By Corey Sandler
As far as I am concerned, there are two types of travelers: those who love Barcelona, and those who have not yet experienced its many charms.
We come to Barcelona six or eight times a year in this job. Tough work, but someone has to do it.
The most famous street in Barcelona is Las Ramblas, or the Promenade. It is actually a series of linked streets, each one of them a rambla mostly dedicated to a particular set of markets: flowers, art, pets.
Few cities are more imbued with the artistic vision of one man than is Barcelona. The visions, all of them beautiful and some of them a bit strange, were those of Antoni Gaudi, one of the masters of the Modernist or Art Nouveau style.
His crowning achievement was—or will be—LaSagrada Família, the Holy Family.
Gaudi designed it to have 18 towers: 12 for the apostles, 4 for the evangelists, one for Mary and one for Jesus.
Gaudí died in 1926, and they’re still working on the basilica, with plans to complete in in 2026, the centenary of his death.
Like many of you I have visited hundreds of cathedrals all over the world, many of them many centuries years old. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia may well be the last monumental cathederal to be built, and it is amazing scene to watch the work underway.
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GAUDI IN BARCELONA
The waterfront at the base of the city, near the place where much of Spain’s great fleet of exploration was built and where Columbus returned from his first voyage, has been restored and improved.
Maremagnum, a sprawling shopping, dining, and entertainment complex has pride of place. Literally translated from the Latin it means the “great sea.” But as a Spanish idiom, it means an abundance or an overabundance or a confusion born of excess.
Much like Barcelona itself.
If somehow you’ve seen everything you want to see in Barcelona, here are two great out-of-town trips: the Montserrat Monastery, about 30 minutes by car, bus, or train and a world away, and Girona, a mini-version of Barcelona with a river running through it.
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