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Palau Reial de Pedralbes on Avingula Diagonal 686 was once the primary estate of Count Eusebi Guell. In the year 1919, after it was redecorated and a new throne with golden lions was created as supports, the Count offered Pedralbes to the Spanish Royal Family, specifically to Alfonso XIII who first visited it in 1926.
It contains two separate museums, available to public view. The Museu de Arts Decoratives and the Museu de Cernica. The first named offers period furniture and household items from the Middle Ages up to the present to view. It also displays a genealogical tree which covers five hundred years of the Count-Kings of Barcelona.
The Museu de Cernica contains works by Miró and Picasso among other Catalan and Moorish pottery. The landscaped palace gardens are sumptuous and well laid out and also lead to the original Guell estate which has many features all created by Gaudi. There are twenty-three beautiful images of this rather Churrigueresque work of architecture on the internet.
The Palace is a short distance from the largest soccer arena in Europe, Camp Nou. The arena is located on the Avda de Aristides Maillol. This area is the outer lying area of Barcelona and the view from Camp Nou affords a good look at the Neo-Gothic temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor which sits atop the summit of Tibidabo.
Camp Nou was founded in 1899 and happens to be the most prestigious and prosperous F.C. in Europe claiming no less than 100,000 members and the stadium itself seats as many fans. The arena is standard by today’s specifications but is well made from a design by Francesc Mitjans. It was extended in 1982.
The museum I mentioned, of course, displays the club’s memorabilia including trophies, paintings, and sculptures of famous players. To see it today one would never know the historical struggle F.C. Barcelona faced in order to gain prominence in the world of European Soccer. It’s motto, Mes Que un Club (More Than a Club) along with it’s coat of arms (emblazoned F.C.B.) has also become a symbol of the Catalan struggle against the central government which is in Madrid. Real Madrid most recently released the contracted David Beckham! We’re very happy to have such a player in our country! Fierce rivalry between Real Madrid and F.C. Barca keeps games exciting. Each season the big question is which of the two teams will win the title. Under the Franco regime in a memorable episode which occurred in Madrid, the crowd became so riotous and angry that the police and referee advised Barca to prevent trouble. Taking the intimidation to heart and demoralized by the politics going on, they lost 11-1. Because loyalty is paramount, one F.C. Barca player received death threats when he left them to join Real Madrid! Needless to say, F. C. Barcelona’s fans are equally as serious. To find out more check out
My next castle entry will be on Manchester, even though it’s not full of castles. It only has a few but Manchester is relatively small with a lively pace, history and F.C. itself. Stay tuned all you soccer fans! I also have quite a few romantic castles I’ll cover this month!
Proverbe du Jour:
Those who are faithless know the pleasures of love, it is the faithful who know loves tragedies.
– Oscar Wilde