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28.05.2014
Yaroslavl
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What can we learn from Barcelona?
Barcelona is one of those rare cities which you want to come again to. And once again. And once again. I was there three times. And I want to visit there more and more. It is the rare city where there is a wish if not to live, but to visit often.
What can we learn from Barcelona?

Barcelona is one of those rare cities which you want to come again to. And once again. And once again. I was there three times. And I want to visit there more and more. It is the rare city where there is a wish if not to live, but to visit often.

And, it seems like, I have already visited all places - great Gaudi's all most known architectural instructions (Park Güell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, etc.), Gothic quarter, and P. Picasso's museum, Tibidabo's mountain, and the Monzhuik mountain, and Olympic facilities (The Olympic Games took place in 1992 here and it there were the last Olympic Games where USSR national team (the CIS back then) took priority at the summer Olympic Games in an all-team competition), the Spanish village, and "singing" fountains, and Rambl's pedestrian street, the Aquarium, and the Zoo, and H. Miro's museum and even football stadium Nou Kamp. But still I have a feeling there something will be in this city, that I want to look at and it will be remarkable.

What would be possible to t use from an experience of Barcelona, the city where you want to go, look, come back. At first sight it is absolutely different, unearthly, absolutely unlike the Russian cities, geographical object. Yes, there is a sea (Mediterranean), where a huge number of tourists come to beaches of Costa Brava and Costa Dorado, there is a thematic Aventur's Port Park where tourists go from all Europe and there is a unique Monserrat mountain monastery and Salvador Dalí's theater museum in Figueres. But all this is outside the city, though in close proximity to Barcelona. However the city has many things which attract tourists not only in the summer, but in the winter too. I was in Barcelona at the beginning of the January last time, 2013, not the best month for travelling – Christmas holidays have already ended. However there were a lot of tourists, generally Russians, Japanese and Chinese.

So what can be interesting, useful and instructive in this Catalon city to my opinion?

  • City architecture, including historical and modern.
  • Gothic (medieval) quarter (the historical center):
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  • The architecture of the late XIX - early ХХ century
    The Amatller home, the Batllo home, Spanish village:
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  • Modern architecture (including offices of large corporations and the companies)
    "Cucumber" (the office of one of the largest municipal companies of Barcelona), office of the Spanish division of the Volkswagen Company (one of the nicest SEAT cars belonging to Volkswagen Audi group is produced in Spain).
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  • Natural and city landscapes (including zoos, parks, recreation areas, embankments)
    Barselonette Embankment, the view of the port from an observation deck of the mountain Monzhuik, yachting, Park Güell, park on Tibidabo's the mountain near a cathedral of Sacred Heart
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  • Attractive objects (objects of historical heritage, museums, exhibitions, cemeteries, etc.)
    Cathedral of sacred family (Gaudi), cathedral of Sacred Heart on Tibidabo's grief, an old city cemetery at the bottom of Monzhuik mountain (it it is visible only from the sea site), light -and-musical fountains near the square of Spain, the Aquarium

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  • Small architectural forms (sculptures, fountains, temporary structures to the thematic holidays etc)

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  • Pedestrian zone
    Rambla street (alive sculpture)

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  • Entertainments (concerts of classical and modern music, sports, flash mobs, exhibitions and other cultural events)
    Concerts and sports competitions are usual events in the city. Two football and basketball sports super clubs under the general name "Barcelona" are based here.
  • Shopping
  • Food (various - from the budgetary McDonald's to restaurants of a chef cuisine)
  • Interesting places for visits in a radius of 100 km from the city where it is possible to arrive for one day, having returned on lodging for the night to Barcelona.

Monserrat mountain monastery, Salvador Dalí's theater museum in Figueres, the thematic Aventur's Port park, Tarragona, Zhirona.

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Of course, to compare Barcelona and Yaroslavl, mildly speaking, incorrect. Barcelona is a city with a population of 1.6 million inhabitants (just in Catalonia lives of almost 5 million inhabitants). There is not only big business and trade, but a variety of transport infrastructure - the sea port, airport, subway, and even the funicular (one leads from the port to Montjuic, the second to the temple of the sacred Heart on the mount Tibidabo), not to mention convenient public transport system. In the whole transport system is convenient, in the city there is almost no traffic jams, mainly because the main city highways very correctly located (there is a horizontal chord (one of the main is called a street Parallel, it goes along the sea) and perpendicular and even has a diagonal, which is called "Diagonal").

Barcelona received an essential jump in its development when began to prepare for the Olympic Games of 1992. It, by the way, is one of the few cities which received a serious impulse in development from the cities which hosted the Olympic Games. Clearly, Barcelona is much more developed city cultural sense too. However, except cultural magnificence of Gothic quarter and architecture of the genius Gaudi, this city has something to learn from the point of view of development of various municipal objects. First of all a large number of objects, which we wany to visit are situated here (architectural, natural, historical, cultural, and sports) and a variety of original small architectural forms, original park zones and recreation. Absolutely Modern architecture, original and interesting buildings are absolutely absent in Yaroslavl. Well and the most important - an initiative is absent. Initiative of the municipal authorities. The modern architecture and original small architectural forms won't appear if this process isn't initiated by city local government.

There is one instructive history from life of Barcelona concerning an initiative. As it is known in there is a museum of one of the most known artists of the XX century of Pablo Picasso Barcelona. Yes, Picasso was born in Spain, but he lived in France a considerable part of the life. Thus actually he had been living in Barcelona for only 5 years from 1895 to 1905, the very early period of his creative work when he was neither rich, nor well-known.

Barcelona was not in his life later. However in the early sixties municipal authorities of Barcelona addressed to Picasso with the offer to open his museum in Barcelona. First, the friend and the secretary of P. Picasso Jaime Sabartes gave to Barcelona part of works of the great artist from the personal collection in 1963, and then in 1970 Picasso transferred to Barcelona the 2450 works. The 3500 pieces are the Barcelonian museum now. The role of local authorities of Barcelona consisted of an initiative and room allocation in one of Gothic palaces on Montkad St. As a result they received one of P. Picasso's biggest collections in the world. Now it is one of the most visited museums of Barcelona where thousands of tourists come from all over the world.

And one more history – municipal authority of Barcelona financed the movie of the well-known American director Woody Allen "Vicki, Christina, Barcelona". It was the initiative of the city hall of the capital of Catalonia too. The most beautiful views of Barcelona are shown in this movie. And the movie as a whole was cheerful and fascinating. In a couple of years municipal authorities of Rome financed the movie about Rome by Woody Allen, but it did not have such success.

Now Barcelona is a historical and modern city at the same time. It is very fashionable city where people from all over the world aspire and locate. Generally they are young people of so-called liberal professions - artists, designers, musicians, etc. They are creative people, young, ambitious, wishing to declare themselves. This is the future of any city. I want Yaroslavl have the future too. I can’t see it at the moment.

Evgeny Golubev

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