This is not Potty humor! Gaudi and 4 Cats in Barcelona

Driving along the Iberian Peninsula, I had a chance to stop over for a few days in sunny Barcelona. The city traces its history back to pre-Roman times but in the modern era it is a fun filled place that boasts of many parks, beaches (including the divine Mar Bella), and a rich cultural history.
casa-mila


The Gothic quarter in the old city of Barcelona has many medieval buildings, and buildings designed by the architect Gaudi are scattered throughout the city. These range from apartment buildings (with not a corner to be seen!) to the immense La Sagrada Familia Church, which is under construction since 1882. gaudi-flat
. It is one of the more bizarre structures I have seen. An early critic described the façades of his buildings as “tortures of the imagination, fetuses in stone, bulbous obscenities.” George Orwell called the Sagrada Família “one of the most hideous buildings in the world.” Others were more complimentary – calling his work visionary, a masterpiece (the roof of La Familia)! gaudi-famiglia
Gaudi had a fondness for geckos and his highly individualistic designs extensively used mosaic tiling.
gaudi-gecko
The eating-places we wandered into included a “Mexican” establishment that had larger that life Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera staring balefully at us as we dug into out burritos! Sangria was to be had a plenty. But our tour book had talked about a particular establishment that took a while to track down. diego-frieda
The Els Quatre Gats (The 4 Cats) was a café that opened in 1897 and became a center for the gathering of the artists in the city. The clientele included among others Pablo Picasso, the sculptor Julio Gonzalez. Today the café is more modernly labeled 4 CATS and serves lunches, dinners and coffee and tea.
els-quatre-gats
gats-2
The décor is eclectic and includes original artwork and a large and interesting pendulum clock!
gats-pic
gats-clock
Not to forget the facilities – these are charmingly archaic, with an ancient faucet and lots of yellow paint and tile!gats-br
I have no idea what I ate, or how good or bad it was, but the place is worth a visit just for the slice of history and the ambience.

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6 Responses

  1. I like that mosaic Frog 🙂

    BTW that iberian peninsula contains Portugal,Spain,Gibraltar and Andorra. Courtesy Travel IQ test 😉

  2. Hahaha RKS! And that is a gecko NOT a frog.

  3. While it is true that Gaudi has been criticized by many (some even called his work LSD infused), Gaudi without doubt has defined the “outside the box thinking ” for the modern era. No artist in the post modern world has ever been able to visualize anything fantastical without borrowing from Gaudi. Disneyland (if Justice had its way), should owe a hefty royalty check to Gaudi.

    Hence, it comes as no surprise to me that even today, Barcelona, the land of Gaudi, is at the cutting edge of fashion (interiors, clothes and cuisine). As a foodie, for me Barcelona is a Mecca. US at best sees the same cutting edge creations some three to four years later.

    Needless to say one cannot talk about Barcelona and food without talking about Tapas. Further one cannot talk about Tapas in Barcelona without talking about Taller de Tapas ( http://www.tallerdetapas.com ) . While there are many Tapas restaurants in Barcelona and a lot of them far superior than Taller de Tapas, the good thing about TdT is that on any given day they have a lot of dishes ready and available. The problem with the other paces is that their menus are relatively limited, or items are available only on particular days (not good if you transit in Barcelona just for a meal). I recommend the TdT location at Rambles.

  4. Thanks! I think I had Tapas at some location in Ramblas but not that site. Tapas is not very vegetarian friendly 🙂 Barcelona is a truly happening city, humming with life.

  5. Perhaps happening is an understatement. One just has to see the light change at “Torre Agbar” to know that this is indeed a unique place.

  6. I was in Barcelona for almost a week in 2005. I absolutely loved it. In some ways (and I may be challenged for it), I actually preferred it to Paris.

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