Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009 – Barcelona, Spain – Cloudy – Drizzly - 50s

Slept until 10:00 AM (the last time I slept this late was in High School) – since no one slipped us any drugs, I can only attribute this to the lack of any light in our room.  So now, we are more “jet lagged” than yesterday.

Today’s plan is to do the walking tour of the “Gothic Quarter”, a multi-square block area of medieval buildings and narrow streets reachable from Las Ramblas.  We passed by the Placa de Catalunya to check out another of the fantastic fountains.

HMT Plaza Catalunya

This was a peaceful fountain, where water gently flowed over the edge of what resembled a large pool.

A left turn off Las Ramblas takes you from the bustling wide pedestrian showplace to the narrow streets (still full of people) of the Gothic Quarter.  Our first stop is Santa Maria Del Pi, a church built over a period of 100 years (starting in the early 1300s).

Esglesia De Santa Maria Del Pi Santa Maria De Pi

Esglesia De Santa Maria Del Pi

The church is an example of Catalan Gothic.  Surrounding the church are narrow streets with upscale shops and small cafes.

Not far from the Placa Pi is the Roman Wall and Barcelona Cathedral complex.  The Roman Walls are the remains of the Roman City of Barcino.  The Cathedral complex is entered through one of the ancient gates

Roman Wall - Gothic Quarter

Ellen at the Gothic Gate (the Roman Wall is on the left)

The cathedral is visible down the long, narrow street.

 Roman Wall and Cathedral

We decided not to take the tour of the Cathedral but I did manage to snap a picture of the courtyard

Cathedral Courtyard

The next destination was the Call – the old Jewish Quarter – home to Jews from the 11th century until last 1391, when the area was attacked and destroyed.  The streets and architecture are essentially the same as the rest of Gothic Barcelona

Jewish Quarter

Ellen standing in the streets of the Call 

until you come across this plaque on one of the street corners

Entrance to the Call

The Synagogue was discovered accidently when reviewing old tax records (according to the guide) – this building paid no taxes (just like today) and was not a church.  The entrance to the Synagogue is very small (about Ellen Size - 5 ft tall)

Synagogue Entrance 

Inside the structure is an archeological dig representing the four layers of walls

various walls

The boulders are from the 3rd and 4th centuries (basically Roman); the middle stones are from the 13th to 15th centuries and the upper bricks from the 17th and 18th centuries.

There were several other artifacts in the Synagogue including a menorah

artifacts in shul

and some Torahs

Torahs from Morocco

These items are not from the original Synagogue (they are clearly too recent) – the Torahs are actually from the 18th century from Morocco (they were donated to the Synagogue).

The next stop was the Barcelona Cathedral (under repair like most sacred places seem to be)

Barcelona Cathredal

This iteration is from the 13th century, with the facade (under restoration) added in the 19th century.

We caught another view of this magnificent building as we departed the Gothic Quarter


Barcelona Cathedral

Due to the late start on this day, our walking tour is just about over as we head back up Las Ramblas.

1 comment:

  1. the 5ft entrance guarantees that you'll bow when entering!