Gaudi and Barcelona : 10 masterpieces

Pavelló Güell BarcelonaOur city would have not had the success and the name as it has, if Antoni Gaudí would have never existed. He left in our city several architectural jewels, unique for the design, the meaning and the originality.

Antoni Gaudi was born in Reus in 1852. he studied archtecture in Barcelona Provincial school of Architecture. Before finishing his studies , he collaborated with Josep Fontseré, architect in the Ciudadella park project. In 1878 he won a contest to carry out a street lights project for Barcelona, at the Plaça Reial ( you still can see them nowadays ). Between 1883 and 1926 Gaudi created in Barcelona different works and pieces of art, all over the city, which we list here on the following lines:


Located in the popular district of Gràcia, Gaudí designed it as a summer house. Oriental influence, and coloured tyles in the façade.
Metro: Fontana, carrer de les Carolines 18-24

Two pavilions with big fence wich was the entrance to the old leisure time house property of Eusebio Güell family. Eusebio Güell was Gaudi’s protector. The forged iron gate is a representation of Ladon, a mythological winged dragon which was beaten by Hercules. The shape of a dragon matches the position of starts from his constellation on a specific day in the year
Metro: Palau Reial, Av de Pedralbes 7

Collserola ridge. Built of the undeveloped site of an ancient royal residence. Gaudí designed an a austere building, where the costs of the works increased considerably in order to preserve the ruins of the house of the last king of the Catalan dynasty, Martí l?Humà
FGC Av. Tibidabo, Bellesguard 16-20


Building designed to be used as an educational centre. Some of the most important works to be admired are the corridors with parabolic arches on the first floor, its practicable and two-sizeddoors which can be opened for both people and furniture, and the shield typical of the religious order forged in iron on the main door, which was said to have been done by Gaudi himself
FGC Bonanova, Ganduxer 95-105

Count Güells residence in Barcelona. The interior of the palace is remarkably by the details, both in the main hall and in the roof. The Palace lodges some subterranean stables worth visiting.
Metro: Drassanes, Nou de la Rambla 3

This is the only building from Gaudí which adopted Catalan Barroque shapes. Pay particular attention to the door knocker, which is represented by a bug – and a cross knocker. With subtleirony, Gaudí uses this symbology of the good defeating the evil . Private building. Visits are not allowed:
Metro: Urquinaona, Casp 48

This is Gaudi’s largest work in Barcelona. It is an area which main aim was to become a british style “garden-city”. Inside the park , we can find the House-Museum where Gaudí lived beforemoving to the “Sagrada Familia”. One of the major attractions is the bench of the “trencadís” ( mosaïc ) where he asked a worker to sit in order to take measures and design the project:
Metro: Lesseps or Vallcarca. Olot S/N


Casa Ballo

Casa Batlló

With a tyled roof and mosaic façade, Gaudí untertook the total remodelling of this existing building. The result was an outside façade representing a party comparable to Carnival. The house is designed with shapes inspired from natural elements
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia, Passeig de Gràcia 43

Icon of the Modernism. it has a breathaking wavy façade of stone and iron balconies. The most outstanding spaces of this building are the rooftop, the interior courtyards and the Espai Gaudí, where we will discover biographical as well as artistic and technical aspects of the architect, by means of scale models and video projections.
Metro: Diagonal, Provença 261-265


Sagrada Familia Barcelona
Gaudí accepted the asgnment to continue building this expiatory temple. The date when the construction work will be finished is still unknown , the central nave is due to be finished in 30 years. We recommend you to get the tickets in advance, since average waiting time is 1.30 h.
Metro: Sagrada Familia, Plaça Sagrada Familia

The Colònia Güell, one of the most pioneering purpose-built industrial villages of the 19th century is located in the town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, 23 km to the south -west of Barcelona. Gaudí developed the architectural innovations of his later works in the church crypt, which has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site.
Train from Pl Espanya, Colonia Güell stop.



Rent a bike Barcelona

Rent a bike in Barcelona

Rent a bike in Barcelona

Barcelona is something of a pioneer amont Spanish cities in the use of bicycles, which are generally not seen here as much as they are in other countries. In March 2007 the city inaugurated Barcelona Bicing, a practical sustainable, non-polluting and noiseless form of transport ideal for getting about the city. The system, promoted by the Barcelona city council and run by Clear Chanel, has gone from strength to strength since then and now it is estimated that its fleet of bicycles are used up to 52000 times per day by Barcelonan’s citizens.Although the service is only for the use of Barcelona’s citizens, the bike lanes, which strech to more thatn 100 km, may be used by anyone with a bike, wheather their own or a rental.

There are many places renting bikes these days in the city, but the majority are concentrated in the old quarter ( Ciutat Vella ), right where the hotel Duquesa de Cardona is located.

