffel:

    700 m. from the Palais de Tokyo (now, our direction is south-west) we arrive to the Jardins du Trocadéro.  The Gardens of the Trocadero are  bounded to the northwest by the Palais de Chaillot and to the southeast by the Seine and the Pont d'Iéna, with the Eiffel Tower on the opposite (left) bank of the Seine. The gardens are situated in the hill of the Trocadéro which is the hill of Chaillot, a former village. Today the square is officially named Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre or Place de Varsevie (Warsaw Square), although it is usually simply called the Place du Trocadéro. It was created for the International Exposition dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life which was held from 25 May to 25 November 1937 in Paris. The building on the north end is called Chaillot Palace (Palais de Chaillot). Closest Metro stations: Trocadero (lines 6 and 9).

    The hill of Chaillot was first prepared for the 1867 World's Fair. For the 1878 World's Fair, the Palais du Trocadéro was built here  - where meetings of international organizations could be held during the fair. The palace's consisted of two wings and two towers. Below the palace building in the space left by former underground quarries, a large aquarium was built to contain fish of French rivers. It was renovated in 1937 but closed again for renovation from 1985 until May 22, 2006.

    The space between the palais and the Seine is set with gardens, amusement parks, several snacks stalls and an array of fountains:

    The main attraction, here, is the Fountain of Warsaw (Fontaine de Varsovie), a long water mirror, with twelve fountain creating columns of water, twenty four smaller fountains and ten arches of water. At one end, facing the Seine, are twenty powerful water cannons, able to project a jet of water fifty metres. In 2011, the fountain's waterworks were completely renovated and a modern pumping system was installed. It is a remarkable water display, especially on summer evenings when the illuminations around the fountains add to the attraction. Note: fountains are NOT always on. Beautiful trees, quiet walkways and bridges over small streams make it a romantic place to take a stroll. Climb the hill and take a seat on the steps, especially at night when the Tower is lit up. Don't miss the experience in the evening or the dark. Stunning !!! Open 24/7:

    LA Joie de vivre, by Léon-Ernest Drivier:


    Like in the Palais de Tokyo - the view from the terrace of Palais de Chaillot - is wonderful. It is one of the best spots for taking the unmissable photo of the Eiffel tower:

    The Trocadero Gardens are facing (in the south) another bridge on the Seine: Pont d'Iéna. Pont d'Iéna ("Jena Bridge") links the Eiffel Tower on the Left Bank to the district of Trocadéro on the Right Bank. In 1807, Napoleon I ordered, by an imperial decree issued in Warsaw, the construction of a bridge overlooking the Military School, and named the bridge after his victory in 1806 at the Battle of Jena. The construction of the bridge spanned six years from 1808 to 1814.Closest Métro station: Iéna. The bridge is VERY busy with traffic - but, still, provides inspiring views of Tour Eiffel. Note: because of the increased security to protect  the Eiffel Tower this has pushed sellers and seedy elements, who populate every meter of the bridge:

    Two sculptures are sitting on the bridge by the right bank: a Gallic warrior by Antoine-Augustin Préault and a Roman warrior by Louis-Joseph Daumas:

    Further walking south to Pont d'Iéna, still along Port Debilly,  provides magnificent views of Tour Eiffel:

    The way from Pont d'Iéna to Pont de Bir-Hakeim is a bit dangerous. There might be construction works along Avenue de New York. The constructors forgot about the pedestrians in this area. Crossing the avenue, in several sections, is VERY dangerous (no cross-lights). You are supposedd to raise your hand, halt the noisy and bustling transportation YOURSELF - and cross the avenue from one side to the opposite side, slowly and cautiously. Do not give up and skip Pont de Bir-Hakeim. It provides wonderful sights of Tour Eiffel and of the Seine river from every spot along its pedestrianized spaces. Linking the 15th and 16th arrondissements and crossing the artificial island, the Île aux Cygnes in the middle of la Seine, the Pont de Bir-Hakeim crosses the river just downstream from the Tour Eiffel. Pont de Bir-Hakeim was constructed between 1903 and 1905, replacing an earlier bridge that had been erected in 1878. It was designed by the architect Jean-Camille Formigé, who also designed the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur. The green-painted bridge has two levels: one for motor vehicles and pedestrians, and a viaduct (the "viaduc de Passy") above, through which passes Line 6 of the Paris Métro. The railway viaduct is supported by grey-painted metal colonnades, except where it passes over the île aux Cygnes, where it rests on a masonry arch:

    The monumental stone arch across the tip of the Île aux Cygnes:

    the central arch of the viaduct, at the level of the island, is decorated with four monumental stone statues in high-relief: figures of Science and Labor by Jules-Felix Coutan, and Electricity and Commerce by Jean Antoine Injalbert:

    Looking from Pont de Bir-Hakeim, from the upstream tip of the Île aux Cygnes, towards Parc de Passy:

  • Citywalk | Spain
    Updated at Sep 7,2017

    Tip 3: Eurostars Gran Valencia:

    Overall, a great stay ! Great location. Easy connections with all parts of Valencia through Metro and buses. The hotel overlooks a grandiose square and located near a  wonderful tree-lined avenue. Several quality restaurants around (5-10 minutes walk).  Fantastic 360 degrees views from the high floors' rooms. Generous, big rooms with very comfy beds. Good breakfasts. Polite and helpful staff members.

  • Citywalk | Spain
    Updated at Sep 14,2017

    The Old City of Valencia- Ciutat Vella.

    Tip 1: From Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim to Plaça del Mercat.

    Main Attractions: Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim, Puerta del Mar, Iglesia del Patriarca, Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües (Ceramics Museum), Iglesia de SantoTomás Apostol y San Felipe Neri, Iglesia San Juan del Hospital, Plaça de la Reina, Valencia Cathedral, Santa Catalina Church, Place Redonda, Plaça del Mercat.

    Tip 2: From Plaça del Mercat to Plaça de l'Almoina (see tip 2 below).

    Start of the day: Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim, End of the day: Plaça de l'Almoina.

    We start at Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim. This beautiful square is, also known as El Parterre. It is located at the border between the quarters of San Francisco and Xerea , in the Ciutat Vella district. To the north it borders with the gardens of the Glorieta and the street of Carrer de la Pau (La Paz) ; to the south is Carrer del Pintor Sorrolla. The square is dominated by, a statue of Jaume el Conqueridor (James the Conqueror) , sculpted by Agapit Vallmitjana which stands in the middle of the square.

    Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim in the afternoon:Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim in the morning: 

    From Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim we shall walk eastward along Carrer del Palau de Justícia when the Tribunal Superior de Justicia Sala Civil y Penal is on our right (south) and La Glorieta garden is on our left. La Glorieta garden is home to monuments dedicated to famous Valencian personalities. The most important sculpture of the garden is the Triton, work inspired by a similar one of Bernini:

    The square of Alfonso the Magnanimous and the Palace of Justice are the southern border of the Ciutat Vella of Valencia. We advance along Carrer del Palau de Justícia to the Plaza del Marand Porta de la Mar which are the most eastern edge of the Ciutat Vella. The Plaça de la Porta de la Mar connect with SIX main streets in Valencia - all are outside the Ciutat Vella.

    The current Puerta del Mar, which is actually the Monument to the Fallen during the Spanish Civil War, is a reproduction of the old Puerta del Real, which rose a short distance, opening the way to the now defunct Royal Palace. It was designed by the Valencian architect Javier Goerlich Lleó,  who in 1931 was appointed major architect of the city of Valencia, as a monument to the fallen. It still retains the cross in its main arch, but the plaque in tribute to Generalismo Francisco Franco has been covered.

    It has three bays. The central one is higher and culminates in an arc of half point, whereas the lateral ones, of smaller height, are lined. On these there are four reliefs of the sculptor Vicente Navarro Romero , who represent "The value", "The Abnegation", "The Peace" and "The Glory" ("Valor", "La Abnegación", "La Paz" and "La Gloria").

    The original door had been opened on the wall in 1356. Reformed several times, the last in neoclassical style in 1843, and finally demolished with the rest of the wall. This door is the one that can be seen in the engravings of Alfred Guesdon .

    We change direction and return westward. We'll try to return to the Plaça del Collegio del Patriarca - just to take part in the morning service or, even, in the guided (or free) tour (see our blog on the City of Arts and Sciences - Tip 2). Head northwest on Plaça de la Porta de la Mar toward Carrer del General Palanca. Cross the Glorita Garden and Plaça d'Alfons el Magnànim from east to west. Turn left onto Carrer del Verger, 65 m.
    Turn right onto Carrer de Bonaire, 15 m. Turn left onto Carrer de la Tertúlia, 40 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Vestuari, 75 m. Turn right onto Carrer de la Nau, 100 m to enter the Iglesia del  Patriarca on your right.

    From the Iglesia Del Patriarca we head north on Carrer de la Creu Nova toward Carrer de les Dames, 110 m. We turn left onto Carrer de la Pau
    100 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Marquès de Dos Aigües and the Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües is on your right after 30 m. The Palau del Marqués de Dosaigües is one of the most significant buildings in the Baroque and Rococo city ​​of the city of Valencia and home of the Ceramics Museum . The space in which it is located is believed that was probably originally the field intended to a Roman necropolis of the 1st and 3rd centuries, due to the findings in one of its courtyards. The palace dates also far back as 15th century, although it has been fully re-shaped since then. Home to a Valencian noble family - the Marquis de Dos Aguas, it was originally a Gothic building. In 1740 it was re-shaped to Baroque by Hipolito Rovira, and it is then that the famous entrance was added. The last modification took place in 1850s-60s, when the entire facade was redesigned to a hybrid of newer elements. In 1949 the palace was bought by the Ministry of Education to house the collection of ceramics donated by Dr. Gonzalez Marti.This mansion that was of the Marqueses of Dos Aguas, is currently owned by the Spanish State, where is installed the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts. The palace combines neo-classical, rococco and oriental elements. The unbelievable Baroque entrance to the building never fails to impress the visitors. The rich ornament of the building is enough incentive to come here. The exterior of this palace is an extraordinary. Price: 3 euros.

