Back to Spain!! I still have a few more tales to tell from our trip in March. This week is all about the wonderful Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona. I learned of the famous and gorgeous stained glass skylight prior to our first trip to Barcelona six years ago, alas, I did not know that you could not view it on your own. The skylight is the ceiling of the main concert hall and I wanted to be sure to see it this time. Our choices were to get tickets to see a performance or to take the guided tour. We were in Barcelona four nights but there wasn’t anything intriguing in the line-up on those days so we opted for the tour. I’m so glad that we did as it was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Barcelona is full of architectural wonders and this one is not to be missed. One thing I learned since our last trip to Spain is to get tickets in advance. There are many sites with tours that sell out days ahead of time and the Palau is one of them. I heard an unfortunate exchange between a Palau employee and tourists inquiring about tours that afternoon, unfortunate because all the tours were booked.
From the moment we arrived at the Palau I was struck yet again by the beauty of the structure. The building is covered in ornate tile-work and sculptures and is a sight to behold. It’s truly one of a kind on that block.
The tour starts underneath the concert hall’s stage where the choir rehearses and a short video is shown. I don’t remember too much about it but it included several artists who talked about performing there. I was also a little distracted by a mother and son we met in line before starting our tour. They were from Boston and were going to Madrid the next day. We got to chatting and the mother was asking our opinion about which art museum they should visit as they had limited time in Madrid. Another question was whether to go to Toledo or Córdoba as a day trip from Madrid. A tough choice to be sure! But, I suggested Toledo as it’s much closer to Madrid and they would have more time to view the sites. I wonder if they took my advice.
After the video we climbed the stairs up to the main concert hall. WOW!! It was so much better than I expected it to be! Beauty surrounds you and seeing the stained glass skylight in person was well worth the price of the tour. I took many photos of it to ensure I’d get at least one good one.
The Palau was built between 1905 and 1908 by the architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner for the Orfeó Català, the Catalan choral group. There are many musical themes throughout the hall. A choir of 40 women surrounds the sun in the stained glass skylight. There are also 18 muses on the stage and each are carrying a different musical instrument. Miss M noticed something unusual about the violinist and I noticed that the flute player was holding the instrument backwards. Or at least according to how flutes are played now. They are stunning nonetheless. There are many flower motifs throughout, especially roses. Everywhere you look there is beauty. Well, see for yourself in the gallery below.
Now that you’ve seen photos of the Palau you can probably see why it was one of my favorite sites on this trip. When you’re next in Barcelona, do make a point to see the concert hall. I can just about guarantee that you’ll be dazzled! Just like I was. I’ll finish with one of my favorites of the skylight. Enjoy!!