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Books set in Barcelona to read this upcoming Sant Jordi

On the 23rd of April one of the most popular festivities in Catalonia takes place: Sant Jordi, their patron saint. What in other places is celebrated as the World Book Day, in Cataluña there’s a different tradition, a combination of culture and romanticism. A special day dedicated to couples, lovers, roses and books as the main characters.

In Barcelona’s case, streets become decorated with roses, books stalls and people who don’t want to miss out on this special day. Many writers join the streets to sign their books, whilst bookshops open their doors to show readers the best novels up to date. You can find as many genres as you can imagine but just because Barcelona has so much to offer, we have decided to list the best books that set their stories in the Condal City.

 

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones
2006

Cathedral of the Sea has been one of the latest sensational best sellers there has been with their story based in Barcelona.

Falcones, the writer, after documenting himself in the city’s history, recreates the moment in which the Santa Maria del Mar basilica, located in El Born (or La Ribera) started being constructed back in the 14th century.

The history is set in the medieval times, a period in history where the Condal City lived a moment of fortune and success. The novel tells how the fishing neighbourhood of La Ribera decided to start one of the most ambitious architectonic projects at the time: Santa Maria del Mar, a basilica which would soon become the biggest religious marine temple of the time.

The book travels around some of the outskirts and neighbourhoods of the city such as Plaza Sant Jaume, where today you can find the Generalitat government and the town hall, and also Pla de Palau, the square that back in the day was Barcelona’s most famous as it was located next to the sea and was the door to the city.

 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
2001

Carlos Ruíz Zafón makes the most of the Condal City to create a mystery-romantic story throughout several areas of the Catalan capital: Tibidabo Avenue, Las Ramblas, Plaza Real or the Gothic area are just some of the recurring sceneries.

The Shadow of the Wind is contextualized in the mid-20th century when you could still breathe some of the last splendours of Modernism until the post-war days.

This novel by Carlos Ruiz Zafón intertwines branches and secrets all together, focusing the whole narrative on Daniel Sempere, a boy who one day finds a cursed book at the Cemetery of the Forgotten Books. Since the moment Daniel reads the first page, he finds himself immersed among mysteries, love stories, intrigue and riddles. Without a doubt, the Shadow of the Wind has been one of the most outstanding best sellers of the recent times.

 

Last Evenings with Teresa by Juan Marsé
1966

With Last Evenings with Teresa, Juan Marsé takes us away from the touristic areas of Barcelona to talk about other neighbourhoods that throughout time have been forgotten. More specifically, Marsé’s story is centred in El Carmel, a quarter which in its’ origins was distinguished by being one of the most insecure and neglected of Barcelona.

The novel is based on a love story between two young adults, Teresa and Manolo, more known as Pijoaparte. Teresa is the daughter of a Catalan bourgeois family and Pijoaparte is a local of El Carmel. She is a bit blatant but with financial means and an “easy life”, whilst he is a mischievous boy who struggles in his neighbourhood and aspires to achieve a higher social status.

Last Evenings with Teresa wanders through all sorts of areas of Barcelona: from the high part of the district of Gràcia, to Turó de la Rovira or Plaza de Sanllehy as some examples. Everything is described with a very subtle sharpness doing a small recall to the tease that helps Marsé criticize the Catalan bourgeois of the times.

 

In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda
1962

In Diamond Square is without a doubt one of the most renown novels set in Barcelona. The title refers to a square located in the Gràcia district, a neighbourhood where most part of the story takes place.

The narrative is contextualized in Barcelona during the Republic, war and post-war times and handles with care the story of how Natalia, also known as Colometa, lives her marriage. Many of the situations described in the book can be extrapolated to the majority of women at the time: doubts, uncertainty, submission, obedience, naivety, joy or happiness among some of the feelings that arouse while you read the novel.

 

The City of Marvels by Eduardo Mendoza
1986

The City of Marvels portrays in a very reliable way the evolution of Barcelona during the World Exhibitions that took place in 1888 in Ciutadella and in 1929 in Montjuïc. Both exhibitions transformed and made the Condal City known to the rest of the world, hence the name of the novel.

Mendoza takes us to that Barcelona generation that evolved to an industrialized society and economic prosperity. The sceneries that appear in the novel are several: Moll de la Fusta, the walk and the monument of Colón, the fountain of Montjuïc or the chimneys of Poble Sec as some of the iconic elements of Barcelona that come up during the story.

 

These are some of the novels set in Barcelona although the list could keep on. Barcelona inspires and makes you fall in love, so are you ready to join us and read one of our recommendations set in Barcelona?

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Wake up with springtime to feel it skin-deep

Spring is the time of the year when everything seems to come back to life. We leave behind days of cold and dim light to enter the season of colors, the outburst of nature, the impulse to make new things and to explore the world around us. In all these moments the senses are the main focus, we live each experience getting in touch with one of them: smell, hearing, taste … our experience is more intense when we intensify the senses. It is exciting.