    Inside, however, more marvel awaits you - the fully furbished interior of the palace and the best of ceramics that Valencia had to offer through the centuries. Two upper floors are devoted to ceramics. Valencia claims to have been a centre for the production of pottery and earthenware in the middle ages and beyond. The focus starts with Roman artifacts. It moves to the Moorish period and early Christian. Then, century by century from 15th through 20th. The first floor is a palace, fully furnished. Several rooms are stunning. Some public rooms and bedrooms are beautifully preserved. Phenomenal ceilings. Luxurious floor and wall coverings. Beautiful period furniture all bear witness to the immense wealth of the family. There is also an interesting reproduction of a 19th century, below-stairs kitchen. A really beautiful place. The staff are very relaxed and there is some information in English. Well worth a visit. Allow about 60-90 minutes.

    Old Carriages in the Ceramics Museum:

    Dormitorio del Marques in the Ceramics Museum:

    Floor 1 - Sala Roja:

    Ceiling of Sala Roja:

    Floor 1 - Sala Pompeyana:

    Floor 1 - Salon de Barli:

    Floor 1 - Ceiling of Salon de Barli:

    Ceramics Panels in the Palace Balcon:

    Floor 1 - Fumoir:

    Floor 1 - A picture in Sala Gotica:

    Floor 2 - Ceramica Panels:

    Floor 2 - Ceramics:

    Head north on Carrer del Marquès de Dos Aigües toward Carrer de la Pau, 30 m. Turn right onto Carrer de la Pau, 40 m. Turn right onto Carrer de Ruiz de Lihory, 45 m. In the corner of C. del Mar and C. de Lihory resides an interesting store of textile - Indumentaria Dos Aguas:

    From the intersection of C. del Mar and C. de Lihory - continue east on Carrer del Mar toward Carrer de Sant Cristòfol, 95 m. At Plaça de Sant Vicent Ferrer, take the 2nd exit onto Carrer del Comte de Montornés, 95 m. to face the Iglesia de Santo Tomás Apostol y San Felipe Neri. This church is also known as "The Congregation". It was built in 1725 and it stands out for the simplicity of its design. The church's architectural model corresponds to and resembles the "Il Gesú" church in Rome. It consists of a central nave divided into three parts and various side chapels. It really is an interesting church to visit, though you may do so only during masses services: MON-SAT: 09.00, 10.30, 19.30 20.30, SUN:  09.00, 11.00, 12.00, 13.00, 19.00.

    From Plaça de Sant Vicent Ferrer we walk northward along Calle Trinquete de Caballero and at #5 we se, on our left the Iglesia San Juan del Hospital. San Juan del Hospital Church is one of the oldest churches in Valencia. It was built in the 13th century on land donated by Jaime I to the Military Order of the Knights: the Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem (now Order of Malta). The king also built a hospital, a convent and a cemetery. It is a building that mainly combines Romanesque, Valencian and Baroque Gothic style. The church, built around 1261, as a Baroque-style building, has a single nave covered with a pointed barrel vault.

    North Door:

    Inside, you may contemplate the magnificent chapel of Santa Barbara, where are the remains of Constanza Augusta, Empress of Greece, and other chapels with painted murals from the Gothic period, discovered recently:


    350 m. walk further west will bring us to Placa de la Reina. Head south on Carrer del Trinquet de Cavallers toward Plaça de Sant Vicent Ferrer, 55 m. At Plaça de Sant Vicent Ferrer, take the 1st exit onto Carrer del Mar
    260 m. Turn right onto Plaça de la Reina. Plaza de la Reina is one of the oldest and busiest plazas in Valencia and the city’s epic centre and beating heart. It is situated in the heart of the Ciutat Vella. and marks the Kilometer 0. It is NOT the usual picturesque Spanish square you’re probably expecting to see, but is an excellent base for exploring the city.

    It is bounded by the Cathedral and its bell tower (the Miquelet) in the north,

    and Plaza Santa Catalina with its charming Iglesia de Santa Catalina and its impressive towerin the south west:

    The center of the PLaca de la Reina plays host to a small patch filled with flowers and benches, where visitors can take a break and watch the world go by:

    The busy plaza is filled with restaurants and bars. Good area to walk around or stop for a bite to eat or drink. Taxis and buses hog the road. A small park has market stalls with tourist fare. A lot of hassle and bustle. Noting in the square itself is impressive. The square is lined with an excellent selection of cafes, terraces, and restaurants, including one of the oldest (200 years old) and most renowned cafeterias in Valencia (Horchateria de Santa Catalina).

    Valencia Cathedral (Valencian: Església Catedral-Basílica Metropolitana de l'Assumpció de la Nostra Senyora de València) was consecrated in 1238. It was built over the site of the former Visigothic cathedral, which under the Moors had been turned into a mosque. The Valencian Gothic is the predominant architectural style of the cathedral, although it also contains Romanesque, French Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical elements. Variety of architectural styles, from the Romanesque to the Baroque, can be reflected inn the three main doors of the cathedral. The main door, or Puerta de los Hierros ("Door of the Irons"), is Baroque:

    The Puerta de los Apóstoles is Gothic:

    The Puerta del Palau is Romanesque:

    The Miguelete belfry was built in the 13th and 14th centuries and was designed by Andrés Juliá Torre; it is octagonal, 50.85m high and built in a markedly Baroque style, next to the main entrance.

    Bell Tower, "Micalet" or "Miquelet":

    There is a spiral stairway inside (207 stairs) that leads to the terrace, where there are views of the city, the countryside and the sea:

    Opening hours: NOV-MAR: MON - SAT: 10.00 - 17.30 pm. Sundays - closewd. APR - OCT: MON - SAT: 10.00 - 18.30, SUN: 14.00 - 18.30. During April, May and September closing time is 17.30 on weekends due to the 18.00 Mass at the Main Altar. Prices: €7- adult, €4 - groups members, €5.50 - pensioners, disabled people and children up to 12 years old. Try to come after closing time and the Cathedral is often still open and FREE. Come on Sundays when it is open and FREE. DO NOT walk around during Mass times !

    Inside, the cathedral contains numerous 15th-century paintings, some by local artists (such as Jacomart), others by artists from Rome engaged by the Valencian Pope Alexander VI who, when still a cardinal, made the request to upgrade the Valencian See to the rank of metropolitan see, a category granted by Pope Innocent VIII in 1492. The Santo Cáliz Chapel, the old Sala Capitular y de Estudios (1356) was originally a Chapter House and study and was separate from the cathedral. The Holy Chalice that according to tradition was used by Christ during the last Supper is kept inside. The "Obra Nova" or "Balconets de Cabildo" were built over three floors next to the cathedral dome and they dominate the Plaza de la Virgen. It was a renaissance work of a triple serlienne arcade.

    Dome of the Cathedral of Valencia:

    The Nave:

    The chapel of the Holy Grail (Chalice) is almost in the end of the guided tour (no. 16 ?). The Chapel of the Holy Chalice is in the south-east corner of the cathedral. It was built by Bishop Vidal de Blanes in the 14th century to serve as a chapter house and burial place for bishops and monks.It was also intended to hold theology classes. It is three metres square and 16 metres high. Note the magnificent cross ribs in the shape of a star on its ceiling:

    The Holy Grail (Santo Caliz) is believed to had been left in the house where the Last Supper took place - a house belonging to the family of St Mark the Evangelists, who later took it to Rome when he went to serve as an interpreter for St Peter. Passed on within the church and used as Papal Chalice, the relic was shipped out of Rome in 3rd century by St Lawrence, in anticipation of a persecution. It was taken out of Rome in the hands of a Spanish soldier to Huesca, Spain. During the Muslim occupation of the Iberic peninsula, the Grail went into hiding and later re-emerged in various Spanish monasteries and cathedrals. The Kings of Spain looked after it, on occasions taking it into their treasuries or palaces, until it was finally presented to the Valencia Cathedral in XV century, where it remained ever since. It briefly left the Cathedral only twice, both times during the 1930s Civil War, for fears of plunder. The Holy Grail (Chalice) of Valencia arouses feelings of admiration and skepticism at the same time. The visitor feels captivated by the beauty of the Grail, its perfect and exceptional shape, the details in gold, the pearls and the precious gems. The observer comes with the mind full of legends, films, even warned by the novels and pseudo-scientific literature. It was the official papal chalice for many popes, and has been used by many others, most recently by Pope Benedict XVI, on July 9, 2006. Most Christian historians all over the world declare that all their evidence points to this Valencian grail/chalice as the most likely candidate for being the authentic cup used at the Last Supper. But, is this grail of medieval appearance the grail of the Last Supper ? The Holy Chalice of the Gospels got mixed up with medieval pursuits of a “Holy Grail” around the time of 13th century Arthurian legends. The “grail” was considered, in different tales, as either a bowl or dish, a platter, or sometimes even just a stone. It was said to have mystical powers of spiritual or material abundance, grace, or eternal youth, and stories of the grail were eventually grafted onto the goblet of the Bible. The Holy Chalice became the Holy Grail, and vice versa. One fact is doubtless: it is difficult to see and take photos of the Holy Grail itself, its details and to step close to this sensational artifact: it is guarded behind glass and, frequently, attracts crowds of visitors around:

    Main Chapel, Valencia Cathedral, Valencia:

    The Valencia Cathedral is situated in the north side of Placa de la Reina. We shall cross the square from north to south.

