Barcelona that you will never find in the city guide

Hi dear friends and guests of our hotel! Today we would like to offer you to go for a walk by Barcelona and discover some corners you’ll never find on the pages of city guides. Following these routes you’ll find a lot of interesting places with marvelous landscapes.

Passing by Sants

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When it was still an independent agricultural village of Barcelona, there were settled in Santa Maria de Sants the first major textile industries in the area, which determine the structure and appearance of the neighborhood. The working tradition of Sants you could see in the names of streets (Farga Square, de la Vidriera …), the old factories recovered for other uses and even for housing, or in a community life that is one of the most active in Barcelona. Start you walk in the street of Gran Vía de Les Corts Catalanes (close you have a Magòria station), then go up to the plaza de Sants, passing by Parc de l’Espanya Industrial going straight to the Carrer del Joan Güel finishing in the Rambla del Brasil.

Discovering Sant Antoni

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The market Sant Antoni is the oldest one you could meet in Barcelona. You can find on its façade the date 1882 the year of its inauguration together with a new Barcelona that had just overthrown its ramparts. Antoni Rovira y Trias designed it as a large iron structure with “four arms”, which in recent years was run down and hidden behind a wall. Now days  undergoes a major refurbishment while the neighborhood that has its name is becoming an area where they’re recovering wineries and places where you could eat a traditional food at the same time inspire new culinary experiences with places as fashionable as the Calders bar or famous Tickets restaurant. What about a gastronomic tour by Sant Antoni along the whole day?

Three kings and King’s Cake

The tradition of the Three Kings is one of the most beautiful during the holidays, loved by everyone, especially by children, who spent months waiting for the morning of the January, 6 the only day when they get up early.

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The Magi, or Wise Men or just Kings are, according to the New Testament, some magicians guided by a star, and who brought gifts to Jesus. These gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh. This celebration is very famous in Catalonia and in Spain generally. As well you can hear about it in some countries like Germany or Switzerland in Europe and in all the Latin America.

According to tradition, the Three Kings are:

Melchior, the white king has hair and beard long and completely white, was wearing a robe colored hyacinth and orange cape. Despite being the youngest of the three kings he looks older, because according to the legend the child Jesus punished him for unnecessary displays of strength and youth.

Gaspar is a blond King beautiful and young, his skin is white and pink, and his hair is brown. He dressed as Melchior the Gothic style, wearing an orange tunic and red cape. Gaspar is of Asian origin, and makes offerings of incense to Jesus.

Balthasar the black King, dressed in the style of the Arabs, wearing a red robe and white marbled coat he has African origin, and his offering to Jesus was myrrh. In ancient icons does not appear as black because it wasn’t synonymous with Christian and a magician could be conceived unfaithful.

In addition to all the gifts people, especially children receive this day they eat a King’s cake known here as a “rascón de los Reyes”. The Kings’ cake is a typical ring made ​​of puff pastry or some other kind, and filled with marzipan, candied fruit, nuts and powdered sugar on top and decorated with a golden crown in the center of the pie. The standard size is 50 inches in diameter and always has a surprise inside, exactly a figure of King. Who find it first will have a happy year.

History of the “Fira de Santa Llucia” in Barcelona city

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Photo: Lena Karelova

According to some reliable sources the earliest date the “Fira” was mentioned is 1786 without any doubts. The first who mentioned it was a Catalan writer Rafael Amat, saying in one of his diaries: “”13 December, Saint Lucy virgin and martyr. There were festivities in the Cathedral, in the chapel and the altar where the image of the Virgin was venerated; and outside, with the fair opposite, many stands with Nativity scenes, clay and cardboard figurines, images of saints, shepherds, animals… so there were a great many people (…) and in the Cathedral, people were attending mass and praying to the Virgin to preserve their eyesight and clarity.”

Nowadays everything is almost as 227 years ago, starting on 13 of December Plaça Nova (Avenida de Catedral) fills up with messy atmosphere and artisans selling the pesebre (known as well as chrèche ) and Nativity scenes, and like in those days children strolling around the fair with their parents.

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Photo: Lena Karelova

On the well-equipped wooden stands you can find everything or almost everything for you home decoration. Starting with different figures cork objects pine branches and more. The Fira of Santa Lucia is the oldest one tradition of Barcelona city.

Usually The Fira of St.Lucia begins in late November or early December, as this year on 13 od December. More than 280 stands selling Nativities and figures, greenery and crafts, in other words all the beauties to decorate your sweet home for Christmas Eve.

One month left, so be sure you already have a ticket and a cozy room in our hotel booked. You’re more than welcome! We wish you to have a nice Christmas staying with us.

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Photo: Lena Karelova

“La Castanyada”: a catalan tradition

Have you ever heard about Catalan tradition which consists in eating chestnuts? This tradition is celebrated in Galicia. As well you could find a similar celebrating in Asturias and Portugal, but it’s known as Magüestu.

 

Here in Catalonia it is a typical meal commonly with panellets and sweet potato on All Saint’s Day. Nowadays walking around the city you’ll see people selling roasted chestnuts wrapped in newspaper. Surely you couldn’t pass by because the smell of chestnats and sweet potato is soo good that no way to resist.

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People and some legends say that this taste tradition came from the All Saint’s night. To be exactly a night earlier there were a tradition when bell ringers should ring bells in commemoration of the dead and their friends and family should help them. After the ritual all the people were eating a special food for sustenance. And yes, you’re right, the food were chestnut, sweet potatoes and sometimes preserved fruit.

Our Hotel is welcoming you to celebrate La Castanyada with us from 19/10 up to 10/11.