Barcelona. The feeling, which I experience each time when I remember this city, is – delight! Barcelonans are sincere as children, as well as Barcelona itself. This city surprises by its magic power because having visited it once you would like to return here repeatedly, and each time it discloses utterly new unique treasures… Every person can find a cosy nook where he will fill himself very comfortable. Barcelona has much to show and is very organic everywhere, whether it is the Gothic Quarter – a real sample of the Middle Ages; buildings illustrating the Modernistic style – the glorious creations of Antonio Gaudi, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Luis Domenico i Montanero and modern art. The list of it is endless, because this city has always attracted gifted natures representing different trends.
So – Barcelona! Have you ever strolled along the sea-front Moll de la Fusta? Do you know that its opening to the public happened only in 1983? Before it, the city had not had its beaches and sea-front promenades. The whole sea-front zone all along the shore was occupied by forest deports and other port premises. Well, now it is a wonderful place to have a rest. One may infinitely watch the private yachts of both small and huge sizes, which at definite hours come into the port and leave it (for this purpose they raise the footbridge. – It is an attraction, which deserves a special attention)... While watching them you may be delighted with the courage and bravery of the sailors who subjugate vast seas... Up to now in the old port, one may see small fishing vessels and fishermen sitting in the sun and mending their nets. For long hours, you may admire both sunrises and sunsets, and the lapping of the waves…
Moreover, here is the biggest aquarium in Europe containing about 450 kinds of sea inhabitants, including the Mediterranean Sea fauna. The 80-meter underwater tunnel – is one of the most impressive adventures! Walking along a special path you may easily watch the inhabitants of the aquarium, which swim around the tunnel. You may even look straight into the eyes of one of the abundantly presented here sharks. It seems that the sharks as if suspending in one spot behind the glass wall, also watch us… What is on their minds?
Here on the sea front are rather whimsical and ambiguous items of modern art – sculptures “Barcelona Head” by Roy Lichtenstein and “Lobster Sculpture” by Javiera Mariscall. However, as they say, tastes differ…
Shopperholics and lovers of entertainments! You are not forgotten! Here is located: Maremagnum – a huge complex of shops, restaurants, discos, and the 3D-cinema IMAX with a 27-meter screen. Only they run films in Spanish, naturally.
The Monument to Christopher Columbus is not simply one of the sights of Barcelona; it is a kind of symbol of Catalonia’s significance. It was just here, as the legend tells, in 1493 Columbus landed after having completed his expedition, which resulted in the discovery of America. In the Tunel Hall of the Royal Palace, the Catholic kings: Isabela of Castilla and Ferdinand of Aragons organized a solemn reception for him and in honour of the event. The Monument was erected for the inauguration of the Universal Exhibition of 1888 after the project of Gaieta Buigas. Within the 60-meter column, there is a lift to take up the tourists onto the observation platform.
From the Columbus Monument takes its beginning the most famed Rambla Boulevard. Having set your foot on it, you find yourself in a fascinating and magic world of colours and sounds… All the way along more than a kilometer distance one may observe all the diversification of Barcelona.
Towards the end of the 20th century, three clowns Tonio, Pepe and Paco invented an attraction, which is now a business card of the city. Standing stock-still in some funny poses the figures suddenly came to life and performed some stunt against the background of the sound produced by a flung coin. Today several dozens of mimes work in this genre and each time it is an encounter with a surprising transformation!
In Rambla there is an innumerable amount of attractions. To see all of them one should walk with a guidebook and move at a speed of not more than 20 steps per minute constantly turning one’s head to the right and to the left, even – downward! It is just here on the ground, near the Boqueria Market has been laid Joan Miro’s multicoloured mosaic. By the way, on your way drop into the market. In my opinion, here you can find practically all and at acceptable prices. The most surprising thing is the abundance of strawberries in February! In addition, almost quite near is the building of the well-known Opera House Lyceu. Do you know how it was established? It began its career as an amateur opera company of the 7th battalion of the city guards, which gave performances to collect money… It is hard to believe for what purpose! To buy arms and accoutrements. The most surprising fact is – the performances were such a success that already in ten years there was enough money to construct the building of the opera house, which opened its doors in 1847. Such is the talent of the Spanish people!
A great multitude of places of interest, such as the Guell Palace (Gaudi’s creation), King’s Square, the monastery of the Jesuit Order, the boulevard of flowers, birds deserve a special story. I also would like to attract the attention of the football fans. Here, in Rambla, almost at its exit towards Catalonia Square is the Canaletas Fountain. Near it, the fans of the Football Club “Barcelona” celebrate the victories of their favourite team. Moreover, there is a belief: the one who drinks water from this fountain is sure to come again to this wonderful city.
Autor: Gulnara Khalimova
Translator: Nicholay Zapyatkin