    The Cathedral Bell Tower (Micalet) - a view from the centre of the square:

    The south side of Placa de la Reina is dominated by the Santa Catalina Church which is one of the oldest in Valencia. The church dates from the Middle Ages (13th century, probably from year 1239), and is built on the site of a former mosque. It is the only Gothic church in the city with a retrochoir in the transept, the same as you will find in the Cathedral. A large part of the building was rebuilt in the 16th century after being destroyed by a fire. The eighteenth century Baroque tower housing the belfry is possibly the most notable element, standing out from the rest of the building. The bell tower, for its part, is in Baroque style. It dates from the 17th century and is the monument's most outstanding feature. It is hexagonal, with five levels, and is topped by a niche and a small dome. The two bell towers: THe Cathedral's Micalet and the Santa Catalina one are, according to popular legend, husband and wife. Open: daily 11.00 - 13.00. FREE:

    The church is composed of three naves with side chapels, crosspiece domes and the apse which includes a chapel. Part of its Baroque decor had lost during the Civilians War:

    Inside, we have, basically, genuine Old Gothic space with coloured windows:

    Santa Catalina Tower marks the entrance to the well-known Mercat neighbourhood:

    The square west to Santa Catalina church is Plaza de Santa Catalina (Plaça de Santa Caterina). Here resides Horchateria Santa Catalina: lovely Valencian cafe, not what you would expect from the modest outside. A great place to try local specialities - horchata with fartons (a sweet, Valencian drink made from pressed chufas (type of nuts), into which you dip finger-shaped buns called fartóns). The price is approximztely €3. 

    From the Plaça de Santa Caterina head west toward Carrer dels Jofrens
    45 m. Continue onto Carrer de la Sombrerería, 40 m. Turn left onto Plaça de Lopez de la Vega, 20 m. Head southeast on Plaça de Lopez de la Vega toward Carrer del Trench, 20 m. Turn left to stay on Plaça de Lope de Vega, 5 m. You arrived to  Plaça Redona (Plaza Redonda) (The Round Square). Place Redonda (Round Square). One of Valencia’s most unique tourist attractions and most enchanting spots due to its peculiar design. Constructed by Salvador Escrig Melchor in 1840. Restored in year 2012. Surrounded by traditional craft shops and tapas bars at street level. A CHARMING SQUARE !! Many stalls that sell lace, silk, embroidery, fabrics and Valencian souvenirs (fantastic, colorful fans !), among other things. Four streets converge together into this round square to form colorful and welcoming site. You can see, from the fountain in the square's centre, a beautiful view of the bell tower of Santa Catalina Church. It stands high over the five stories of the round tower. It was built in 1840 by Salvador Escrig and was the place for local families to come and buy their fish and meat. One of the inlets to the square is called ‘Street of fish’. It is traditionally known as ‘el clot’ which means ‘the hole’. A recent revamp includes a circular covering, creating a cool environment for shoppers to come and enjoy the shade, the history and the ancient fountain at its centre – a perfect spot for sitting in the sun:

    Head southwest on Plaza Redonda, 25 m. Turn left to stay on Plaza Redonda, 16 m. Turn right onto Carrer dels Drets, 110 m. Turn left onto Carrer d'Ercilla, 65 m. Turn right onto Plaça del Mercat (Plaza Mercado), 50 m. A beautiful square where you find the Mercado Central (Mercat Central), the central market hall in modernista style, and outdoor market, La Lonja de la Seda (presented in its own section) and beautiful buildings painted in splendid colours, some in art nouvau style. Mercado Central, built in 1914 is one of the oldest European markets still running. It was designed by the modernista architects Francesc Guàrdia i Vial and Alexandre Soler. About 400 merchants have their stalls (over 1000 according to some sources). it is very impressive and beautiful. The market is open 07.30 - 14.30. Sundays closed. At the square you also find the Gothic church Iglesia de los Santos Juanes, also known as San Juan del Mercado (St John's of the Market). The original gothic interior from the 14th century was destroyed in a terrible fire in 1552 (unfortunately it wasn't open during our visit).

    inside you can find almost whatever in the more than 1000 selling posts: fresh fish, vegetables, meat, fruit... You must go inside to feel the atmosphere of the market, and being surrounded by the smells and colours of this place. Try to visit in the morning, as early as possible...:

    This place like this makes one realize how bland the food shopping experience has become back hom:

    We ate our lunch at Galle de Oro restaurant opposite the main entrance to the market hall. Busy, quality, generous and delicious food. We found it a value for money. But, remember it is very busy:

  • Citywalk | Spain
    Updated at Sep 29,2017

    Tip 2: from Plaça del Rei and Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA) to Plaça Nova.

    Main Attractions: Museu Frederic Marès, Cathedral of Barcelona (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia), Pont del Bisbe, Casa de l'Ardiaca, Plaça Nova.

    Our last stop in the daily itinerary in Barri Gotic of Barcelona was the Museum of the History of Barcelona (MUHBA). We change direction and move westward towards the Barcelona Cathedral - but, we stop also in the Museu Frederic Mares in Placa Sant Lu. Head south on Carrer dels Brocaters toward Carrer de Segòvia,25 m. Turn right onto Carrer de la Freneria, 35 m. Continue onto Carrer dels Comtes for 56 m. to see the entrance to Museu Frederic Marès, Plaça Sant Iu, 5. The Museu Frederic Marès in Barcelona, as the name suggests, is dedicated to showcasing the collections of its founder - Frederic Mares. He was born in 1893 and died in 1991 and obsessively collected statues and valuable atefacts of Spanish and Latin arts from the 12th to the 19th centuries. Marès donated his extensive collection and helped establish this museum in the Catalan capital until the project reached its completion in 1946. Opening hours: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 19.00, SUN: 11.00 - 20.00. Prices: adult - €4.20, concessions - 2.40, child - FREE. After 15.00 every Sunday and on the 1st SUN of every month: FREE.

    The original entrance courtyard garden has been preserved in its original form ! The shady courtyard houses a pleasant summer cafe (Cafè de l’Estiu):

    The museum is housed in a former palace of the Inquisition and, later, a royal palace of the counts of Barcelona:

    Marès gave a whole new meaning and form to the conventional concept of sculpture. As a collector, he gathered a priceless variety of Hispanic sculptures throughout his life. Pieces from the ancient world to those dated the 19th century can be seen in this collection, along with the numerous religious polychrome carvings widely displayed in the museum. NOTE: the main theme is this museum or collection is RELIGIOUS CHRISTIANITY and SACRED ART. It might be, sometimes, overwhelming some visitors !

    In the basement of the museum can be found mainly sculptures of the 3rd and 4 Century, a collection of crucifixes and statues of the Virgin Mary from the Romance and Gothic and other religious artifacts.

    On the first floor will continue this collection of works from the Baroque and the Renaissance.

    Among the most eye-catching pieces is a reconstructed Romanesque doorway with four arches, taken from a 13th-century country church in the Aragonese province of Huesca.

    You'll also find the room of Museu Sentinel, which displays objects from the bourgeois life in Barcelona in the last two centuries: handicrafts, fans, scissors, glasses, canes etc. The room is divided into two areas: goods of women of the 19th Century and the part of men: smoking pipes, handkerchiefs, playing cards and other toys and gadgets of 19th century men in Barcelona.

    When you exit Museu Frederic Marès raise your head to see the bell tower of Barcelona Cathedral - our next destination:

    From Museu Frederic Marès we head northwest across Placita de la Seu, 55 m. 

    Turn left to stay on Placita de la Seu, 20 m. On your right is the Cathedral of Barcelona (Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia), Placita de la Seu. The commonly used name La Seu refers to the status of the church as the seat of the diocese.

    The Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Eulàlia martyr, the patron saint of Barcelona. She was tortured to death in the late Roman period. The body of Saint Eulalia is entombed in the cathedral's crypt under the high altar. Her feast day is always celebrated on the 12th February. The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century. The Cathedral is huge with impressive dimensions (about 90 meters high and about 40 wide). FREE entry Weekdays and Saturdays from 8.00 to 12.45 and from 17.15 to 19.30. Sundays and holidays FREE entry is from 8.00 to 13.45 and from 17.15 to 19.30. Prices: Visit the choir: Single: €2,80 per person Groups: €2,50 per person. Visit the rooftops: Single: €3,00 per person Groups: €2,50 per person. Otherwise you have to pay €7 to get in. You can't go in with super short shorts/skirt or bare shoulders. Be advised though, especially for women !!! Beware of pickpockets !

    Note the neo-Gothic façade:

    During the summer months - expect to queue up for, at least, half an hour - to enter (FREE) the Cathedral:

    Breathtaking interiors. This cathedral is comforting, safe and yet majestic and impressive at the same time. The interior of the cathedral is particularly impressive in the light of dusk. There are many chapels around the periphery (28 of them if not wrong...). The high altar is raised, allowing a clear view into the crypt. High ceilings are one of the most stunning aspects of the interior of the Cathedral:

    The interior consists of an imposing nave lit by large windows dating from the 15th century. The nave is flanked by aisles, with 28 side chapels:

    The Cathedral's organ is of great artistic, liturgical and historical importance. It is inside the nave, under the bell tower, in the upper gallery over the door of Saint Ivo. It was built between 1537 and 1539 and the windchest covers are decorated with grisailles by Pedro Pablo Serafín "the Greek":

    If you would like to pray in the cathedral, you can do so in peace and undisturbed view of tourists in the first side chapel (Holy Sacrament and of the Holy Christ of Lepanto) on the right side of the main entrance. This chapel is also the largest chapel in the cathedral. It contains a cross said to date from the time of the Battle of Lepanto (1571). It was constructed by Arnau Bargués in 1407, as the chapter house. It was rebuilt in the seventeenth century to house the tomb of San Olegarius, Bishop of Barcelona and Archbishop of Tarragona:

    Icons in the Cathedral:

    The cathedral contains the tombs of Saint Raymond of Penyafort, Count Ramon Berenguer I and his third wife Almodis de la Marche, and Bishops Berenguer de Palou II, Salvador Casañas y Pagés, and Arnau de Gurb, who is buried in the Chapel of Santa Llúcia, which he had constructed. The two gravestones of the founders of the Cathedral Ramon Berenguer and his spouse Almodia are on the left hand side, right before the entrance of the cloister.

