Sunday, 28 April 2013

Barcelna - Palau de la Musica

As it has been raining all weekend long we looked at things to do indoors. On Friday we went to a Flamenco night, on Saturday we went to an art exhibition at the Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi's famous houses, with an ulterior motive. We just wanted to see the building from inside and it was free to get into it with the exhibition tickets. It didn’t work out though. I was hoping the art things will be on the top of the building so we can see it but they were in the bottom of Casa Batllo so we didn’t see anything. It was worth a try.

Today I suggested visiting the Palau de la Musica. I have heard so much about how beautiful this building is and how amazing the acoustics are inside so I really wanted to see it. The tickets for the guided tour were 17 euros per person and there was a concert that evening for 27 euros that I quite liked so we bought tickets for that instead.

The building from the outside is very impressive. You cannot miss it as there are always many tourists taking photos of it. For some reason it was built on a thin road so there is no space to fully admire the architecture however it still looks very impressive.

The building inside is simply jaw-dropping. Our tickets were for the very top and I tripped on the way up at least three times as I was watching the ceiling and the walls instead of where I put my feet.

The performance was great. I chose this show as they were all popular classical pieces. We listened to the Sheherezade, Romeo and Julia, Bolero, just to name a few.

During the break I left Paul and went to explore the concert hall. Apparently the building was financed by the general public and was built by many Catalan architects. The main objective was to enhance the acoustics as much as they could to make it the best place for listening to music. They put great effort into the design in the style of modernism but they made sure that it didn’t detract in any way from the acoustics.

The walls on both sides of the building and on the ceiling are adorned with stained glass windows letting in lots of natural light.

The most famous part of the concert hall is the stained glass window on the ceiling. Let me quote Wikipedia for this: “The concert hall of the Palau, which seats about 2,200 people, is the only auditorium in Europe that is illuminated during daylight hours entirely by natural light. The walls on two sides consist primarily of stained-glass panes set in magnificent arches, and overhead is an enormous skylight of stained glass designed by Antoni Rigalt whose center piece is an inverted dome in shades of gold surrounded by blue that suggests the sun and the sky.”

At the back of the stage there are the statues of 18 women, all playing different instruments. We found them curious as half of them were protruding out of the wall but the other half are made of colourful mosaic.

Some other pics from around the hall.

Even though I hate this word I still have to use it and say that the Palace of Catalan Music is a must-see, even if only from inside. There are many kinds of concerts on offer and they are not all in the evening. Have a look, maybe you can find something interesting, too. Here’s their website. 

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