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A Day in Barcelona

By: Cityseeker
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Palau de la Música Catalana

The modernist design of the Palau de la Música Catalana is truly stunning. From the elegantly decorated interior, focusing on curved rather than straight lines, to the exterior that's recognized far and wide with its statues and red brick arches. Gold accents and floral patterns wow visitors who enter the hall. Even more impressive are the concerts held here, which feature amazing performers from around the world.

Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, or the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), is a huge white mass of a building designed by Richard Meier. It combines elements of contemporary American architecture with the Mediterranean rationalist tradition. It opened to the public in 1995, showing a permanent collection donated by Catalonia's other great artistic institutions, of work produced over the last 50 years. The museum organizes regular temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary Spanish and foreign artists as well as lectures, seminars and audiovisual competitions.

Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona Cathedral

The Barcelona Cathedral is dedicated to Eulalia, Barcelona's co-patron saint who refused to renounce her faith during the Christian persecution of Emperor Diocletian's rule, leading to her torture and execution at the age of just 13. Most of the work on this Gothic cathedral was done in the 14th Century, and it was finally completed around 1450. The roof, adorned with gargoyles, is one of the highlights of this architectural marvel. The Catalonian tradition of the 'dancing egg' is thought to have originated here.

Barcelona, Spain
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Rambla Catalunya

One of the most popular roads of the city, the Rambla Catalunya has many international fashion brands and shops located on either side. It is a frequent destination of the glamorous and offers something for everyone. The green trees shade the passers-by who go their way shopping at the various stores here. It is calm and quiet, ideal for a walk. Check out the various outlets on this street and grab some fashionable materials to take back home.

Barcelona, Spain
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Gran Teatre del Liceu

The Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona's most important theater was built in a modern style by J.O. Mestres and M. Garriga i Roca to house the city's Operatic Society. Regular opera seasons began here in 1847 and the venue soon overshadowed its main rival, the Teatro Principal. It became a potent symbol of the power and wealth of Catalonia's 19th-century middle-classes, the same people who commissioned all the city's impressive modernist buildings towards the end of that century. There was a devastating fire in the theater during 1861, an anarchist bomb-attack in 1893, and then it was completely burned down in 1994. The new building stages an exciting program of operas, concerts and ballets by the world's best performing companies and houses its own symphony orchestra and choir that perform all year round.

Barcelona, Spain
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Picasso Museum

Barcelona's tribute to one of its adopted sons, this fabulous collection is displayed in three adjoining medieval palaces. Picasso was born in Málaga but really started his long artistic career here. At Museu Picasso, you can see all of his most important early works, including engravings, lithographs and pottery. The most famous pieces on display include his Harlequin, a portrait of one of his wives, Jacqueline, and the Las Meninas series. Regular temporary exhibitions focus on different aspects of the artist's activities, for example, his research on landscapes or his foray into theater design. In addition, there are some examples of work by artists from the avant-garde movement.

Barcelona, Spain
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Parc de la Ciutadella

A great place for a stroll away from all the traffic, this is one of the city's most popular parks, located where Felipe V's ciutadella (military citadel) was; a place used to repress Catalan nationalism during his reign. In 1870 the citadel was made into a park to house the 1888 World Fair. You will find a small lake in the center and beside it, the Cascada, a lovely fountain built by Josep Fontserè and his assistant, Antoni Gaudí. You can visit the city zoo and the Catalan parliament building in here as well.

Barcelona, Spain
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Catalonia History Museum

Created in order to preserve, exhibit and disseminate the history of Catalonia, it's located in an old warehouse in the port, dating from 1900 and renovated in 1996 to house this museum. The Catalonia History Museum is a dynamic, interactive and contemporary cultural center where history is brought to life through artifacts, documents, historical re-creations, film, video, sound and computer programs. Children will love the room with a topographic model of Catalonia under their feet. There are regular temporary exhibitions, an historical archive, an audiovisual library, a conventional library and an educational department. The cafe offers wonderful views over the port and the shop sells books and souvenirs.

Barcelona, Spain
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Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

Gaudí began this utterly surreal temple in 1882, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally intended to be a modest, neo-Gothic church, but it has become the most famous building in Barcelona. Gaudí broke away from the reigning neo-Gothic style of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and imbued every element of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia with symbolic meaning. Turtles form the base of columns (the Chinese symbol of order within chaos) and the pillars are palm trees. The most outstanding feature of this building is its Baroque style, plus the mixture of colors and the diversity of materials used (plaster, ceramics, mosaic, iron and many types of stone).

Barcelona, Spain
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Joan Miró Foundation

Created by Joan Miró as an institute for the study of contemporary art, Fundación Joan Miró was built by his close friend and architect Josep Lluís Sert. Its outstanding octagonal tower houses a concert hall that is used as an auditorium for classical music performances. The permanent collection includes Miró's art in all formats: large canvases, tapestries, everyday objects, engravings, photographs and more. Fundació Joan Miró also organizes temporary exhibitions and has a café-restaurant and souvenir shop.

Barcelona, Spain
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National Art Museum of Catalunya

The National Art Museum of Catalonia (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya), built in 1990, houses the best collection of Romanesque murals in the world, including some real gems from the Pyrenean region. The museum's collection includes other works of art as well, such as altarpieces, carvings, sculpture, gold and silver ornaments, and paintings on wood and glazed objects. You can see a selection of Gothic period paintings by 14th and 15th-century Catalan School artists along with those of their counterparts from the rest of Spain and Europe.

Barcelona, Spain
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Montjuïc

Standing 173 meters (570 feet) high, this hill by the sea was not inhabited until after the Middle Ages, despite the fact that the Jewish quarter had extended to the nearby Miramar area. In 1607, the first path to the summit was opened and, in 1640, during the war of the Segadors, a fortress was built to resist Philip IV's incursions. For centuries now it has been a popular park for locals looking to pick wild herbs or to spend a little leisure time.

Barcelona, Spain
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