    Crypt and Tomb of Saint Eulalia:

    Tomb of Saint Raymond of Peñafort:

    Cloister of the Cathedral: The cloister, which encloses the Well of the Geese (Font de les Oques) was completed in 1448. Be sure to look at the Cloister with small chapels, gardens, fountains and group of 13 white geese walking around. There are 13 geese because they are representing Eulalia’s age when she dies in tortures. You can hear the loud cackling of the geese from the church building. The geese used to warn the Cathedral dwellers against intruders and thieves. Especially on hot summer days, the cool cloister is a joy. At the top of the garden's fountain sits a statue of Sant Jordi slaying a dragon:

    Cathedral bells tower from the Cloister:

    With the elevator you can get to the roof of the cathedral. The elevator is located in the church building on the left side in the Capella de les del Ànimes Purgatori between the nave and the apse. The roof is notable for its gargoyles, featuring a wide range of animals, both domestic and mythical:

    The view from the roof should not be missed. Rooftop visit is a must, but be prepared to have to wait for the lift to come back down:

    We exit the Cathedral of Barcelona from the main entrance in Placita de la Seu. We walk south on Placita de la Seu towards Calle del Obispo/ C. del Bisbe, 70 m. and turn left onto Calle del Obispo.

    On your left is the Carrer de la Pietat:

    C. del Bisbe x C. de la Pietat:

    After walking 100 m. along Calle del Obisp - we face Pont del Bisbe, Calle del Obispo, 1. Another name of this road is Carrer del Bisbe - meaning ‘Bishop’s street’, where you will find the stunning neo-Gothic bridge known locally as the ‘Pont del Bisbe‘ or ‘Bishop’s Bridge’. The bridge crosses the street uniting buildings on either side: the ‘Casa dels Canonges‘ (Canon’s House) and the ‘Palau de la Generalitat‘ (see above in Tip 1). The bridge was in fact constructed in 1928 by Joan Rubió i Bellver. The architect’s ambition was to construct a series of new buildings inspired by the dominant Gothic style of the area, but his project was not accepted by the government, who only approved the construction of the Bishop’s Bridge. The architect, disappointed with the decision, secretly incorporated a hidden skull with a dagger inside. Legend says anyone who crosses the bridge and sees the skull will fall prey to an evil spell.

    Carrer del Bisbe:

    RETURN back northward along Carrer del Bisbe (if you keep walking southward - you'll arrive to Placa Sant Jaume again). On your left Placa de Garriga i Bachs with the Monument to the heroes of 1809 in contrast to the predominant Gothic style of the surrounding buildings. It portrays five martyrs who were executed following an attempted uprising against the French troops during the occupation of Barcelona in 1808. The year was 1929 and Josep Llimona was commissioned to create the five bronze elements that surmount the plinth. The sculptures show the people who had been executed at the Citadel. They were accused of attempting to free Barcelona from the French forces of occupation who had made the city their stronghold during the War of the Spanish Succession. The plaque on the plinth bears the name of the insurgents:

    We walk NORTHWARD along Carrer del Bisbe.Turn right to Carrer de Santa Llúcia to see the La Casa de l'Ardiaca (Casa del Arcediano) (Archdeacon's House), Calle Santa Llúcia, 1. Here, emerges a piece of the past Roman aqueduct (see below). It houses the city of Barcelona archives. Worth popping in. it is a lovely little courtyard with a nice fountain and palm tree. Not much else to see. Stroll around the supremely serene courtyard, cooled by trees and a fountain. The fountain is the place where the locals celebrate the Corpus Christi day (60 days after Easter Sunday) and the traditional "l'ou com balla" (dancing egg ). Therefore the fountain is decorated with flowers and fruits and an egg is laid under water jet. The current House of L'Ardiaca was built in the 1400s AD by the Archdeacon Lluís Desplà, who converted the traditional 12th-century site of his residence into a Gothic palace. It was renovated by Lluis Domènech i Montaner in 1902, when the building was owned by his sponsor - a rich local lawyer. Domènech i Montaner also designed the postal slot, which is adorned with swallows and a tortoise, said to represent the swiftness of truth and the plodding pace of justice. Opposite this building - Domènech i Montaner added to the Renaissance portal a unique marble-mail box with three swallows , as well as a turtle, work of the sculptor Alfons Juyol. Opening hours:
    From SEP-JUN:: MON - FRI: 9.00 - 20.45, SAT: 9.0 - 13.00.  JUL - AUG: MON - FRI: 9.00 - 19.3. Prices: FREE entrance:

    After passing Carrer de Santa Llúcia on our RIGHT - we arrive to Plaça Nova. The origins of Barcelona's Plaça Nova can be traced back to 1358, when it was the site of the city's hay market. At the time, the locals could still see one of the four gates in the wall to the Roman city. Two circular towers flank the gate that leads into the heart of the Gothic Quarter. These are the result of renovations carried out during the 12th century, although the origins of the towers and wall can be traced back as far as the 1st century BC and, even, the 4th century AD.

    Immediately, before we face Plaça Nova, in the end of Carrer del Bisbe - we see on our right the Torres Romanes and a piece of the Aqueducto Romano - a reproduction of a fragment of the Roman aqueduct, built in 1958:

    Plaça Nova becomes a market with antique dealers every Thursday and Saturdays from 9.00 to 20.00 (Mercat Gòtic de Antiguitats):

    Festivals and Sardanas dances are held here also (Saturdays):

    It was a closed square, typically medieval, until the 1940s , when it was opened and extended - taking advantage of the remodeling due to the destruction caused by the bombings of the civil war.

    Joan Brossa's Bárcino Visual Poem and the reconstructed Roman Aqueduct:

    At number 1-2, the Baroque façade of the Palau del Bisbe (1782-1786), framed by Carrer de la Palla and the right tower of the Roman door, which opens onto Calle del Bisbe; The tower on the left, where there is a niche with the image of Sant Roc in the 16th century and the start of the reconstructed Roman Aqueduct:

    If you look across to the other side of the Plaça Nova, you'll see at number 5, the College of Architects (1958-1962), between Carrer dels Arcs and Capellans Street. The building of the Architects' Association (Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Barcelona). The most striking element is the series of  friezes around the façade. The most famous one, El Mur dels Arcs (Archs Wall), was designed by Pablo Picasso and produced by the Norwegian Carl Nesjar (1961).

    Other ones: the "children's frieze" on the façade overlooking Carrer dels Arcs:

    El fris dels Gegants (Giants Frieze) facing Plaça Nova:

    and the "frieze of the Catalan flag" (Fris de la Senyera) on the façade overlooking Carrer Capellans (Monks St.).

    The Cathedral from Plaça Nova:

    In case you decided to complete your day in the Barri Gotico - return to La Rambla, otherwise, continue to the Plaça del Pi (Tip 3)

    To return to the La Rambla: From Plaça Nova head westward and walk along Carrer de la Portaferrissa until it meets La Rambla, 330 m. Walk south along La Rambla 300 m. further south to arrive to the Liceu Metro station.

    To walk to (350 m. ) to Plaça del Pi: From Plaça Nova continue westward onto Carrer dels Boters, 100 m. Turn left onto Carrer del Pi, 140 m. Continue onto Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, 25 m. Turn right to stay on Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, 10 m. Continue onto Plaça del Pi, 5 m. Skip to Tip 3.

  • Citywalk | Spain
    Updated at Oct 28,2017

    Les Corts and Sarrià-Pedralbes:

    Main Attractions: Pedrables Gardens, Palau Reial de Pedralbes, Pavellons Guell, Parròquia de Sant Ot, Statue of Antoni Gaudi, Carrer Major de Sarrià, Plaça de Sarrià, Monasterio de Pedralbes.

    Duration: 1/2 day Distance: 9 km. (most of them in ascent) Public transport: L3 (the yellow line) to Palau Reial Metro station Start: Palau Reial Metro station. End: GFC Sarrià station or Monastery of Pedralbes.

    Introduction: Les Corts is a district of the small town of Sarrià (now part of Barcelona).

    Our itinerary: The Palau Reial Metro station is almost opposite the Pedrables Park. But, you have to cross the bustling Diagonal street ONLY through crossing lights. Head west on Avinguda Diagonal toward Carrer de Martí i Franquès, 140 m. Turn right onto carrer de John Maynard , Keynes, 25 m. Turn right onto Avinguda Diagonal. Find the main entrance to the Pedrables Gardens Park:

    Some history: The whole grounds of the palace and the gardens were acquired by the count Eusebi Güell towards the end of the 19th century forming the Finca Güell. The pst existing building was remodeled by the architect Joan Martorell i Montells, who built a Caribbean-style small palace, together with a Gothic-style chapel and surrounded by magnificent gardens. Later the building remodeling was given to Antoni Gaudí. Gaudi designed and constructed the surrounding perimeter wall and the side entry pavilions. Gaudí also partially re-designed the gardens surrounding the palace, placing two fountains and a pergola and planted many Mediterranean plants like palm trees, cypress trees, magnolias, pine trees and eucalyptus. Eusebi Güell gave the house and garden to the Royal family, as a thank you for his noble title of Count given to him, in 1918. The house was then remodeled to become a royal palace. The work was done from 1919 to 1924 by the architects Eusebi Bona and Francesc Nebot. During Francisco Franco's regime it was used as a residence for Franco during his visits to the city.

