22 jun. 2014

My Top 5 Fake Barcelona

The saying goes "no es oro todo lo que reluce" and in Barcelona, as in any other town, there are monuments that visitors (and locals) considered to be "authentic" when they are just fakes. You are bound to see and take a picture of them as you stroll down the old town, so be aware!

Fake aqueduct remains
Real aqueduct remains
  • ROMAN AQUEDUCT: The remains of an aqueduct you can see next to Casa de l'Ardiaca in Plaça
    Nova were built during Franco's dictatorship (I have been said it was meant to be a compensation for the pains the city had endured during the war!). But don't be sad, if you want to see the real remains of the Roman aqueduct that brought water to Barcelona, you may see the remains of the original archs just a few meters ago from the fake ones. 
  • CATHEDRAL GOTHIC FAÇADE: The building of the Cathedral took many years, and it was not until the 20th century that funds were collected to built the façade. Manel Girona, a local banker, provided the funds and the façade was built following 19th century plans in neogothic style. But don't be disappointed, there are older parts in the Cathedral, check for instance Santa Llúcia's chapel. 
  • GENERALITAT GOTHIC BRIDGE crossing to Casa dels Canonges. Thousands of pictures are taken of this bridge, but it is not Gothic but Neogothic. The bridge was built in 1928 and it was strongly  criticised by Barcelonians of its time. Here is a very interesting article explaining the possible meaning of the skull in the bridge. Unfortunately, there is no English translation.
    Fake Gothic Bridge
  • ROSE WINDOW IN SANTA MARIA DEL MAR: in this case maybe it is too hard to consider it fake. The original rose window suffered serious damages in the earthquake of 1428 and, some years later, the new rose window was built. 
  • DISPLACED BUILDINGS: This is also a special case. The buildings are not fake, but they are not located where they originally were. In Plaça del Rei, for instance, is Casa Padellàs. It fits perfectly the surrounding buildings but, originally, it was were now is Via Laietana. When the avenue was built (in the 1930s), it was moved to its present location. Another building moved to a different location is Església de la Concepció, a worthwhile visit in the corner of Carrer Aragó with Carrer Roger de Llúria.

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