 Rent a bike adresses in Barcelona , Ciutat Vella quarter

Barcelonabiking , Baixada de Sant Miquel 6
Barcelona Bikes , Carrer de l’Atlàntida 49




Tapas in Barcelona: choose the right ones

Tapas, sometimes called pinchos, are small snacks that originated in Andalusia in the 19th century to accompany sherry.Stemming from a bartender’s practice of covering a glass with a saucer or tapa ( cover ) to keep out flies, the custom progressed to a chunk of cheese or bread being used, and the to a few olives being places on a platter to accompany a drink. Once free of charge, tapas are usually paid for nowadays , and a selection makes a delicious light meal. Choose from a range of appetizing varieties, from cold meats to elaborately prepared hot dishes of meat, seafood or vegetables.

Even a small village will have at least one bar where the locals go to enjoy drinks, tapas and conversation with friends. On Sundays and holidays, favourite place are packed with whole families enjoying the fare. In larger towns it is customary to move from bar to bar, sampling the specialities of each. A tapas is a single serving, where as a “ración” is similar to an entrée-sized portion. Tapas are usually eaten standing of perching on a stool at the bar rather that sitting at a table, for which a surcharge is usually made


PATATAS BRAVAS is a piquant dish of fried potatoes with a spicy red sauce

ALMENDRAS FRITAS are fried, salted almonds
CALAMARES FRTITOS are squid rings and tentacles which have been dusted with flour before being deep fried in olive oil. They are usually served garnished with a piece of lemon
BANDERILLAS  are canapes skewered on toothpicks. The entire canape should be eaten at once
JAMON SERRANO is salt-cured ham dried in mountain ( serrano ) air.
ALBONDIGAS ( meat balls ) are a hearty tapa, often served with a spicy tomato sauce
SALPICÓN DE MARISCOS  is a luxurious cold salad of assorted fresh seafood in a zesty vinaigrette.
GAMBAS A LA PLANCHA is a simple but flavourful dish of grilled prawns
TORTILLA ESPAÑOLA is the ubiquitous Spanish omelette of onion and potato bound with egg
POLLO AL AJILLO consists of small pieces of chicken ( often wings ) sautéd and then simmered with a garlic sauce
QUESO MANCHEGO  is a sheep’s-milk cheese from La Mancha
PIMIENTOS DE PADRÓN Small green peppers which are occasionally hot
CHISTORRA is a spicy sausage
CHOPITOS are cuttlefish fried in batter
CALAMARES A LA ROMANA are fried swuid rings
BOQUERONES are anchovies
PINCHOS MORUNOS are pork skewers, usually with a curry taste
CROQUETAS are croquettes of ham, cod or chicken, with a bechamel sauce and fried with breadcrumbs

croquetas de jamon tap


Our favourites: Cal Pep, El Vaso de Oro, Cervercería Catalana, Quimet i Quimet, La Esquinica, El Xampanyet

Locals in Barcelona: 10 things you should know before coming to our city

People are people everywhere all over the world, and we are all “same same, but different”. In here , the hotel Duquesa de Cardona “locals” want to advice you how we are, what we do different, and how proud of our culture we can be…

These are our “top 10 Barcelona locals do”

1. “VERMUT” We do it every saturday and every sunday about 12.30 to 14.00 h. Basically, if the sun is shinning, is also an obligation . Just pick a drink , if possible a vermut ( an original local vermouth from the Penedès area is better than Martini, we all know that ) , some olives, and some local “crisps” ( made with olive oil, of course ) with some Espinaler sauce. Easy and simple


2.  COFFEE We all love coffee, but is it : coffee with skimmed milked and sweetener ? Or is it a cortado ( expresso with a shot of milk ) long, or short ? Or is it a long coffee ( no, not an american, that means a long expresso ) ? Anyone of us, can describe the right proportion of coffee, milk and sugar without missing a single milligram. Yes, we are a kind of difficult and picky

3. CASTELLERS AND CORREFOCS . We are so proud about these traditions. Do not even mention to a local, that you do not think they are so special

4. SUNDAY MEANS PAELLA, EITHER IN A RESTAURANT OR AT YOUR MUMS . That’s your choice. As a tourist, your only choice is a restaurant, we are sorry, Make sure you know somebody  before coming, and maybe you get lucky

5. RAMBLES . Locals avoid Rambles ( yes, Rambles and not Ramblas ) . Locals in Barcelona, we are professionals on complaining about this avenue: ” there are so many people” , “it is so difficult to have a nice walk”, bla,bla,bla.

6. “ADEU” AND NOT “ADIOS”. Whether  you are original from Catalonia or not, we all say “Adeu”or “Deu”. That’s the word in Catalan to say goodbye. The worst part comes when we go to a bar in Madrid, and still we say “Adéu”…

7. “BOIG PER TU” . Our favourite song ever

8. “CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE”  are a must to be eaten a Petrítxol Street on a dark cold afternoon-evening time in winter. And we are able to make a queu for 30-40 minuts for it


9 FC BARCELONA MATCH It is mean to be seen in a bar, with your friends. But attention: it does not have to be a fancy bar at all, but just one that offers good “tapas”. These kind of bars they all look the same, and you would never bring your date there but any circumstances

10 FESTES DE GRACIA If you are in Barcelona and the end of August, the quarter of Gracia organizes our most beloved street parties to say goodbye to summer. We recommend you to be there also and have fun