Tour Orientation and Welcome Dinner
Liana Mougey (Interpreter) and Cengiz Aras, Flotours Owner
 
















Cavas Freixenet


In 1861 Francesc Sala Ferres founded Casa Sala, the first wine-exporting company in Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. His son, Joan Sala Tubella, carried the business forward and after the wedding of Joan’s daughter Dolors Sala Vive to Pere Ferrer Bosch, the company entered the cava business. Pere Ferrer Bosch came from the family that owned La Freixeneda, a family estate in existence since the 13th Century and located in the Alt Penedes region. The business grew and the first labels for Freixenet Casa Sala cava appeared. From the beginning it was decided to concentrate exclusively on the production of cava, a natural sparkling wine, following the method used in the Champagne region (France) since the XVIIIth century. They built their cellars in the town of Sant Sadurni d’Anoia in Catalonia, Spain. The town is located in the heart of the Penedes, a region famous since Roman times for the quality of the wine produced there. In the 1920s and 1930s the company gained recognition thanks to the drive of its founders and the guaranteed quality of its products. It was at this time that the company started to export its products and it opened its first United States office in New Jersey in 1935. Unfortunately, the development of the company was held back first by the Spanish Civil War and then by the Second World War. Nevertheless, in 1941 the company launched what would in time become one of its star products—Freixenet Carta Nevada cava. In 1974 its leading export brand, Freixenet Cordon Negro cava, was launched, present in more than 140 countries. By the beginning of the 1970s Freixenet was well established in the Spanish market as a strong brand with a clear vocation to expand on the international stage. The constant efforts made by the company since then have led to continuous expansion in world markets and made the Freixenet Group in the mid 80’s the world leader in sparkling wines produced by the traditional method. At this time, the company decides to build cellars abroad, such is the case of Gloria Ferrer in California, Wingara in Australia and many more, and also in Spain, in other wine areas of great reputation such as Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, Montsant, ... Nowadays Freixenet Group keeps being a 100% family-owned company with 18 cellars in 7 countries in 3 continents.









  













































City Tour




Arenas de Barcelona

Most likely the most unusual and historic Shopping Mall in the city, Arenas de Barcelona wasn’t built for commercial purposes, instead it was originally conceived as a bullring in the early 1900’s, and as such it became one of the most celebrated bullrings in Spain.

After decades of glory and having been subject to many other different uses such as headquarters for the Republican Army during the Spanish Civil War, as well as other sports events, the last bullfight took place in 1977 and it was left to abandonment in the early 1990’s.

  

Coliseum (Performing Arts Theater)






Peaceful Demonstration
Preserving Spain at Placa de Catalunya



 









The Famous La Rambla Street
This is probably the city’s most famous street and is a bustling hive of activity.  It is often called Las Ramblas, because it is actually a series of several different streets that all have a distinct feel. Located just off Plaza Catalunya and leading right down towards the port and beach, visitors will find street performers, lots of bars and restaurants and the fabulous Boquería Market, a true feast for the eyes.












City Tour

 
 

Monumental Fountain at Placa Espanya

The monumental fountain that rises up in the centre of the Plaça Espanya is one of the iconic images of this part of Barcelona. You can enjoy great views of this impressive classical-style monument from any corner of the plaza. This sculptural ensemble marks the gateway to the avenue leading to the grounds of the 1929 International Exhibition.

When the Barcelona International Exhibition opened in spring 1929, the monumental fountain that had been designed to preside over the entrance to the exhibition grounds hadn't been completed. Building work had only begun in January that year. The fountain was designed by the architect Josep Maria Jujol, one of Gaudí's main associates, and is a monumental allegory that pays tribute to water. This theme predominates in the different noucentista-style sculptural elements that decorate the fountain.





National Museum at Placa De Espanya



  

                          Columbus Monument

The Columbus Monument is a 197-ft) tall monument to Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La RamblaBarcelonaCataloniaSpain. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona (1888) in honor of Columbus' first voyage to the Americas. The monument serves as a reminder that Christopher Columbus reported to Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand V in Barcelona after his first trip to the new continent.

