Saturday, June 27, 2009

Ciutadella

[click to enlarge] Maddie and I took an hour to run over to the Ciutadella park and look around. I learned a lot of history. Namely, in the War of Spanish Succession, Barcelona fell to the Archduke Charles of Austria in 1705; then they supported him. Felipe V's forces were finally able to win the city back after a long siege which ended in 1714. In order to keep the Barcelonese in line, Felipe V built a large Citadel here. It was never used to keep soldiers and arms, but became a notorious prison during the Napoleonic occupation. The citadel was torn down in the 19th century and was given to the city as a park. Now it houses the parliament, the zoo, some museums, and has fountains and a boating lake. It is big and it feels like the Golden Gate Park only with palm trees and good weather. In the collage you can see the men playing boulles, the fountain which a young Gaudi helped to design, Maddie in front of the Three Dragons natural history museum, and Maddie having a granizado (a dressed up slurpee or snowcone). Finally, the Arc de Triomf is at the entrance to the park. It was built for the 1888 Universal exhibition by Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas. We make good use of an hour, that girl and I.

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