Posts Tagged ‘Apartments’

The must-see parks of Barcelona

August 23, 2010

Barcelona is extremely well-known for its incredible parks. Montjuic, Ciutadella and who can forget about one of Gaudí’s greatest designs, Park Güell. Each of these parks are universally recognized as a great place to relax and take in the sun. They all have very special and unique characteristics that are essential in order to experience a full-on Barcelona experience.

Montjuic is the name of a famous mountain in the city of Barcelona. Due to its very vivid greenery and outstanding views of the city and of the Plaza España, this mountain is one of the most visited sites in this city. This mountain provides you with a full view of the entire scenery of Barcelona and is full of amazing resting spots. While checking out this place you’ll definitely run into one of the numerous symbols of the 1992 Olympic Games held in Barcelona, it really is a must-see.

El parque de la Ciutadela is surely another crucial tourist attraction in Barcelona. It draws in its visitors with its majestic waterfall monument, located directly in the center the park. Due to the World’s fair of 1888 held in Barcelona Antoni Gaudí also had his hand in the creation of this piece. If you enjoy live music, then visiting the center of this park is going to be a thrill. There are often several musical groups that perform freely through the late afternoon, making everyone’s experience an unforgettable one.

Last but not least we recommend Park Güell, Gaudí’s masterpiece. This park is located on the upper part of Barcelona and represents the artistic movement of Catalan Modernism. Its abundant iconographic elements and endless greenery are what make this magnificent park one of the world’s most famous Heritage Site of UNESCO. Built during the first decade of the twentieth century, it represents Gaudi’s Naturalist phase, which directly involves many small monuments and works of art influenced by fantastic and mythological creatures.

So if you’re looking to spend a nice, quite and serene afternoon in a park in Barcelona, then look no further and don’t hesitate in visiting the wonders of this great city.

Barcelona it´s History Part 2

July 28, 2010

Barca

During the roman time the Jewish religion had been tolerated by the Romans, however the Jewish suffered of discrimination. Anyhow the Jews still had an important influence on Barcelona. The word Montjuic of the Montjuic Mountain means mountain of the Jews.

During 711 the Moorish forces arrived at the Iberian Peninsula. After they concurred and devastated Tarraco, Barcelona surrendered peacefully. During these years Moorish rules applied in Barcelona ( Barshiluna). The cathedral was converted into a mosque and there were extra taxes for the non-Muslims.

However the Moorish control didn´t take long while Louis the Pious captured Barcelona in 801. This was his most southerly gains form the Moors. The area around Barcelona became the Spanish Marches (which was a buffer zone between them and the Moorish), with Barcelona as seat of the county.

In 1162 the area was inherited by Alfonso 2 of Aragon. Barcelona was an important city for him since it was the biggest settlement in Catalonia ( 4X the size of Girona). Since it´s location at the Mediterranean Sea the economy of Barcelona transferred directly trade. In 1469 Ferdinand 2 of Aragon married Isabelle 1 of Castile. Due to this marriage the two most important royal lines were united. After the marriage centre of political power became Madrid and because of the colonization of the Americas the financial importance of the Mediterranean trade reduced.

During the beginning of the 18th century the successes in the New World lead to a war between some of the major European countries. This led to the abolition of the Catalan autonomy, and ultimately to the end of national influences in Barcelona.

As the rest of Europe the industrial revolution arrived in Catalonia. All the Catalonia cities became important industrial centers, which led to an increase in wealth. After the revolution Barcelona was annexed by Napoleonic France and became a part of the French Empire.

In 1888 Barcelona hosted the Universal Exposition; this led to urbanizing of Barcelona. Barcelona absorbed some of there outskirts. One of them was Eixample(which means the extension).

FlatsByDays can offer apartments all around the city for instance our Cathedral apartment and our Gothic apartment. Living in the Gothic area will lead to an experience of this History.

The third and last part will be about the 20th century and Barcelona right now (Architecture, city etc)

Barcelona, a city with a long History!

July 21, 2010

The history stretches back 2000 years ago when Barcelona was named Barkeno. It was an easily defensible city due to its location (between the sea and the Collserola ridge). The city was settled by the Laietani in the third century, on the Taber Hill (now: Ciutat Vella) and at Laie (Montjuic).

There are a lot of myths concerning the history of Barcelona. At the moment there are two founding myths. The first one is about Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca (father of Hannibal) who came up with the name Barkeno. People believe that Barkeno is Iberic for Barcelona. The second myth is about Hercules. When Hercules was searching for the Golden Fleece one of his nine ships was lost, Hercules decided to locate the ship. He found the ship but it was completely wrecked: however his crew survived it and was taken to a beautiful location with the name Barca Nona (Ninth Ship).

After the Carthaginian control the Romans conquered the whole Iberian Peninsula. The north-east of the Peninsula was the first region to fall under the ´new´ Roman Control. When the Romans settled Barcelona they called it Barcino, in contrast to now Barcino was less important then Tarraco (Now: Tarragona) and Caesaraugusta (Now: Zaragoza). Barcino was controlled by Tarraco. However Barcino had a strategic position on the Via Augusta which allowed a commercial and economic development and it enjoyed immunity from imperial taxation.