    Pedrables Gardens
    The gardens at the palace, which are highly acclaimed for their beauty are one of the most beautiful parks and gardens in Barcelona. When you pass through the magnificent forged-iron entry door, a large space will welcome you. There is an elegant oval pond in the middle with the sculpture of a woman in its centre. In front, flower beds and, behind, a slight slope covered with grass and well-tended bay trees and orange trees, replete with a small waterfall - created by Carles Buigas,

    the gardens feature palm trees, cypress, cedars, lime trees, fragrant eucalyptus, magnolias, acacias, and flowering plants. The highlight of the gardens is an ensemble of 23 Himalaya cedars (Cedrus deodara), and also pine trees (Pinuspea) located in the esplanade in front of the palace, and a white cedar (Tetraclinisarticulata) very close to the pond in the entrance. You'll discover four exceptionally rare ash trees (Fraxinusornus) and also a savin (Juniperusphoenicea). Other species that we can find strolling through the paths of the gardens: Atlas cedars (Cedrusatlantica), Japanese cedars (Cryptomeriajaponica), incense cedar Calocedrusdecurrens), several pine trees among which are: Pinushalepensis, cypress (Cupressusmacrocarpa), Arizona cypress (Cupressus glabra), white cedar (Thujaorientalis), lime tree (Tilia tomentosa), eucalyptus (Eucalyptusglobulus) and a little forest of bamboo (Phyllostachyssp.). As far as bushes are concerned: big laurels (Laurusnobilis), boxes (Buxussempervirens) and some strawberry trees (Arbutusunedo):

    The most interesting sight in the palace gardens is the Font d'Hércules (Hercules Fountain), a fountain designed by Antoni Gaudí (1884). The fountain was rediscovered in the 1980s and was once completely hidden by dense vegetation. It has a bust of Hercules on top of a pillar with Catalonia's shield and a spout in the shape of a Chinese dragon. The dragon head is a spout from which the water bubbles and under is a stone spout with four bars on its front. There is a bench carved from stone on both sides and a marble bust on the pedestal from which the dragon head emerges:

    Opening hours: from Nov 01 to Mar 31: 10.00 - 19.00, from Apr 01 to Oct 31: 10.00 - 21.00. Prices: FREE.

    Palau Reial: If you continue up the path, the shady lanes will take you to the Royal Palace, located at the back of the park. The path opens up onto a semicircular square in front of the palace, surrounded on both sides by a large balustrade decorated with busts sculpted from white marble. Since the railing is located under the shade of the trees, this is a perfect place to sit for a moment and gaze upon the building:

    The semicircular square, in front of the palace, is sunny and presided over by a white marble sculpture of Isabel II holding her son Alfons XII in her arms and a pond in the middle surrounded by flowerpots filled with geraniums:

    The Royal Palace of Pedralbes served from 1919 until 1931 as the Barcelona residence of the royal family of Spain. It was the residence for the Spanish royal family when they visited Barcelona. The palace is formed by a central building four stories high, with a chapel on the back side and two three stories high side wings that form a curve with the front facade towards the front. The outside facade is done with Tuscan order columns forming two porches, with round arches and medallions and jars on the top. The interior of the building is of many styles both in decoration as in furniture, going from Louis XIV style to contemporary styles. The Palace own gardens were designed by Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí, from a design that included, in a geometrically decorative area, lots of the trees already present, a pond with many decorative elements, Gaudi's fountain, bamboo benches, three lighted fountains by Carles Buïgas, the same designer of the Magic Fountain in Montjuïc and many statues such is the one of Queen Isabella II with her son Alfonso XII on the front of the palace, a work of Agapit Vallmitjana.

    Today two museums are housed here: a ceramics museum (the Museu de la Ceramica) and a museum of decorative arts (Museu de les Arts Decoratives). The building resides in the middle of Pedrables Gardens in the district of Les Corts. The built complex houses also the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean.  It houses the famous Tinell room (14th century) which was used by the Reyes Católicos (Catholic King and Queen) to welcome Christopher Columbus following his return from America. The main access to the building from Diagonal Avenue is presided by a beautiful sculpture designed by Eulàlia Fàbregas de Sentmenat, and that bears the meaningful name of Mediterrània.

    Museu de les Arts Decoratives: Since 1937 Palau Reial de Pedralbes serves as the Museu de les Arts Decoratives, a museum of decorative arts. The museum has a collection of Catalan and Arabic pottery , Catalan glassware, porcelain, wrought iron, furniture and many utensils from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Thereare, also, works by Miró and Picasso. Opening hours: Monday closed. Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 - 14.00. 

    Museu de Ceramica: Palau Reial de Pedralbes is also home to the Museu de Ceramica, a ceramics museum. Founded in 1966. In 1990 the Museu de Ceramica was placed at the palace. This museum owns an impressive permanent collection of Spanish ceramic art spanning several centuries, from medieval pieces to contemporary works.

    We exit the the Palau Reial de Pedralbes and Pedrables Gardens from the most eastern exit point. We head east, approx, 180 m. Turn left toward Carrer de Pere Duran Farell, 35 m. Turn left onto Carrer de Pere Duran Farell further 150 m. Turn right onto Carrer George R Collins and Pavellons Guell will be on the right after 40 m. Behind the estate's walls - you can't miss the beauty and colour of the giant mythological dragon from the Garden of the Hesperides, a synthesis of Gaudí's symbolism and craftsmanship. During the years 1884 - 1887 Antoni Gaudí landscaped the building and the garden of his patron Eusebi Güell's estate (Finca). From these years Eusebi Güell became Gaudi's main sponsor and patron. Gaudí proposed a fantastic-oriental design, somewhat reminiscent of Mudejar art. Gaudi designed and constructed is caretaker's house, stables and gatehouses. But, the main highlight is the wrought-iron gate in the shape of a dragon, that connects the house and the stables. Finca Güell's gatehouses have a stone base and brick parabolic arches with bright ceramic decorations in geometric shapes. On one side of the gate, a turret, crowned by plant motifs, features a medallion bearing the initials of the owner of the estate and the flower pot on top with an iron plant and flowers. In the centre, the dragon on the gate spreads its wings and its forked tongue. It represents the mythical never-sleeping, hundred-headed dragon named Ladon from the Garden of the Hesperides (the nymphs or daughters of evening), which commemorates Hercules' brilliant plot of stealing apples from the garden. The shape of the dragon corresponds with the position of the stars in the Serpens constellation, because Ladon was turned into a snake as a punishment for Hercules' stealing the oranges. This story was commemorated by the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer in his famous poem L'Atlàntida. Over the dragon there is an antimony orange-tree, another allusion to the Hesperides. the gatehouses consist of three small buildings, the central one being polygonal in plan and the others cuboidal. All three are surmounted by ventilators in the form of chimneys, faced with ceramics.

    Opening hours: daily - 10.00 - 16.00. January 1st and 6th, December 25th and 26th: closed. Prices: adult - 5 euros, concessions - 2 euros. Guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays: 10:15 and 12:15, in English, 11:15, in Catalan, 13:15, in Spanish. Public transport: buses: 7, 33, 63, 67, 75, 78, H6, L14, L79, L97, Trams: T1/T2/T3-Pius XII direction: Palau Reial-Pavellons Güell. Overpriced site. A bit neglected. Allow no more than 15-20 minutes. Web site:

    Pavellons Guell external walls:

    Pavellons Guell dome of the longeing ring:

    The Stables: 

    We continue climbing north-west along Av. de Pedrables. In the first intersection (on your right) with Passeig de Manuel Girona - we find the Dunosti Junior Bar: with 9.60 euros/person you get a full lunch: veggies salad + egg, burger with pommes frites or cow lever and dessert (ice-cream, fruit flan and soft drink. We continue eastward, deep into the Sarriá district, along Passeig de Manuel Girona.

    Sarriá is a pretty neighbourhood in Barcelona's and was the last of the independent villages annexed by Barcelona in 1921. It was gobbled up by Barcelona and became the city's new uptown area, not only for its geographical location but also for its more posh homes, shops and restaurants. This former rural village became the place where Barcelona's well-based classes chose to live from the second half of the 19th century, due to its proximity to Collserola woodlands and its unique natural conditions, comprising green areas and springs. This could explain why it retains much of the original flavour and personality of its streets, buildings and local community. It is one of the city's most prosperous districts.  Sarriá still retains its own traditional architecture, with its typical food market and century-old shops. They have been joined by the typical summer villas of the Catalan Art-Nouveau, or Modernista period. The most important example is the Torre Bellesguard and its viaduct (Carrer de Bellesguard, 16), which were designed by Gaudí. Sarriá hardly has any tourism, as it houses virtually no hotels or grand tourist sights.

    In the 2nd turn to the left of Passeig de Manuel Girona (intersection with Carrer d'Eduardo Conde) - you see on your left the Parròquia de Sant Ot, Passeig Manuel Girona, 25. Entrance by carrer Eduardo Conde, 1. An architectural attraction:

    We continue walking EASTWARD along Passeig de Manuel Girona crossing Carrer del Dr. Ferran (on your left). On our left (north) we pass through the Institut Marquès - a private Spanish medical institution specialized in gynecology. Continuing eastward we cross Carrer del Capità Arenas. In the next intersection of Passeig de Manuel Girona with Carrer de Benet Mateu (under the Porta de la Finca Miralles) - we find the famous Statue of Antoni Gaudi (1999) by Joaquim Camps:

    WE RETURN BACK WEST along Passeig de Manuel Girona (crossing, again,  Passeig de Manuel Girona on our right) and we turn RIGHT (north) to Carrer del Capità Arenas. Further, north, Carrer del Capità Arenas changes its name to Carrer de Fontcoberta. We turn right (east) to Passatge de Senillosa and continue climbing LEFT (north) to Carrer Major de Sarrià. Major de Sarrià is the main street in the Sarrià neighborhood in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona. Part of the street is pedestrian-only and is fluent with shops and restaurants:

    THe ASCENT along Major de Sarrià brings us to the Plaça de Sarrià. On the square is the patisserie Foix, which is considered one of the best in Barcelona. In the square there are several cafes, where you can leisurely drink a cup of coffee. Also, there is the ancient church of Saint Vincent, built in the 10th century:

    In the Plaça de Sarrià, Emili Armengol's sculpture, "Portal de Sarrià" (Gateway to Sarrià) (1993), expresses the union between the different villages that make up the district:

    In this square you find the sign commemorating the founding of Sarria in year 1886:

    With our face to the north - on our left is the Placa Consell de la Villa:

