28 August 2013

Cavorting in Catalonia: Palau de la Música Catalana

As my last post from my Cavorting in Catalonia series, I am blogging about the venerable and wonderful Palau de la Música Catalana. In fact, this was the last thing I saw when I was in Barcelona. I had a flight leaving on a Sunday afternoon, and so while I already checked out of my hostel that morning, I left my luggage in their luggage room and still checked out a few places. This was the thing that I wanted to see the most that day, so I just slowly walked towards this direction. I bought a ticket for the guided tour, and so I was able to see the marvelous building from the inside as well as the outside.

The pictures above show you the foyer area. This was actually renovated quite a bit. It is now indoors, but this foyer area used to be outdoors, and carriages pulled by horses can actually pull up and deposit the passengers right in front of the staircase that would lead to the concert hall. It was quite a very interesting design, which is significant as it is not a Gaudi building but still is a good example of the Catalan Art-Noveau or Modernisme.

The two pictures you see above are taken from the stage. There are several muses which are depicted by these statues. According to a video that is played before the start of the tour, several musicians commented on how lifelike they are, and someone even said that she was haunted by these muses looking at her from behind, as she was performing. If you happen to be here, one cannot help but notice that the stage is rather small, and so there is a limit to the pieces that can be performed here. I personally cannot imagine Mahler's symphonies being performed here, as his works typically call for very large orchestrations.

The remaining pictures I have posted above just show snippets of the whole building. In performances, one cannot take photos, but in guided tours, it is allowed. I was especially impressed at the inverted dome composed of stained glass mosaic; it feels like a drop of glass suspended in mid-air.

You might notice that there are plenty of intricate things and designs in here. It is definitely not minimalist. I could only imagine how hard it is to dust and clean this place every now and then. The design, however, makes it worth listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which, together with the Hospital de Sant Pau (which I haven't visited), was inscribed in the list back in 1997.

So there, after spending about two hours touring this building, I was mesmerized. I took plenty of photos, and the ones you saw here are just samples. I would have loved to hear a concert here, but unfortunately, I had a plane to catch.

So this ends my Cavorting in Catalonia series. I would have loved to take the chance to cavort again, but at the same time, there are other interesting places I would also like to visit in Spain and in the rest of the world. My next travelogues would be heading to other places of Europe, so I suggest looking forward to those!


  1. Wow, the details are amazing... and so are the colours. Fits with the spirit of Catalonia!

    1. Zhu,

      You can say that again. The amount of detail in this building was just mind-blowing, it definitely was worth listing as a World Heritage Site!