During the Roman Control Barcino´s main economic activity was the cultivation, the cultivated wine was widely exported over the Roman Empire. Barcelona´s main public building was a temple which was dedicated to Ceasar Augustus.

As you can read Barcelona is a great city with a beautiful history. With our apartments around the old city centre (Portaferissa, Bellafila and Opera) you can be a part of the wonderful history.

Next week the blog will be about the period after the Roman Control. The Christian communities and Jewish influences.

The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona´s pearl!

July 7, 2010

The Sagrada Familia is one of the symbols that stand for Barcelona. The Sagrada has been under construction since 1882, the church will be consecrated by the Pope on November 7, 2010.

The church was designed by Antoni Gaudi, whom is still very important for Barcelona since a majority of his creatures are still in wonderful shape and can be found in Barcelona. After his death in 1926 the work continued under the direction of Gaudi´s friend, Domenech Sugranyes. Barcelona is still trying to finish the constructions in 2026 (100 years after Gaudi´s death).

It took Gaudi 5 years to finish the entrance. From that moment on Gaudi realized that the constructions would take a tremendous amount of time. Therefore he opened in 1909 the Sagrada Temporary schools. These schools were designed for the children of the workers and for the local children who were members of its community. During the last months of his life he became so involved that he decided to live next to the church. He lived in a room next to the workshop; this room was used for making scale models, doing sketches etc.

Just after his death the team moved on by using Gaudi´s original plans and drawings, due to this fact the four bell towers were completed in 1930. During the civil war the construction stopped, throughout the civil war multiple parts of the temple were damaged and desecrated. Therefore after the civil war the restoration of the crypt started. It took until the end 80´s of the 20th century to finish the outside of the Temple. From the begin 90´s the team started building the inside of the Gaudi´s creature. Since the Sagrada has been under construction for so long, they are restorate the temple as well. This means that they are building and restorate the temple.

The construction on the temple is not supported by the government. The initial stages were funded by private funds. At the moment the construction is paid by the entrance tickets and by private donations through the friends of the temple fund.

The Bellafila Apartments are just some metro stops away from this beautiful creation of Gaudi

Montjuic, the hill with a history!

June 30, 2010

Who is coming to Barcelona will see immediately the mighty Montjuïc. Montjuïc is ´Hill of the Jews´ in medieval Catalan. From this hill you can overlook the harbor, to the southwest of the city centre. Since the location was so ideal the top of the hill was the location of several fortifications: the largest fortress has a ´black´ history while it was the site of several executions up to the ´Franco time´.

The Montjuïc hosted some events over the years. One of the major were the 1992 Olympic games, when several stadiums were located at the Montjuïc: until 2008 the Olympic stadium was the home of football club Espanyol.

The roads in the slopes facing the city were four times the home of Spanish grand prix: due to a terrible accident which killed 4 people the grand prix never returned to this historical location.

Next to the Olympic stadium you will find Palau Sant Jordi: this venue is used as ´concert arena´ since many artists, like Madonna, Mika and Kiss, already performed at the Palau.

During the summer the mountain is the home of an outdoor cinema, The Sala Montjuïc. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, film enthusiasts can see a selection of national and international movies. These films are offered in English; therefore this is an ideal location for tourists. Besides you can take you picnic basket since the screen is located on a big field of grass.

FlatsByDays is offering multiple apartments (Ramblas Santa Monica, Bellafila Prl, Bellafila 1b) which are just a metro ride away from the Montjuic. The Montjuic is the ideal location for making beautiful pictures of the city visit the castle garden or visit the Miro Museum.

Beaches in Barcelona

June 22, 2010

Today´s forecast, sunny and 24 degrees: it´s summer in Barcelona and the beaches are getting more attractive.

In Barcelona you will find a variety of beaches which are located over the whole coastline (See Picture).

Since the big clean up for the 1992 Olympics the beaches became a magnet for locals and visitors. Therefore there is taking good care in maintaining a clean sea and beach, the beach is tested daily and is accessible for disabled, there are lifeguards, sun beds and showers.
One of the most beautiful beaches is the Nova Icaria: it is the closest one to the marina and is therefore crowded. Due to this fact there are a variety of beach bars, restaurants and a large promenade.

Second beach is the Bogatell beach. This beach is twice the length of it´s neighbor(Nova Icaria). Since the beach is depressed it cuts all the noises down and it feels like you´re miles away from Barcelona. At the beach are no bars and restaurants, but you can find some restaurants on the boulevard.

The next beach is Mar Bella. This beach is located next to Bogatell but is divided by a school which can teaches you how to windsurf and kayak. Near to the beach is a wonderful park which is perfect for a picnic or siesta in the shade.

Last but not least is the Barceloneta beach. This beach is the most popular for tourists since there are a dozen of restaurants, from American-style to Catalan style. On this beach you will find a lot of people and due to that fact it´s really cheerful.

