Not so Gothic

March 17, 2014

If you walk by the Gothic Quarters at the right time (maybe at 2am on a Monday, yes, right after a long night at Apolo) you can really feel like a knight of the Middle Ages. But, the truth is, that most of the day if feels more like a Theme Park. The truth is that, even if you can feel the history there sometimes, most of their buildings are more modern than you would think, actually, most of them are recreations to resemble a pre-existing old Gothic quarter, which almost disappeared at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th.

 

Why that? Because at the beginning of the 20th century, the modernism was the style “en vogue”, and not art history (as it is now). Before the Gaudí explosion, the proud of the wealthy families was mostly hold onto the poorly conserved Gothic buildings in the center of the city, all the buildings and streets in the “Cathedral Quarter”- the former name of the “Gothic Quarter” before the reconstruction -.Just like today, the prominent personalities of the city used to brag about the modernist buildings, but the architects who built them were in love with the Gothic buildings, and given the imminent disappearance of those, they didn't hesitate to build fake ones in substitution or completion.

 

I insist: why that? Because, just like today the modernist construction (Sagrada Familia, Batlló house, or Güell Park) plays the role of bait for tourists, the Gothic architecture (really endangered at the end of the 19th century) played it at the beginning of the 20th.

 

But, is there still some uncontamined/surviving Gothic architecture in Barcelona? For sure! Lots of buildings survived the test of time and are enjoying an anonymous retirement in undisclosed placements.

 

Just an idea: there is a lot to know about Barcelona, and most of it is not in the tourist guides (which sometimes look more as an amusement park guide). Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned to know about all that secrets!

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