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I had the honor to bring Tom Kenyon and Judi to their hotel in Barcelona and decided to stay over one night. To see something of this beautiful, lovely, lively, city.

First of all the Ramblas. So colorful. Lined with restaurants and stalls selling magazines in the evening and flowers in the morning. Lined with theaters, palaces, galleries, markets, churches and shops. Full of the most beautiful girls showing off to who-ever is watching them. And full of all kind of art expressions. A city of small streets, nice squares, beautiful churches, various museums and of course the famous works of Gaudi. A city full of tourists, mostly young people, riding carefree on hired bikes. And a city that is kept very clean by lots of workers.

But my attention nowadays is mostly focused on cathedrals, basilicas, churches and chapels, on Mary Magdalene and Black Madonna’s and on special places, spiritual places, power places.

My first stop was to the Basilica de la Merced, dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy, the patron saint of the city. It is a beautiful decorated church. High above the altar, you can get there by two small staircases, is her magnificent statue. In my view it is one of the most beautiful Black Madonna’s I have ever seen. And it is very curious that most of the churches I visited have copy of the ‘real’ Black Madonna of Montserrat.

A little further east is the impressive church Santa Maria del Mar. There was a service going on. Here I found my first Mary Magdalene.

Then onwards to the cathedral. What a sight! Basking in the light of the evening sun. But it was closed. So I would go there the next day.

On the way back I heard singing in the church Santa Maria del Pi, one of the oldest churches in Barcelona. In the center of the old Jewish quarter. It was a choir from Texas, rehearsing in the church. There were many statues of the Virgin with child, the local ‘Notre Dames.’ Beautiful statues. What a differences with the churches and statues in France. Here everything is perfect. Well maintained. Beautifully decorated. But then the churches in Spain still belong to the church, while most churches in France belong to the state, or rather to the city or village where they are located. There was even a statue of Anna the Grandmother of Jesus, teaching Mary.

The next day I took a walk along the waterfront. Paying first my respect to Columbus, guarded well by some huge lions. Looking out over the blue Mediterranean Sea to the World Trade center and the Tower of Jaume I. Then I took the bridge, isn’t it a typical Dutch bridge, over the Passieg (Avenue) de Colom into the old city. Through small streets where most empty spaces were beautifully decorated, along the Ramblas to the Boqueria Market. Full of meat, fruit juices and vegetables. What a colorful spectacle! Almost next to the Market is the Bethlehem church, with this beautiful white Virgin looking down at her child. And another Notre Dame with child. The Spanish people must have a real passion for mother and child statues.

At the entrance to the cathedral stood an official who was refusing entrance to people, most women, who were not correctly dressed, for a cathedral that is. The cathedral is huge and rich. Gold and ornaments everywhere. Fortunately there was also a chapel partly dedicated to Mary Magdalene and Mary Magdalene mourning at the cross and weeping at the feet of Jesus.

Next I went to the church of St Anne. Tucked away between the Ramblas and the Avenue Portal de L’Angel. A lovely little church with the statue of Anna and Mary above the entrance. And several other Maries inside. Very strange was this statue of a crowned Black Madonna. I don’t know what it meant and there were no books or information leaflets available. There was also a presentation of Jesus being laid down and Mary Magdalene at his sight. And it was strange, but funny, to see in one of the side chapels, large portraits of famous sportsmen, offered to their patron saint. But the central piece was of course the statue of Anna with Mary and Jesus, all together.

Finally I took a taxi to the famous Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece. It was still not finished. They were busy working on it. And it was busy around the cathedral. Thousands of tourists. There were long waiting lines at the entrance. When I joined the line they told me I had first to buy a ticket first, at the other end of the cathedral. In an even longer line. When it was finally my turn, at about 1300 hours, they told me that I could buy a ticket for entrance at1830. That was too late, for I had to get back to my home in time.

So a relaxed lunch at the Ramblas and then back home, a four-hour drive.



Location (Map)

Newsletter Ireland, August 2015
Les Roches de Bretagne

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Sunday, 07 June 2020

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Jaap Rameijer

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8759 LE Exmorra, Netherlands
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