Festival Weekend

This is going to be a long one so I’ll cut to the chase.

This past weekend was the festival of La Merce in Barcelona, a hugely important cultural event for the Catalan people. While there were quite a few traditional events, such as the parades featuring gegants, there were lots of concerts, fireworks, and other things going on as well.

Friday morning I was around the major event venues for the ’92 Olympics, on Montjuic.

The Olympic Stadium from the exterior,

… and the interior.

Me (doofus in white shorts) in a big plaza, overlooking the city, with a telephone tower designed by Catalan architect Santiago Calatrava. Apparently the angle of the tower is the same as the global axis.

We stopped at the botanical gardens, and I took some pictures of cool plants because I was thinking about my dad, who always photographs flowers, and I was thinking about the great people I met working for NORR this summer, three of which made up the landscape architecture portion of the office. Hey gals and guy! Check these out!

Actually, I think I like the names of these most of all, Moonah and Bastard Cabbage.

More graffiti, I don’t know what it means but the comic expressions made me laugh.

That same day, my class went to the Barcelona Pavillion, one of the greatest and most famous pieces of modern architecture in the International style, by Mies van der Rohe. Despite the common moniker, it was actually the German pavillion for the 1929 International Exhibition in Barcelona.

Brings me back to my early days at BCIT where I had to make a 3D digital model of this, and best of all, in AutoCAD. (Here’s looking at you, class of 2006.)

Here’s another panoramic looking out over the city, with Toyo Ito’s Porta Fira towers in the foreground.

The following day, after meeting up with my parents who were finishing their 3 week holiday in southern Europe, we came across a parade of gegants!




Basically they are giant puppets paraded around on sticks carried by a person. They all have some sort of individual cultural significance, I’m just not sure what.

This one was pretty creepy.

And now a video!

That night we went to an image mapping light show, cast on the facade of the Sagrada Familia. This was put on by a company called Moment Factory, out of Montreal. They’ve done a lot of work with companies like Cirque du Soleil and Disney.

The next day included even more Gaudi. You might notice these next few are just detail elements and that is because these places are overrun with tourists. Taking any sort of comprehensive photo without a million people getting in the way is impossible. I’ll probably be going back to these places multiple times while I’m here, and hopefully come November, there won’t be as many people around.

Lastly, the La Merce event I was most looking forward to, Correfoc! Fire run! Everybody crowds onto this street, in front of The Gates of Hell. When the gates open, there is a constant stream of spark-throwing demons and fire-breathing dragons that roll down the street. Those who wish to get in their way get shot with fireworks and behind every wave of demons and dragons is a group of traditional drummers. I really don’t know how to elaborate on it more than that. It is just some crazy, dangerous, exhilarating event I won’t soon forget.

And so, you may have realized by now, I have done very little school work to this point. This coming week will have a much larger focus on accomplishing things for school, particularly my deadline next Friday.

Oh yeah, also, Mom and Dad got home today. Hope your flight went well and you have plenty of stories to share with all the people back home. Until next time!



About jasonsedar

My final year of architecture school at the University of Calgary!
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