For this spring we propose some activities for you to feel and to live this moment of the year, in all the senses.

 

Wine tasting
With the spring breeze there is nothing better than having a glass of wine in a sunset with good company. And, although we are demanding with the palate, why not learning a little more of this drink that has been with us for thousands of years?

The wine tasting, apart from pleasant, is interesting. There are many characteristics that influence the good result and flavor of a good wine. If you do not know them, the experience is even more enriching. Furthermore, if you accompany the wine tasting with a cheese tasting, the moment will be sublime.

 

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Henry Fournier

 

 

 

Opera concert
Music is one of the art disciplines that are lived more intensly. It can arouse intense emotions, let the tears fall or make us smile, we can listen to it in solitude or with company. Our day to day is full of moments with music, but for this time of the year we propose you to dedicate a whole afternoon or night, with intention. Focus on what the melody conveys and get in and merge with all the notes.

 

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Radek Grzybowski

 

 

Massage
Touch is often one of the senses that we have less present but that unconsciously gives us a lot of information: “coffee burns or the scarf is soft” are perceptions that we get thanks to the touch. But not only the activities of our day to day connect us with touch, with a single caress we can have chills all over the body. To awaken this sense we propose a massage session or a visit to the Spa  so that, in addition to relaxing, it will help you to enter into consciousness with the touch and your body.

 

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Roman Kraft

 

Smell fragances
The fragrances have a lot of presence in our society but also, the smell is one of the senses that awakens the memories: moments of our childhood, places and even people. Smell has a magical power. At this time of year we would like you to refresh smells and relive memories through the fragrances so that you smile when relating a smell with a moment, a very special bond of ideas.

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Pixabay

 

 

Go to the cinema
This is one of the activities that we have more assimilated but often we don’t consider that, leaving aside the sound and the soundtracks, in the cinema we work intensely the sight. The visual strenght that movies have and the impact that a poweful image involves has a lot of weight. For this Spring, we propose you to go to the cinema and delight you with well-crafted scenes and images.

 

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Donald Tong

 

 

 

Go out and live the spring!

 

 

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Which are the best restaurants of Montjuïc? We give you a list of the most recognized places near Crowne Plaza Barcelona

Barcelona is an endless city. In addition to its architecture, cultural movement, a nice weather and a good location in the Mediterranean, the restlessness and curiosity for the gastronomy of the locals and the new arrivals has no limits.

In the “Ciudad Condal” we are fortunate to have some of the most renowned chefs in the whole country, and not only that, but other cook artists have chosen Barcelona to delight everyone with their recipes and dishes.

At Crowne Plaza Barcelona we know that the culinary offer in our city, and in our area, is wide and of quality. That’s why apart from out restaurant El Mall, we recommend other places and restaurants that treat every dish with care and attention.

 

Hoja Santa y Niño Viejo

Although they are to different restaurants, they share premises and origin: the recipes offered are based on Mexican cuisine. Albert Adrià, the brother of the chef Ferran Adrià, is the one who created and simmered these two restaurants, always maintaining his vision of “haute neighborhood cuisine”

Both places are part of elBarri, a group of restaurants created from the talent of the brothers and chefs Adrià, along with Pedro, Juan Carlos and Borja Iglesias, also brothers and first line chefs.

Niño Viejo has a more informal and relaxed character: a Mexican canteen or taquería without a tasting menu but with a delicate presentation, with contemporary additions.

Hoja Santa is categorized as an elegant restaurant with slightly more colorful and elaborate results – without losing sight of the fact that both places are delicious – where, undoubtedly, there are influences of elBulli, the restaurant which during three consecutive years (2007-2009) received the recognition of the “Better restaurant of the world”. Some of its specialties are Antojitos, Tacos and Los Moles although the listing is long.

 

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Hoja Santa

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Niño Viejo

 

 

Mano Rota
Mano Rota is located in the area of Poble Sec ad offers fusion cuisine served mostly in the bars, one of the most characteristic elements of the local, although tables for two are also present.

The chefs, Bernat Bermudo and Oswaldo Brito, strive to stand out from the usual and offer diner guests intense flavors and surprising combinations, thus avoiding plain dishes without emotion. The products are of quality, of season and of proximity: many of the ingredients come from Barcelona or surroundings. This, added to the textures and nuances worked in all the food, gives the dish an international character, mainly starting from the Peruvian cuisine.

 

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Mano Rota | miniguide

 

 

Tickets Bar
Like Niño Viejo and Hoja Santa, Tickets is part of the group elBarri, which also includes other well-known places in the Paral·lel area such as Pakta, Bodega 1900 or Enigma.

The place offers dishes based on avant-garde cuisine but always reflecting in all its culinary creations its emblem of “La Vida Tapa!”, a concept that clearly shapes the cuisine of the land. The variety of dishes is wide and the menu changes according to the season. But we can assure that you will love any of the stews and sauces.

