One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious sculptures in unexpected places.
Here’s a sculpture of a submarine by Josep Maria Subirachs in Dreta de l’Eixample at the junction of Avinguda Diagonal/Carrer Provença and Carrer de Girona.
The sculpture commemorates Narcís Monturiol’s invention of the first submarine, Ictineo II, powered by an engine.
Here’s a detail of the underside:
Narcís Monturiol i Estarriol (b. 1819 — d. 1895) was a curious character, in all senses of the term. He was a Utopian communist and a friend of Ildefons Cerdà, the engineer who designed the Eixample.
Josep Subirachs, who died last year, is the same artist responsible for the Passion Facade on the Sagrada Familia, and the large sculpture of inverted steps (Monument to President Macià) installed in Plaça Catalunya.
The nearby bar-restaurant, Morryssom, has a few prints by Subirachs in the downstairs bar.
Here’s a detail from the base of the sculpture:
Here’s a Wikipedia page in English about Ictineo II, the submarine featured above: HERE.
Here’s a Wikipedia page in English about Narcís Monturiol: HERE.
Here’s a Wikipedia page in English about Josep Maria Subirachs: HERE.
Here’s my Spotted by Locals write-up about Morryssom: HERE.
And, here’s a link to an interesting feature about submarines in Barcelona: HERE.
Enjoy discovering sculpture in Barcelona.
Zarajos as served at Morryssom
One of my favourite tapas dishes is Zarajo, braided sheep’s intestines wrapped around a vine branch and usually broiled, though often grilled, sometimes smoked, served hot with a wedge of lemon.
Zarajo is not common in Barcelona — the dish originated in Cuenca, the city in Castilla–La Mancha.
Zarajo go well with a beer, though I recommend you try them with a glass of rough, strong red wine.
Two places which I know serve zarajo are:
- Morryssom’s — one of my favourite lunch restaurants and tapas places — 3,40€.
- Bar L’Amistat, Carrer de Torrijos, 13, in Gràcia — 3,90€. IMPORTANT: L’Amistat is now CLOSED. It’s now another would-be trendy bar — and they do not now serve zarajo.
Zarajo as served at Bar l’Amistat, Gràcia.
Zarajo as served at Bar L’Amistat
The streets of Barcelona comprise a battlefield which has hosted, and continues to host, skirmishes and more enduring clashes between armed police and local people.
The streets of Barcelona have seen fierce battles over issues such as workers’ rights, the all-pervasive influence of the Church, education, Republicanism, a Stalinist coup, representative democracy, national independence, workers’ self-management, property speculation, squatters’ rights, forced evictions and revolution.
The city’s layout has been largely informed by the needs of the army.
- Via Laietana, was deliberately created to allow cavalry units to disperse hostile crowds forming outside the inner city walls.
- Avinguda Diagonal was created to enable rapid access to the heart of the city by troops based in barracks in Gràcia and Pedralbes.
- Parc Ciutadella was once the site of an enormous miltary citadel.
- The castle on Montjuïc, was only handed to the city in 2008; until 1963 it was a prison run by the military to incarcerate and sometimes execute, dissidents.
1976: Los Grises on Passeig de Sant Joan
One of the many wonderful things about exploring Barcelona is happening across curious and ornate public utilities in unexpected places.
Drinking water fountain at the junction of Avinguda Diagonal with Carrer Còrsega
February 3rd, 2015 —
Off to an art exhibition opening at Vinçon for 8pm and to meet with two visitors from Montreal — Binky and Jennifer.
Very interesting evening.
The opening seemed much more busy than is usual. And, the age profile of those attending seemed much older than usual. The older demographic is in part explained by the fact that the artist, Francesc Artigau, first exhibited at Vinçon in 1975 — two years after the gallery opened. The exhibit consists of just one large painting split over three canvasses.
- Here’s a LINK to background about the exhibit.
- And, here’s a LINK to the artist’s website.
We met Binky and Jennifer, and, from the off we hit it off. We had a Moritz beer and a few bites of cheese, crackers, olives and llonganisa then took a tour of the store.
Bar Bodega Quimet
Then we all headed up to Gràcia and Bar Bodega Quimet — one of my favourite haunts for a bite and a drink. At around 9pm it’s a comfortable 15 minute stroll — during the day it can be a frenetic hike. During the day you spend as much energy, if not more, sidestepping the shoppers, gawkers and strollers, as you wend a way up Passeig de Gràcia.
Bodega Quimet was packed. Tuesday night on a cold, damp February evening — packed. Must tell you something.
We perched ourselves at the bar and ordered a bottle of Montsant and a few delicious bites. Then got ourselves seated at a table and ordered more bites and more wine. The chat flowed readily. Laughs came easily — in part prompted by my being locked in the toilets.
Good food, good drink — great company.
We met having exchanged a few emails — we parted as friends.
The Barcelona effect — again.