    You'll find, also, in Plaça de Sarrià the Santamasa cultural centre and restaurant, Carrer Major de Sarrià 97. Their privileged locationis in a Gothic building from the 18th century in the main square, next to the beautiful church of St. Vincent of Sarrià, adds to the restaurant’s enchanting character. Santamasa offers a delightful menu, combining traditional ingredients with surprising elements; choose a coque topped with smoked salmon with mascarpone or perhaps a Japanese style burger with oriental flavors of teriyaki and sesame. The restaurant also prepares three different sorts of tartars and delicious entrées from hummus to mexican quesadillas:

    Also found in the square - an old bakery founded in year 1903:

    From the Plaça de Sarrià - you have two options. The first, completing your route, for today, and walking to the closest GFC Sarrià station. From Plaça de Sarrià head northwest on Plaça de Sarrià toward Passeig de la Bonanova, 20 m. Turn right onto Passeig de la Bonanova, 120 m. Turn right onto Via Augusta, 350 m and the GFC Sarrià station is on your right. Another option is extending your day and visiting the Monasterio de Pedralbes (if it is still open.... It CLOSES EARLY in the afternoon). It is 1.1 km. walk to the monastery. From Plaça de Sarrià head northwest on Plaça de Sarrià toward Passeig de la Bonanova, 15 m. Turn left onto Passeig de la Bonanova, 45 m. Continue onto Passeig de la Reina Elisenda de Montcada, 550 m and pass through Placa de la Reina Elisenda as well. Continue onto Carrer del Bisbe Català, 300 m. Slight right onto Baixada del Monestir, 35 m. Turn right to stay on Baixada del Monestir, 60 m. Turn left, take the stairs, 10 m. Walk for 100 m. and head southeast for 45 m. The Monasterio de Pedralbes, Baixada del Monestir, 9, is on your right. Opening hours: TUE - FRI: 10.00 - 14.00 (last admission at 13.30), SAT - SUN: 10.00 - 17.00 (last admission at 16.30), Holidays: 10.00 - 14.00 (last admission at 13.30). Closed on the following days:
    1 Jan., Good Friday, 1 May, 24 June, 25 and 26 Dec. Prices: adult - €5.00, concessions - €3.50, children until 15 years (an adult companion required) - FREE, disabled persons: €3.50. Free admissions: 12 February (Santa Eulàlia), 18 May (International museum day), 24 September (Mare de Déu de la Mercè). Free admission with the Barcelona Card. The Monastery of Pedralbes (in Catalan: Monestir de Pedralbes), is one of the most beautiful buildings of the Catalan Gothic in Barcelona. The building from the early 14th century shows the everyday life of nuns. Religious art from the 14th to the 20th century is displayed in the monastery museum. The most famous highlights are: the three-storey cloister and the park inside the monastery. The monastery was founded by Queen Elisenda de Montcada and her husband, King Jaume II. The construction work of the monastery started in March 1326. On May 3, 1327 the nuns moved into the monastery. The monastery was built within just one year. Queen Elisenda chose its location in the village of Sarrià, which back then was far out of the city of Barcelona. The name "Pedralbes" derives from the Latin Petras Albas (white stones), a white stone which is the cornerstone of the apsis. It was not before the 15th century that the third and lowest storey was added to the cloister.
    Monastery of Pedrables is a fine example of particularly homogeneous Gothic architecture in Catalonia. The Pedrables church, Cloister and garden are among the coolest sites in Barcelona - during the hot summer days.
    On the eastern side of the Pedrables complex stands the church:

    It has one nave. Inside the church, on the right side next to a presbytery - a choir:

    Inside the church you find the Queen Elisenda's tomb: the sarcophagus is double-sided. On the cloister side Elisenda is figured as a mourning widow, on the church side as a queen:

    The first interesting sight is the small St. Michael's chapel on the right-hand side by the church wall. It might be closed due to restorations. Its frescoes from 1343 depict scenes from the lives of Jesus and Mary. Note the three-dimensional quality of the frescoes that remind of the Italian painter Giotto, who was considered the first modern painter in 3D:

    There is no direct entry to the interior of the monastery from the church. The entrance is located only a few steps away from the church. You can enter the cloister from there. It is recommended to follow the route that leads through the monastery in an anticlockwise direction:

    The cloister is the central structure around which the monastery is organized. Considered the world’s largest Gothic cloister, it has two galleries with twenty-six columns on each side made of limestone from Girona containing fossil remains:

    On the north side of the cloister, there are several utility rooms, the nuns' day cells and the staircase to the second floor, half of those can be visited. The refectory, where the nuns had their meals, in silence, is located in the cloister, facing the Fountain of the Angel, where the nuns used to wash their hands. The antechamber, called De Profundis, still conserves the original wall cabinets, covered with tiles from Valencia dating from the 16th and 18th centuries, where the individual eating utensils were kept. This intermediate space was where the first prayer was said, addressed to the departed nuns and benefactors of the community:

    The third floor is closed to the public.

    The museum is housed in the former dormitory of the monastery. In a tour you can marvel at pieces of religious art as well as everyday objects of the monastery dating from the 14th to the 20th century. In the middle cloister there are several tiny cells in which the nuns used to pray.

    Walking downstairs from the museum, you can continue the monastery tour through the lower cloister. On the west side, there are utility rooms, such as the dining hall and the kitchen, and in the basement the monastery's store rooms are located.

    One of the store rooms contains a series of dioramas of religious scenes which depict the life history of Jesus.

    The monastery certainly wouldn't be as beautiful and impressive without its park in the courtyard. You won't find a quieter place in all Barcelona - except for the birds singing in the trees and the gurgling of the Renaissance fountain in the centre of the courtyard you won't hear a sound:

    The simplest way to return to Barcelona centre is via Sarrià GFC subway station. You have to walk 20 minutes to the Sarrià station. From Monasterio de Pedralbes head southeast on Baixada del Monestir. Turn left to stay on Baixada del Monestir. Baixada del Monestir turns slightly left and becomes Carrer del Bisbe Català. Continue onto Passeig de la Reina Elisenda de Montcada. Continue onto Passeig de la Bonanova. Turn right onto Via Augusta and the Sarrià station is on your right. Take Train S1 to Pl. Catalunya  (4 stops).

  • Citywalk | Spain
    Updated at Oct 11,2017

    Tip 2: From Basilica Santa Maria del Mar to Placa de Jacint Preventos.

    From Museu Picasso we continue to our next famous destination the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar. Head (with your back to the museum buildings turn LEFT) southeast on Carrer de Montcada toward Carrer de l'Arc de Sant Vicenç, 120 m. Continue onto Placeta de Montcada, 55 m. Turn right onto Passeig del Born, 15 m

    and the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar is on your left. Formally called: Capella del Santissim Sagrament Sant Maria del Mar. Built between 1329 and 1383. An imposing cathedral and an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic church, with a purity and unity of style that is very unusual in large medieval buildings. 

    During the 13th century, in the neighborhood we now call “La Ribera” ("the Seashore") was well-known for its ship-building, imports-exports of all kinds and its workshops for artisans and craftsmen. These trades and businesses are still reflected today in the street names of the area. This was the time when many of the wealthy merchants and minor nobility built their houses on Montcada Street (see Tip 1). This progress demanded a church of more impressive dimensions than the one they had. The King Pere III gave his permission to extract stone from the quarry and use it to build the present church. The architects in charge were Berenguer de Montagut (designer of the building) and Ramon Despuig, and during the construction all the guilds of the Ribera quarter were involved. This church, which is actually a Basilica, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was built by the poorest people in Barcelona – the sailors and the fishermen. Workers loaded and unloaded the ships (the so-called “bastaixos” or porters), fishermen and the simple people used their hands and backs and, of course, their boats to transport the stone they needed from the nearby mountain of Montjuic. Construction work started on 25 March 1329, when the foundation stone was laid by king Alfonso IV of Aragon (III of Catalonia), as commemorated by a tablet in Latin and Catalan on the façade that faces the Fossar de les Moreres and by reading the two inscriptions on each side of the door on Santa Maria Street, one in Catalan and the other one in Latin. The walls, the side chapels and the façades were finished by 1350. In 1379 there was a fire that damaged important parts of the works. The last circular keystone, the closest one to the main door, bears the city’s coat of arms and was put in place on 3 November 1383. The church was consecrated by Pere Planella, bishop of Barcelona, on 15 August 1384:

    The main door of the Basilica pays homage to the porters of La Ribera:

    The 1428 Catalonia earthquake caused 30 casualties and destroyed the rose window in the west end. But the most traumatic damage to the church happened in 19 July 1936 when Santa Maria del Mar was set on fire and burned for eleven days straight. This fire damage call still be seen in the inside of the church’s ceilings. The magnificent Baroque altar and all the images and historical archive were all destroyed. Only the walls, columns and a few of the stained glass windows on the upper level were spared. The fire didn’t get up that high. Restorations in recent years have further emphasized its elegant and sober Gothic style:

    Opening hours: MON - SAT: 9.00 - 13.00, 17.00 - 20.30, SUN: 10.00 - 14.00, 17.00 - 20.00. FREE entry. Note: At noon, visitors must pay to enter and join a guided tour, which includes the rooftop. Metro: Jaume I (L4).

    Guided tours of the Basilica rooftop including the towers, rooftops, gallery and crypt of Santa Maria del Mar - duration: 1 hour. Prices: adult - 10€, students and seniors (older than 65) - 8€, members of groups of more than 10 people - 9€, FREE - children between 6 and 8 years old.

    The Exterior and the interior give different sensations. The exterior suffers from the impossibility of an overall perspective. The mighty and impressive building of Basilica Santa Maria del Mar is pressed and hemmed in by the narrow streets of the Ribera, making it difficult to obtain an overall impression. The better perspective of this immense church is from Plaça de Santa Maria (west) and Placa del Fossar de les Moreres (east) (NOT the direction we came from - north-east).