 

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Tickets Bar | Pilarmunneblog

 

 

Casa Xica

Casa Xica is oriented to a homemade menu but not less interesting. It is one of the jewels of Poblesec that besides serving products of proximity travels to other countries like China and Japan until taking them to your plate. The Asian character is breathed in almost all their creations and can be used as a passport to later taste the ecological wine included in the menu. The quality of the products is exceptional, besides the local is cozy, and it is necessary to reserve table if you want to go at night! The harmony of their dishes plays an important role in the whole experience, and also they renew the gastronomic offer often.

 

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Casa Xica | Style by Brú

 


Enigma

It is another of the locals that is also part of the elBarri group. Enigma is the newborn of ElBulli’s offspring, largely serving as a laboratory to transport its culinary ideas to the rest of the group’s restaurants and one of its main features is that serves an amount of twenty diner guests, no more.

The approach of the restaurant and its design is thought to surprise and deviate from what is usual, so the mysterious decoration and surprise are one of the main ingredients, together with the quality of food and its spectacular presentation.

 

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Enigma | El País

 

 

espai Kru
espai Kru  by Rías de Galicia is the main identity of this restaurant. Located very close to Plaza España, it is next to another of the most recognized restaurants of the area with a similar gastronomic offer, the Pakta.

espai Kru has a tour of dishes that travel from Galicia to Japan. The presentation of the delicacies is excellent and the quality of the ingredients outstanding. Definitely a recommended place to go, at least once in a lifetime. The experience deserves a visit, and more bearing in mind that the restaurant was awarded the Sol Repsol in 2016, a recognition and symbol of culinary excellence in the gastronomy of the country.

 

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espai Kru

 

 

Filigrana
The concept of the restaurant follows the line of classic, elegant and careful attention to details. The specialty of the Filigrana specialty is grilled meat, although the fish or the tapas are also delicious. It is the right place for a business meal or even for a romantic dinner, it meets all requirements. In addition to its gastronomic qualities, the premises have a privileged terrace overlooking Plaza España and Montjuïc.

 

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Filigrana

 

 

Oleum
Oleum Oleum is located in one of the most special places in Barcelona: the interior of the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC) from where it has a panoramic view of the privileged city.
Oleum counts on gastronomic advice by Fina Puigdevall, chef of the restaurant LES COLS of the city of Olot, with ** Michelin. Its menu includes some dishes based on modernism and others from romanticism, for the most tender and delicate evenings. The ingredients that are used in the kitchen are of high quality, based, above all, on Mediterranean cuisine.

 

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Oleum

¡Bon Appetite!

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Este año 2016 tienes que viajar a Barcelona sin dudarlo

Barcelona es una de las ciudades españolas con mayor proyección internacional, pues aúna en sí misma todo lo que los turistas buscan cuando deciden viajar a un destino. En efecto, Barcelona cuenta no solo con un gran ambiente cosmopolita y multicultural, sino también con emblemáticos monumentos, importantes museos y lugares llenos de encanto que enamoran a sus visitantes de principio a fin. (más…)

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Diez trucos para sobrevivir a la Navidad

Hay dos formas de pasar la Navidad, bien o en familia. Los compromisos personales y de trabajo, el coche congelado por las mañanas, villancicos, el exceso de gente en todas partes… Parece que no vas a tener tiempo para tu propio ocio y todo tiene que ser tan bonito y alegre como en las películas navideñas. Si te estresa esta época del año, estos trucos te van a servir para llevarla mejor: (más…)

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Los mejores planes para una Navidad familiar en Barcelona

Barcelona, una ciudad moderna, cosmopolita y vibrante, añade a todo esto una capa de tradiciones y calidez cuando llega la Navidad. Y si durante todo el año la ciudad está absolutamente rebosante de oferta de ocio, a finales de año no puede ser menos. Al contrario, la tradicional fiesta de Navidad es la excusa perfecta para salir a la calle y disfrutar de una ciudad hermosa, hospitalaria y especialmente engalanada para la ocasión, con 100 km de luces. (más…)

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¡El Black Friday aterriza en Barcelona!

El Black Friday, también conocido en España como” Viernes Negro”, es el día que da comienzo a la temporada de compras de Navidad en Estados Unidos. Suele celebrarse el día después de Acción de Gracias o el cuarto domingo de Noviembre y cree que su nombre proviene porque era considerado el día en que los comercios cambian sus números rojos por los negros. (más…)

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La Castañada: descubre las deliciosas tradiciones de Barcelona

Las festividades y tradiciones de todo tipo salpican cada año la geografía española. Una de las más conocidas en estas fechas es la famosa Castañada, una celebración catalana destinada a cerrar el ciclo de calor para dar la bienvenida a los meses fríos. ¿La conocías? Las calles del centro de Barcelona se transforman en espacios abiertos para homenajear la gastronomía, historia y cultura de la ciudad con numerosos puestos ambulantes y un sinfín de actividades. Como no podía ser de otra forma, la gran protagonista es la castaña. (más…)

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