Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Friday, September 21, 2012

Barcelona’s Architectural Treasures

For centuries, Barcelona, Spain, has been an important port on the Mediterranean Sea, attracting a series of invaders who contributed to the city’s rich cultural mix. Today, visitors arrive on ships not to invade the city, but to appreciate the incredible architecture, art, parks and atmosphere of the capital of the Catalonia region.

Many visitors head straight for the Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter, the center of the old city. Many of the buildings date from the medieval era; there are even some remnants of Barcelona’s days as a Roman military camp.  Outside the Gothic Quarter, the city has many more architectural landmarks. Some of the best-known, such as the Casa Mila and the Sagrada Familia, were designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, famed for his quirky, organic style. Barcelona has walkable neighborhoods that contain lovely examples of Art Nouveau and Modernist architecture as well.

Some of the city’s beautiful works of architecture contain many more pieces of art. The National Museum of Art is noted for its Romanesque works; the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art has post-World War II works by Catalan and Spanish artists. There are also museums dedicated to the work of iconic artists like Miró and Picasso.

Barcelona has marvelous parks, including Montjuïc, the central location for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games; Park Guell, with fanciful architectural features designed by Gaudi; and Parc del Laberint, where you can find your way through a hedge maze. For some time in the sun, you can also visit one of the seven beaches located in the city.

For inspiring views, visit Montserrat and its monastery, established in 1592. This is still a working monastery, but the Benedictine monks welcome visitors and you may be lucky enough to hear the choir. The Montserrat complex includes shops and cafes, too.

If you do just one thing while in the city of Barcelona, make it a stroll along Las Ramblas, the city’s famous and fabulous promenade. Watch street performers, browse unique shops, breathe the perfume of the flower stalls and enjoy the colorful people you’ll encounter. Las Ramblas ends in the Placa de Catalunya, a wonderful place to enjoy a beverage and watch Barcelona go by.

To find out more about Mediterranean cruises that include a call in the memorable city of Barcelona, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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