    The western facade of Basilica Santa Maria del Mar from Placa del Fossar de Les Moreres. From this side, you better see the white bells tower of the Basilica:

    Plaça de Santa Maria in the afternoon hours. It is noteworthy that the north- west tower was completed back in 1496:

    Placa de Santa Maria del Mar in the evening with the monument for the liberators of Barcelona 1711 - 1713. many cafe's around, children, pigeons and, even, music:

    We highly recommend walking to Plaça de Santa Maria - for having a look at the Basilica from its western facade,  dominated by the west end of the church with its rose window. Also, images of Saint Peter and Saint Paul occupy niches on either side of the west door, and the tympanum shows the Saviour flanked by Our Lady and Saint John.

    The main entrance side consists of a traditional Catalan-Gothic facade, with a predominance of horizontal lines and large bare surfaces. Different colors were used for the windows in the different sides of the cathedral. At the front, where the sun is rising, the stained glass in the windows consists of earth tones, red, orange, brown and greens. These colors were being used for representing the Mediterranean land. On the sides of the cathedral the windows are more blue and white, which represents the Mediterranean sea.

    Later, when we'll leave the Basilica, we shall see the Basilica also from Carrer de l'Argenteria.

    Interior: When entering the cathedral, dimensions and balances change. The interior gives an impression of light and spaciousness, extraordinarily beautiful. abundant streams of natural light pass through the high windows. It is universally regarded as a marvel of engineering. What most strikes visitors upon entering the building is the vast and austere interior space. The immense space inside is beautifully lit by colored windows and supported only by slender octagonal columns. The spacing of the columns is the widest of any Gothic church in Europe. As the interiors have such an exceptional acoustics - concerts are often organized in the cathedral. Keep a look out for music recitals, often Baroque and classical. 

    It is of the Basilica type, with its three aisles forming a single space with no transepts and no architectural boundary between nave and presbytery.  Part of the reason for the cleanliness of the interior is that the church was burned, like many others, by the Leftists during the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The fire destroyed many of the altarpieces and statuary that had been placed in the church over the centuries, particularly during the Baroque and Neo-Gothic periods in the 18th and 19th centuries. The end result was, ironically enough, that Santa Maria del Mar emerged from the ashes more beautiful than it had been in years, stripped of well-intentioned but unnecessary frills and do-thats that did not suit it. The interior is almost devoid of the imagery, which can be found in other large Gothic churches of Barcelona. Honestly said - Santa Maria was lacking in superfluous decoration even before anarchists gutted it in 1909 and 1936.

    We leave the Basilica from the road which continues west ward Carrer de l'Argenteria - pedestrian street with small shops, restaurants and bars. The view of the Basilica Santa Maria del Mar from this road:

    Carrer de l'Argenteria:

    Turn left onto Plaça de Jacint Reventós:

  • Citywalk
    Updated at Dec 18,2017

    Tip 2 Main AttractionsPoble Espanyol, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.

    El Poble Espanyol was built for the 1929 International Exhibition in purpose  to concentrate the soul of Spain in a single space. It was intended that Poble Espanyol would be demolished when the 1929 International Exhibition was over, but it continued to function thanks to its great success and the good critical reviews it got. Today most of its constructions remain intact and are scale reproductions of buildings, squares and streets of different regions of Spain. It can be understood as a “Spain in Miniature”, as you can find replicas of the most famous Spanish monuments and landscapes. Its creators visited 1,600 towns and villages of the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Portugal to choose the buildings to be represented at Poble Espanyol.  Poble Espanyol is packed with life 365 days a year. Strolling through Poble Espanyol you’ll discover not only buildings, but also artisans you can watch live as they work, as well as viewing pieces of contemporary art by universal figures like Dalí, Picasso and Joan Miró (see below). Don't miss the new "Feeling Spain" audiovisual installations, which will take you on a virtual trip through the geography and the most authentic traditions of Spanish culture. There is a large array of shops, workshops, bars and restaurants open every day. Some artisans also have their stores here and it is well known around Barcelona for having the best artisans with glass and clay.  There are artisans producing leather, ceramics, jewellery and other articles for sale. You can enjoy family activities, shows, music, cuisine tastings in the open air in unbeatable surroundings. 1.300.000 visitors a year enjoy a unique place and atmosphere representing, in the best way, the face and soul of Spain. The Museu Fran Daurel is another main attraction at the Poble Espanyol. It showcases some 300 works by major contemporary artists, including Picasso, Dalí and Miró. Admission to the museum is included with the ticket to the Poble Espanyol. You will also find Guinovart area, a vast and luminous space with a huge sculpture of Josep Guinovart. Moreover, there is the sculpture garden where 36 sculptures transform the garden of Poble Espanyol into an evocative space where art and nature embrace each other. Also, with the entry ticket you have access to “El Tablao de Carmen”, one of Barcelona’s most famous flamenco Tablaos. Our opinion: The end result is a sort of Spanish Disneyland, complete with inflated prices. Better, come in the evenings (the hot ones). Good choice for kids and the additional expenses concerned. Still, well worth a leisurely visit of 2-3 hours. Usually, there are lots of people in Poble Espanyol, but because it is so extensive you can see everything at your own pace.  Note: signage in Poble Espanyol is very poor.

    Public transport: Metro: Espanya Station (Line 1-Red and Line 3-Green), Ferrocarrils Catalans FGC trains - Espanya Station, Bus: Poble Espanyol stop of Lines 13, 23 and 150, Bus Turístic and Barcelona City Tour (the red route of the Barcelona Red hop on and off bus).

    Opening hours: MON: 9.00 - 20.00, TUE - THU, SUN: 9.00 -  midnight, FRI: 9.00 - 15.00, SAT: 9.00 - 16.00. Open 365 days a year. 25 December: 9.00 - 14.00, 1 January: 13.00 - 20.00, from 8 January to 4 February: 9.00 - 20.00. 

    Prices (on site / on-line): Adult: 14€ / 12,60€, child (From 4 to 12 years old): 7€ / 6,30€, Children under 4 years: FREE, Night (From 20.00): 7€ / 6,30€, Student: 10,50€/ 10,50€, Retired: 9€ / 9€, Family:36€ / 36€. A small tip: if you are planning to eat or attend any activity inside, you can get free entry if you show your booking confirmation at the entrance.

    A good view of the city from behind the monastery:

    It is 850 m. walk from Poble Espanyol back (east) to the MNAC (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya ,Palau Nacional). From Poble Espanyol head southwest on Av. de Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia toward Carrer de la Foixarda, 40 m. Turn left onto Carrer de la Foixarda, 140 m. Turn right to stay on Carrer de la Foixarda, 130 m. Turn left onto Av. dels Montanyans, 450 m. Continue onto Carrer del Mirador del Palau Nacional, 100 m. The MNAC is on your left. This magnificent museum, located high on a hill, is easily reached by escalator.  The building itself is a work of art, the collection is magnificent, and the view breathtaking:

    We go around the MNAC complex from east to south in purpose to climb the staircase leading to its main entrance in the south facade:

    You have TWO main reasons for investing a significant deal of time in a visit in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya or MNAC: for the views across the city and for the wonderful art inside.  We shall start with the first one. We would recommend coming here for the views alone! The entrance to the Palau is called "The Balcony of Barcelona". The terrace in front of the Museu Nacional is open: On summer weekends, the terrace will remain open until 23.00. Winter: : 19.00 or 21.00, SUMMER: 21.00 or midnight:

    From this magnificent terrace you enjoy magnificent views of the city of Barcelona and the show of light, sound and colour of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc (at night). You can see the night show of the Font Majika from the balcony of the National Palace, it is a must-see that will take time to forget. If you want really great views to the north over Barcelona city. You can find in foreground the Reina Maria Cristina Avenue with the two Venetian Towers at the height of Spain Square (Plaça d’Espanya), also having a privileged view of the Magic Fountain of Montjuic and Tibidabo mountain with its amusement park at the far north:

    Then there is a special lift (back of the MNAC auditorium) that takes you up to the top of the museum and you can walk around the dome on the outside (€2 special fee). Really breathtaking views on the city, the Olympic Park and the whole Monjuic (to the south, west and east). The views to the north are giving a 360 degree turn. Make sure you visit the roof terrace as the views from there are really great !  Inside the exhibitions were mainly very engaging, but you do a lot of walking. The terrace itself is a nice place to sit and listen to the music ( there is always a guy or band playing a guitar or another musical instruments). A cafe and restaurant are also available. You can get beautiful view of Barcelona old port from the MNAC cafe' as well. From the east side of the roof of the MNAC, you will see the Sagrada Familia, the Agbar Tower and the two Vila Olímpica towers, while facing the south allows views of the Montjuic mountain with the Olympic Park allowing partially views of the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium or the Telecommunications Tower in Europe Square (Plaça d’Europa):

    Public Transport: Metro - L1 (Red Line) and L3  (Green Line) - Placa Espanya. Buses: the best line is 55 (bus stop: Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya/Museu Etnològic), 9,  13,  27, 37, 50, 65, 79, 109, 150,165, D20, H12, V7. On foot: Plaça Espanya – Avinguda Maria Cristina – escalator up to the museum OR Anella Olímpica – escalator up to the museum (as we did in this itinerary).

    Opening times: October to April: TUE - SUN: 10.00 - 18.00, SUN and public holidays: 10.00 - 15.00. May to September: TUE - SAT: 10.00 - 20.00, SUN and public holidays: 10.00 - 15.00. CLOSED: Mondays except public holidays, January 1st, May 1st and December 25th. Prices: adult - €12 (w/o audioguide, €14 (with audio guide), Students and Family (2 adults + 1 child) - 30% discount. FREE: under 16 years old, over 65 years old. Entry is free on Saturdays after 15.00. Your ticket is valid for two days so if you want to take a break you can split your visit into two days.

