February 25, 2013

0521-0525 SPAIN (Catalonia) - Barcelona

0521 Night view of Barcelona

Capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona was founded as a Roman city, and became later the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona became the most important city of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage, and in nowadays hosts the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean. The architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, as also the cathedral, have part of separate posts.

0522 Barcelona: 1. Agbar Tower 2. Extension 3. Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
4. Park Güell 5. The Gothic Quarter 6. Triumphal Arch

In the postcards are shown the following:

Torre Agbar (Agbar Tower) - an architectural icon of the city, located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm B720 Arquitectos and built between 1999 and 2004. The shape of this skyscraper was inspired by Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona, and by the shape of a geyser rising into the air.

0523 Barcelona: 1. Park Güell 2. Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
3. Casa Milà (La Pedrera) 4. Casa Batlló 5. Sagrada Família
6. Old Harbour 7. Camp Nou 8. Royal Plaza

Eixample (Extension) - a district between the old city (Ciutat Vella) and what were once surrounding small towns, constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by long straight streets, a strict grid pattern crossed by wide avenues, and square blocks with chamfered corners (named illes in Catalan, manzanas in Spanish). This was a visionary, pioneering design by Ildefons Cerdà.

0524 Barcelona - Street of the Bishop,
the heart of the Barri Gotic (1)

Font màgica de Montjuïc (Magic Fountain of Montjuïc) - located at the head of Avenida Maria Cristina, below the Palau Nacional. It was designed by Carles Buigas, who had designed illuminated fountains as early as 1922. The site where the fountain was constructed was the previous location of The Four Columns, representative of the Catalanism movement, demolished in 1928 and re-erected in 2010.

0525 Barcelona - Street of the Bishop,
the heart of the Barri Gotic (2)

Parc Güell (Park Güell) - I wrote about it on other post, here.

Barri Gòtic (The Gothic Quarter) - the centre of the old city, which stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere. Many of the buildings date from Medieval times, but can be seen even remains of the squared Roman Wall. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area too. The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares.

Arc de Triomf (Triumphal Arch) - located between Passeig de Lluís Companys and Passeig de Sant Joan, at the end of a wide promenade connecting with the Parc de la Ciutadella. It was built for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona (1888) by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, in the Neo-Mudéjar style.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera) - I wrote about it on other post, here.

Casa Batlló - I wrote about it on other post, here.

Sagrada Família - I wrote about it on other post, here.

Port Vell (Old Harbour) - a waterfront harbour, part of the Port of Barcelona. It was built as part of an urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It is now a focal point of the city and tourist attraction.

Camp Nou (New Field, often referred as The Nou Camp) - a football stadium which has been the home of Futbol Club Barcelona since 1957. It is he largest stadium in Europe and the 11th largest in the world in terms of capacity.

Plaça Reial (Royal Plaza) - a square in the Barri Gòtic, lies next to La Rambla. On it are a large number of restaurants and some of the city's most famous nightclubs, but it is also known for its many outdoor venues.

About the stamps
On the postcards 0521, 0522, 0523
The first stamp is one of the two issued by Correos España for the Christmas 2011: Luisa Roldán sculpture of the Holy Family with the baby Jesus beginning to walk, and a neoclassical version of the Holy Family by painter J. Carrero (the one on my postcards).

The second is one of the fifth definitive series with the portrait of the King Juan Carlos I, issued begining with 2007. The new portrait of the King was the work of Jorge Martin Burgillo. The royal crown, at the left top corner as the rate, at the bottom left corner, are printed in gold. The set which includes this one was issued on January 2, 2008, and consists of four values: gray (€0.01), pink (€0.02), azure (€0.05 - It's on the postcard) and sepia (€0.10).

On the postcards 0524, 0525
The stamp, having the Spanish tourism as a subject, was issued on January 2, 2012.

References
Barcelona - Wikipedia

Sender 0521, 0522, 0523: Dragoş Cioroboiu
Sent from Barcelona (Catalonia / Spain), on 17.02.2012
Photo 0521: Sergi Garcia
Photo 0523: Miguel Raurich
Sender 0524, 0525: Marius Vasilescu
Sent from Barcelona (Catalonia / Spain), on 27.12.2012
Photo 0524: Ricard Pla
Photo 0525: Pere Vivas

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