If you´re interested in planning a day trip to one of the beaches. It would be a good idea to look as well to the beaches which are located around Barcelona. Cities like Sitges have even more beautiful beaches which are not artificial and are just a short train ride away.

Tip: During the night of the 23th of June (tomorrow) Sant Joan is taking place. During this national holiday people are making bonfires and there are firework shows around the beaches. Since everyone is going to the beach the atmosphere is very relax and cheerful.

With apartments (Bellafila 3a, 3b and Bellafila 1B) on just 10/15 minutes (walking distance) from these beaches, FlatsByDays can offer you a joyful and relax holiday in sunny and interesting Barcelona.

Impression of some of our beautiful apartments

June 11, 2010

Book your apartment at FlatsByDays during the Motogp

June 9, 2010

On the 4th of July 2010 the MotoGP circus will set feet on Catalonian soil. After 6 races Yamaha´s driver Jorge Lorenzo is leading by a astonishing lead of 25 points on number 2 Dani Pedrosa. The big question is if he will expand his lead and will celebrate his next victory in Catalonia. The race will take place on the famous Circuit de Catalunya, which is used as well during the Formula 1 GP. The circuit is famous because of it´s surprises, out of nothing a strong seawind can come up or it can start raining. During the first race on Spanish soil (Jerez), Lorenzo was able to win the race and defeat Pedrosa. All eyes are focused on this 23 year old Spaniard. Will he be able to win the both Spanish races? There will be a lot of pressure from the crowd but as well from his competitors. While we don´t have to forget Italian Stallion Valentino Rossi (which is currently on place3) who already won the Catalonian MotoGP for 6 times in the last 10 years. One of the other guys that won is Dani Pedrosa, the currently number 2. The race will be a real rivalry between these 3 wonderful drivers. Next to the MotoGP the 125 and 250cc class will also compete on the circuit.

For the real MotoGP lovers we can offer some lovely apartment in the Barcelona city centre, which is located an hour from the circuit (which is easily reachable by shuttle bus). So combine this wonderful race with the city of Barcelona. With apartment like Bellafila 3a, Opera and Portaferrissa we can offer you a variety of apartments throughout the old Barcelona city centre.

Rent your Holiday apartment during the Grec Festival

June 2, 2010

The Festival Grec de Barcelona is an annual summer festival held in Barcelona. The festival is formed by theatre, music, dance and circus and is organized by the Barcelona City Council. The festival is named after the original venue, the Grec theatre on the Montjuic Mountain.

The festivals first edition was held in 1976. It started as a collaboration between a group of actors and directors, who were interesting in innovating the theatre in Barcelona. From 1979 the organization is in hand of the City Council. This first edition is still feeding the Grec Festival. The festival has still the same base but has transformed and renewed every year. Frederic Amat creates the complete 2010 festival image. Besides creating the image he helped the organization by producing a show in cooperation with a Japanese theatre company.

This cooperation will give the 2010 edition a special extra; while there will be combination of the Mediterranean and Japanese sensibilities. Japan is one of the most fascinating countries for theatre.
This year the Grec Festival will join forces with the electronic Sonar festival, while theatre and music is one of the most amazing combinations: the festival will start together with Sonar on the 17th of June and will end at the 1st of August.

During these dates we can offer you some of our nice apartments. Besides the city and the Grec Festival you can come ´home´ in one of central based apartments. If you are interested to come with a bigger party we can offer you our Bellafila Prl or Bellafila 1b apartment which can house groups up to 10, besides we have some smaller apartments like Opera, Portaferrisa, Santa Monica and Bellafila 3A.

We are looking forward welcoming you in one of our apartment during the summer months!

Sant Joan, book your apartment at FlatsByDays

May 18, 2010

Sant Joan is celebrated every year at the start of the summer season and the day with the longest period of daylight. It is always celebrated on the evening of June 23th and June 24th is a public holiday. Sant Joan takes place from sundown to sunrise on the eve of Sant Joan day which is also called ´Verbenas´.

The traditions of Sant Joan are split in 5 elements:
– Fire
– Water
– Herbs
– Fireworks
– Food

Fire: There will be bonfires all around Barcelona. People throw for instance old furniture into the fires, what is symbolizing ´out with the old in with the new´. Another tradition is that you write your wishes in the air.

Water: Wather is symbolizing cleanness; people can clean there sin in the water.

Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme and Verbena (the herb that gave name to the fiestas!) are collected and eaten on Sant Joan. The herb verbena was offered to the Gods in ancient times. The smell is very powerful.

Fireworks: People believe that they scare ghosts and witches away by the bangs of the fireworks.

Food: Food is not a special element of Sant Joan. During every festival or party Catalan people tend to eat a lot, while it is a part of the culture.

So do not wait and come to this ´feel good´ festival! Partying from sundown to sunrise and enjoying to old Catalan rituals : ) We can recommend you our Opera apartment which offers an oasis of tranquility!