    The MNAC is situated on Montjuïc hill at the end of Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina originating from Placa Espanya. It is one of the largest museums in Spain. The Museum is housed in the Palau Nacional, a huge, Italian-style building dating to 1929. The Palau Nacional, which has housed the Museu d'Art de Catalunya since 1934, was declared a national museum in 1990 under the Museums Law passed by the Catalan Government. the museum MNAC was founded in 1990 by the merger of the Museu d'Art de Catalunya (Romance, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque) and the Museu d'Art Modern (Arts of the 19th and 20th century). The main dome is absolutely stunning. One of its main architects was Pere Domènech i Roura, son of the brilliant modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Domènech i Roura was also the architect of the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium (see Tip 1 above).

    This art museum is probably the best in Barcelona. The MNAC museum and the Palau building consist of two floors. There are about 100 steps up to the gallery which is a good workout. Alternatively there are elevators take you up to the Gallery. With 3 hours it's possible to walk-through (quickly) the whole museum. It's a great venue.  The museum is well designed and easy to navigate. The galleries are large with white walls and cleverly lit to make the works stand out but not stress us viewers out as we wander from chamber to chamber. It is very easy on the eye and they have obviously given a lot of thought as to what works to display and what to hold back. Free wifi is available inside as well. There are couches and places to sit everywhere, if you get tired.

    Basically, There are 4 periods displayed, Romanesque, Gothic, Rennaisance and Modern Art. All sections are organized chronologically - starting with the earliest time and advance chronologically. For example, it is interesting and nice to see the progression of how faces were painted in the different periods. By the end of the Gothic, the faces were very realistic. 

    The museum is especially notable for its outstanding collection of Romanesque church paintings, and for Catalan art. The real highlight here is the Romanesque art section, in the ground floor, considered the most important concentration of early medieval art in the world.

    The Main Entrance Hall:

    Do visit the oval hall which is built in Roman style. A spectacular and unique space. The sculptures and painted ceilings are awe inspiring and well worth a visit. It has an immense dome, which allows the entrance of natural light. Note the organ, 34 metres long and 11 metres high, that overlooks the hall from the balcony:

    The most world's largest collection of Roman frescoes fills most of the rooms of the MNAC. The Romanesque frescoes, that had served to instruct villagers in the basics of the faith, date from the vestibule of 29 major Romanesque churches in the Pyrenees. So they could be saved before being destroyed by the Spanish Civil War. The artwork from medieval churches is spectacular and wonderfully exhibited. The frescoes salvaged from Catalan churches in the mountains, in mostly good shape, are really wonderful. The insides of several churches have been recreated and the frescoes – in some cases fragmentary, in others extraordinarily complete and alive with colour – have been placed as they were when in situ. One famous fresco, in room (Sala) 5, is a magnificent image of Christ in Majesty done around 1123. Based on the text of the Apocalypse, you see Christ enthroned on a rainbow with the world at his feet. He holds a book open with the words Ego Sum Lux Mundi (I am the Light of the World) and is surrounded by the four Evangelists:

    Other famous frescoes, in room 9, are frescoes done around the same time in the nearby Església de Santa Maria de Taüll. Originally, the church interior was totally decorated and despite not being preserved intact what we have is enough for us to know with some certainty what themes were represented and how they were distributed inside the church and to distinguish the different artists. The central fresco was taken from the apse is of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child:

    David and Goliath - Fresco in room 9:

    Fresco from Sant Romà de les Bons, Monastry of Santa Coloma d'Andorra (C. 1164):

    The excellent Gothic collection starts with some late 13th-century frescoes that were discovered in 1961 and 1997, when two palaces in the city were being renovated. There are carvings and paintings from local churches, including works by the indisputable Catalan masters of the Golden Age, Bernat Martorell and Jaume Huguet. In addition, the MNAC shows countless sacred objects.

    Painting, Circa 1200, room 13, front of alter, from the parish church of Sant Andreu de Baltarga (Bellver de Cerdanya, Baixa Cerdanya):

    Opposite the Romanesque collection on the ground floor is the museum’s Gothic art section. In these halls you can see Catalan Gothic painting and works from other Spanish and Mediterranean regions. The exhibitions of Renaissance and Baroque art feature works by major international painters such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Velázquez and Rubens. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, in particular,  was first displayed in the Museu Nacional since 2004:

    Fra Angelico (Giovanni da Fiesole),  painting,  1433–1435, room 38:

    Giambattista Tiepolo -Saint Cecilia - circa 1750-1760, room 35:

    Giandomenico Tiepolo -The Minuet - 1756, room 35:

    Francisco de Goya -Allegory of Love, Cupid and Psyche - circa 1798-1805, room 35:

    Diego Velázquez. Saint Paul circa 1619. This is a painting of youth done by Diego Velázquez, shortly before entering into the service of the Spanish monarch Felipe IV, room 35:

    Rubens - Virgin and Child with Saint Elizabeth and the Young Saint John. Circa 1618. Room 38:

    Tiepolo -Expulsion of the Traders from the Temple - circa 1750-1753, room 38:Retablo de san Miguel y san Pedro, Painting from 1432-1433, room 25.

    The Gothic and Medieval Section:

    Conquest of Mallorca. This mural paintings, from 1285-1290, of the Conquest of Mallorca, come from the old mansion house of the Caldes family in carrer Montcada of Barcelona - nowadays known as the Palau Berenguer d'Aguilar, Carrer de Montcada, and which is currently home to the Museu Picasso. They show the conquest of the island of Mallorca by Jaume I the Conqueror in 1229. Room 17:

    Retablo de san Miguel y san Pedro, Painting from 1432-1433, room 25:

    Salvador (the Savior) by Pere Joan (alabaster, 1435-1445), room 25:

    Retaule de l'Epifania 1469. The altarpiece of Epiphany is a paint in the temple and oil on the table work by Joan Reixac made in 1469 for the convent of the Augustinian nuns of Rubiols de Mora ( province of Teruel ), room 28:

    Saint Otto, Master of La Seu d'Urgell, Painting,
    Circa 1495-1498. Part of a set of cloths that decorated the doors of an organ that has not come down to us. From a total of 12 pieces 11 are kept at the MNAC. Room 28:

    The Deposition of Christ and the Road to Calvary, wood Sculpture, Circa 1500, room 31:


    As we ascend to the second floor - the high-domed main hall is still impressive:

    Ceramic mural that Joan Miró made for the Barcelona headquarters of IBM:

    The new (from 2014) displayof Modern Art , in the 2nd floor, goes as far as the 1950s, including the movement Dau al Set (the first post-World War II artistic movement in Catalonia). The modern collection upstairs is organized by theme rather than chronologically, which is an interesting idea. The Modern Art permanent exhibition is divided into four sections and an epilogue: The Rise of the Modern Artist, Modernista, Noucentista, Art and Civil War, and The Avant-garde revival of the Post-War Years. You'll find good display of Modernista (including Gaudi's)  furniture designs. Interesting Miro tile mural in the main area (see picture above). Some visitors say that the Picasso collection in the MNAC is better than the Museu de Picasso... Anyway, the MNAC two floors leave you with a very good blend of traditional and contemporary art.

    Ramon Casas, Bulls (Dead Horses), room 1:

    Francesc Masriera - Boy on Attic, room 5:

    Francesc Masriera, In the Presence of the Lord, 1891, room 9:

    Hermen Anglada Camarasa, Nightbird (1913) and Portrait of Magda Jocelyn (1904), room 10:

    Romà Ribera, De soirée, 1902, room 10:

    Francesc Masriera - Before and After the Ball, 1886, room 10:

    Josep Masriera, Llavaneres, 1890, room 12:

    Alfred Sisley, A Bend in the Loing, 1892, room 14:

    Francesc Masriera, Winter 1882, Painting, 1882, room 16:

    Joaquim Renart, Bamboo Screen, 1905, room 16:

    Ramon Casas - an exhibition - 150 years from his birthday:

    Ramon Casas - self portrait:

    Ramon Casas and the shadow puppets. This Casas' exceptional collection is a group of 11 shadow puppets, designed by Casas, cut and constructed by the Josep Meifrèn, painter Eliseu Meifrèn's brother and member of "Els Quatre Gats", circle of friends. 1897-1898:

    Litografia - The 4 Cats group:

    Le Chat Noir ("The Black Cat") was a nineteenth-century entertainment establishment, in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris. Théophile Steinlen's 1896 poster advertising the cabaret, 1896:

    Joaquim Mir, stained glass triptych: El Gorg Blau (The Blue Pool), 1911, room 17:

    Auguste Rodin, Sculpture, 1876, The age of Bronze, room 17:

    Gaspar Homar, Three women picking fruit, 1905-1906, ceramic tiles, room 17:

    Interiors of 'Modernisme': Gaspar Homar, Joan Busquets and Architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, room 56:

    Settee with side cabinets and the marquetry panel “La sardine” by Gaspar Homar, room 56:

    Furniture by Joan Busquets, 1907-1911, room 56:

    José Gutiérrez Solana, Las Coristas (The Choir Girls), circa 1925, room 21:

    Juli González, Woman at her Toilette, Circa 1912-1913, room 23:

    Francesc Domingo Segura, The Gamblers, 1920, room 26:

    Francesc Domingo Segura, The Spectators, 1934, Room 26:

    Introduction to Surrealism:

    Modest Cuixart - Moon Fisher, 1949:

    Pablo Picasso, Woman in Hat and Fur Collar (Marie-Thérèse Walter), 1937, room 31:

    Juli (Julio) González, Montserrat Shouting, No 1 and Shouting, 1936-1939, room 31:

    Juli (Julio) González, Cactus Man, 1939, room 31:

    José García Narezo, Defensa de Madrid (The Defence of Madrid), 1937, From the series 'Esfuerzo-Triunfo' (Effort-Triumph), room 31:

    Ramón Puyol, El estratega (The Strategist), 1936, room 31:

    Olga Sacharoff, Newly Wedding, 1939, room 72. Sacharoff formed part of the noucentisme català, (Catalan movement of the beginning of the 20th century):

    Juli (Julio) González, Raised Left and Right hands, 1942 (year of Gonzalez death), room 78:

    Julio Gorgola:

    Juli González, Nude and Female Peasant, Circa 1920-1923: