Fountains and Angels

bicyclesHaving absorbed as much as we could for the time being, we wandered back over to Las Ramblas to finish up our walking tour so we could begin exploring the Barri Gòtic area (because of the location of our apartment, we were doing the guidebook’s tour in reverse). The sun was lower in the sky at this point and was casting beautiful strebacklightams and colors of light in the alleys. It was so playful and beautiful. The narrow, winding streets make the city so much fun to explore and the sunlight do such interesting things. It also keeps the streets much cooler throughout the day, as the buildings are made of stone and are very tall and close together; all these things work together to keep the sun and heat in check. Certain streets may be hot for an hour or two, but once the sun moves it quickly cools off again. I felt like I was in heaven. fountain2We stopped by the the Font de Canaletes (Fountain of Troughs/Gutters) to get a drink and fill up our water bottles. Legend says that if you drink from the fountain, you will one day return to Barcelona. Jesse and I thought it was worth a shot. This particular fountain (there were several predecessors) was installed in 1888 after the city tore down its old Medieval wall and transformed its old drainage ditch into Las Ramblas (Rfountainambla means “stream” in Arabic), the beautiful promenade. This particular area has been historically important (so important that this section of Las Ramblas is called La Rambla de Canaletes), as during Medieval times (~16th century) the water for the city was channeled through this area. It become a popular meeting place as the water here was known for being the best in the city. The original fountain also drew extra crowds due to its proximity to one of the old city gates, La Porta de Santa Anna, as many temporary laborers would gather there in hopes of finding employment. plazaWe meandered across La Plaça de Catalunya, a 12-acre square that links old Barcelona (south of the square) to new Barcelona, the renowned modernista district to the plaza2north. After the medieval walls were torn down in the 1850s, this is one of the first areas to be developed. The stone monument was built in honor of President Francesc Macià i Lussà, who declared Catalunya an independent region in 1931. The inverted-staircase shape represents the approximate shape of Catalunya. portangelWe crossed the street headed towards Barri Gòtic via Avinguda del Portal de l’Angel, one of the main streets that led into ancient Barcelona through the old city’s “Gate of the Angel.” An angel statue once stood over the gate, guarding the city from plagues and blessing travelers safe journeys as they left the safety of the city walls. Barri Gòtic is the bankbirthplace of Barcelona, where the Romans built the original city. The confusing web of medieval streets are packed with so many beautiful historical sites (I was still in awe over the richness of the city). Jesse and I quickly fell in love with it, once we got past the bustling high-end shopping area of Avinguda del Portal de l’Angel. It was full of surprises and many precious gems buried amongst all the modern buildings, but you’ll have to wait until next time to read more about it.


3 thoughts on “Fountains and Angels

  1. Girl Gone Expat February 17, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    Barcelona is my absolute favourite city in Europe! There is just so much to see and the atmosphere is great! Love wandering around in Barri Gòtic and love all the art by Gaudi around the city! 🙂

    • Janna D February 17, 2015 / 7:46 pm

      It was a beautiful city! I really enjoyed it, though I think I should’ve ventured off into a less touristy area. All the crowds made it hard to enjoy the city, but I really loved what I saw! So much depth, history, richness, art, beauty, etc. So amazing to have so much compacted into one place. 🙂 How long ago were you there?

      What are some of your other favorite cities/locations in Europe?

      • Girl Gone Expat February 17, 2015 / 8:26 pm

        I’ve been there twice, can’t remember how long we stayed but probably about 3 days each time or so. The last time we went on a bus tour to some of the wineries around Barcelona as well. Was really nice to see some of the surrounding areas as well. Wonder if the Sagrada Familia is getting any closer to completion? 🙂

        Other cities in Europe I think is well worth a visit is Sevilla, Granada and Florence. To be honest I do also really enjoy the small french ‘villages’, they have so much charm!


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