Memorable quotes about Barcelona

Hans Christian Andersen and Barcelona



Visits Barcelona on 1862, and says :
” We crossed spacious streets, with building resembling   palaces, in La Rambla promenade ; the shops were well illuminated and there was movement and life… I did not decide to go to sleep, even though I wished to, so I could rise early and contemplate, in daylight, this city, unknown to me: Barcelona, capital of Catalonia ”


      DON MIGUEL DE CERVANTES SAAVEDRAMiguel de Cervantes and Barcelona

The most famous writer on the spanish literature, and his worlwide read book ” Don Quijote de     la Mancha”, dedicates some words to the city of Barcelona as follows.

“Barcelona, archives of courtesy, shelter of the foreigners, hospital of the poor, father-land of  the brave , vengeance of the offended and pleasant correspondence of firm friendship, and in site, and in beauty, unique”
Don Miguel de Cervantes lived on Passeig Colom 2, in front of the port, and just few block from our hotel Duquesa de Cardona. Our hotel was one of the palaces where the nobles and royal families lived on the XVI century .

Le Corbusier and Barcelona


Letter to the members of the GATCPAC on 1928, talking about Barcelona:

” Allow me to state here how much I love Barcelona , an admirable city, a city full of life, intense, a port open to the past and future ”


Freddie Mercury and Barcelona


Barcelona ” Olympic Hymn song of Barcelona 1992, Freddie Mercury sings together with the famous catalan soprano Montserrat Caballé.

” Such a beautiful horizon, like a jewel in the sun , for you a will be a seagle of your beautiful ocean . The bells are ringing, open up your doors to the world


XVII Century, ” El Criticón”

” Barcelona , centre of the wise, model of purity, quarry of Kings ”

XV-XVI Centuries. De rebus Hispaniae memorabilibus

” Barcelona was a most illustrious city for its princes and most noble , its knights ; its richness and great prosperities where known all over the world for being marvelous and vigorous , and therefore, exposed to envy… ”

XII Century

” It is a little and beautiful city, situated near the seashore… Traders with merchandises come to it from all over: from Greece, Pisa, Alexandria , Holy Land, Africa and all its surroundings ”


The famous north american director made a romantic – comedy film called Vicky Cristina Barcelona, starring Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz , Rebecca Hall and Javier Bardem.




Codorniu Cava

Vineyard at Sant Sadurni d’Anoia

Apart from learning how the Codorniu wine label originated in 1551  – some of the documents from that era have been preserved – a tour around the estate will take you through the whole process of transforming ripened grapes into bottles of bubbly. The building are of modernistic design, set in lush gardens. The tours are free. Although they tend to get booked up. you will be fitted in if you turn up unannounced most of the times. You also get to taste the end results. The one to ask for, and buy, is the Anna de Codorniu cava which is made from the chardonnay grape and is delicious, and only 6.5 €. The label is named after an heiress to the Codorniu heritage who in 1659 at the age of 14 married a neighbouring wine-grower called Miquel Raventós, thus switching ownership of the vineyard.

It was a subsequent generation of the Raventós family who two centuries later started prodcing cava and when Manuel Raventós took over the business in 1885 he decided to focus exclusively on producing the sparkling wine, travelling to France to learn the French art of champagne-making.

How to get by car from Hotel Duquesa de Cardona Barcelona: take the A7 towards Tarragona and Lleida, exit 27 to Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. Journey time, 30-40 minutes.Cava Codorniu Sant Sadurni d'Anoia


The Jewish Quarter Barcelona

Jewish quarter synagogue Barcelona El CallThe current lack of Jewish presence on the streets makes it hard to believe that Jews thrived here for over a thousand years and, before the 14th century pogroms, made up over 15% of Barcelona’s population. The city is now wnjoying some of the first signs of Hebraic regeneration in over 500 years, with a recent influx of Ashkenazi Jews from Argentina, newly established synagogues , study centres such as the Chabad Lubavitch and even the Jewish Film Festival .

The best place to start a half-day tour of Jewish Barcelona is the Call ( from the Hebrew work kahal, which means communitiy of congregation), a tiny patch of narrow medieval streets to the west of the cathedral. Despite heavy taxes and few civil rights, the Jews prospered here; by the 13th century, the Call hels over 4000 inhabitants and was regarded as one of the most religious and learned Sephardic Jewish communities. Beginning at Plaça Sant Jaume, head west down C/Call, once the Call’s main street and where the ghetto gates at either end were locked at night. The first street to your righ is C/Sant Honorat, where the water fountains were located; the second is C/Sant Domènec del Call, once the religious heart of the Call, and home to the main synagogue, kosher slaughter-houses and schools; the third street is the Call’s western boundary of C(Arc de Sant Ramon, where there was once a Jewish women’s school.
The Christianised street names are the result of the vicious pogrom of 1391, when the Call passed into the hands of the king, inhabitants were murdered of forced to convert to Catholicism and emblematic buildings were decorated with Catholic effigies.

Casa Amatller Barcelona and a story about chocolate

Passeig de Gracia 41 casa amatller barcelona

The Belgians and the Swiss may get all the kudos, but Europe has Spain to thanks for chocolate.
Cocoa made its way from south America via the conquistadores, and it was the Spanish court that first popularised the Aztec drink. Barcelona, which has important trade links with the Americas, became the centre of a burgeoning chocolate industry. The Casa Amatller on Passeig de Gràcia was one of many mansions paid for by chocolate, thanks to the Amatller family business, established in 1797.
Guided tours of the mansion offer a fascinating glimpse into the Modernista movement, the Amatller family, and the world of Catalan bourgeoisie at the end of the 19th century. Wealthi industrialist Antoni Amatller, grandson of the chocolate-making firm’s founders, bought a mansion on newly fasionable Passeig de Gracia and commissioned hot young architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch to remodel it into a showpiece home. The result is a heady fusion of neo-medieval styles and popular techniques such as tiling, ironwork and woodwork celebrated by the Modernista movement.

Tour begin in the opulent, neoGothic vestibule of the ground floor, and pick out delightful details and provide amusing anecdotes, including the story of Amatller’s motor car: early motor cars did not have a reverse gear and so a special turntable was built inside the hall to turn the car around. The visit continues in Amatller’s top floor photography studio with a 30-minutes slide show, fleshing out the family history and its local context, and includes a selection of beautiful photographs depicting the mansion just after its completion in 1900.

A cup of thich hot chocolate awaits at the end of the tour, served in the former kitchen.