At the very top of the monument stands a 24-ft tall bronze statue atop a 40 m (131 ft) tall Corinthian column. The statue was sculpted by Rafael Atché and is said to depict Columbus pointing towards the New World with his right hand, while holding a scroll in the left. It is a commonly held belief that instead of pointing to the west towards the New World, the statue points east towards Columbus's supposed home city of Genoa.  This, however, is not true, as the statue points south-southeast (a more southerly direction than the adjacent Rambla Del Mar and almost a perfect extension of the direction of La Rambla, Barcelona) and in effect is pointing at a point somewhere near the city of Constantine, Algeria. To point at Genoa in northern Italy the statue would have to face east-northeast and point up the coastline. It is more likely that the statue is situated in the current way simply to have Columbus point out to sea underscoring his achievements in naval exploration. The statue is atop a socle, on which the word "Tierra" (land) is inscribed.




Church of Santa Maria del Mar
The extraordinary Gothic construction that was built between 1329 and 1383
by Berenguer de Montagut and Ramon Despuig
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                                              Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Gaudí was born on 25 June 1852 in Reus, in the Baix Camp, which was then the second city in Catalonia. He attended the Escoles Pies school, where he excelled in Geometry and Arithmetic, and received a traditional, religious and humanist education. Son of a coppersmith, he started learning about crafts in his father’s workshop in 1860.

 

In 1868 he moved to Barcelona and prepared for entry to the School of Architecture, which he joined in 1873. He combined his studies with working as an assistant in an architectural practice, as well as in the workshops of a carpenter, a glassmaker and a locksmith where he learned these crafts.

 

He was inconsistent in his Architecture studies, but stood out in the subjects of design, drawing and mathematical calculation. In 1878, after qualifying in Architecture, he received his first official commission. As his professional reputation grew he undertook larger projects commissioned by the bourgeoisie such as, amongst others, the Casa Calvet, the Casa Batlló and the Casa Milà. In 1883 he took over the design of the Sagrada Familia, while also working on other projects.

 

In 1906, Antoni Gaudí moved into what is now known as the Gaudí House Museum, the model home at Park Güell designed by Francesc d’Assís Berenguer i Mestres, the architect’s friend and right-hand man, where he lived for nearly 20 years.

 

He worked for 43 years on the temple until 1926. In 1914 he left all other work to concentrate exclusively on this sole project until his death on 10 June 1926, the result of a tragic accident three days earlier. His funeral cortege, which went through much of Barcelona and finished in the Sagrada Familia, was a grand event in the city in recognition of his status as the greatest architect Barcelona has ever seen. Gaudí was buried in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia.




Casa Batllo



Casa Batlló was the last building on the block, finished in 1906, and architect Gaudi outdid his neighbors. It was the most fantastical building of the day with a facade of colorful mosaics and skull-like balconies and a roof that looks like a dragon with iridescent scales.

We also visited inside Casa Batlló, which is fascinating, despite the crowds. Everything is very organic, all curves and light. There are quirky details like a fireplace shaped like a mushroom with built-in seats. Even the chimneys combine function with beauty.

Casa Batlló is the result of a total restoration in 1904 of an old conventional house built in 1877.  Gaudí used for it the typical constructive elements of the Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau) that include ceramics, stone, and forged iron.  Even though it was highly criticized by the city during construction due to its radical design that broke all the bylaws of the city, in 1906 the Barcelona City Council awarded it the recognition of being one of the three best buildings of the year.







La Sagrada Familia Basilica by Antonio Gaudi


La Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudí's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a giant Basilica that has been under construction since 1882. The building is predicted to be completed within the next 30 years.





Animation shows completion of Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Familia (30 years later)





  



  










130 years later



Glory Facade door with the Lord's Prayer in 50 languages
In English: 'GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD'