Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Continuing our walk around Barcelona, we came across this wonderfully decorated building, quite by accident. What an fortunate accident it turned out to be. The external decoration was wonderful. The Palau de la Musica.Built between 1905 and 1908 by the architect, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, as a headquarters for the Orfeó Català and funded by popular donations. The Concert Hall has been the stage for the national and international concert life of the city of Barcelona for one hundred years.Another building, close by (I have not yet been able to positively identify it, but I think it has something to do with the Palau de la Musica), was covered in cameo-style reliefs.Turning back to Las Ramblas before heading off to the station, we came across another church, this time the Iglesia de Nostra Senyora de Betlem. The church was finished in 1553 in the late-Gothic architectural period. However, after it was damaged by fire in 1671, Josep Luli restored the building using the Roman Gesú (the first Jesuit church in Barcelona) as a model. The main portal includes two sculptures of the founders of the Jesuit movement, San Ignacio de Loyola and San Francisco Javier, alongside Solomonic columns, moldings and baroque ornamentation. The splendid baroque interior was destroyed by fire and vandalism during the civil war in 1936.