9 unimaginable curiosities of Barcelona
Barcelona has been founded by the romans and through the years until now, you can imagine that the city has many legends that majority of the citizens have forgotten. Of course, most of them are located in the old district but all have one point in common, they are all very curious to know and by some way, your curiosity will be attracted by them.
I will start first by Barcelona. It was said that the city was created by Hercules. He travelled with 9 ships and during the adventure, one disappeared which has been found docked at the foot of the Montjuic. At the end, all the crew decided to stay because of the beauty of the place and founded the city called Barcanona (Barca meaning ship and Nona meaning nine).
Moreover, it was said that Hercules fell in love of a beautiful girl called Pirene, does it sound something for you ??? Yes the Pyrenees. On the other hand, there is also another story from the Carthaginians saying that it was Hamilcar Barca who came to this area and he decided to found a city by putting his name.
The little bridge, situated at the bisbe street, is called bishop (in spanish puente de obispo). The street is the one leading you from the nova square, near to the cathedral, to the sant jaume square, where there are the City Hall and the Catalan Government Palace so undeniably, there are strong chances that you will cross it. This neogothic bridge connects the palace with the Canonges house and when you will be under it and that you are thinking to take a picture, don’t look to the skull in the center because it is said that it will bring you bad lucks.
To discover the highest point of Barcino, go until the entrance of the building situated on the paradis street at the number 10. If you go inside, you will discover the remains of a roman temple, in fact, 4 columns and let me tell you also that they were located in different sections of the city in pieces so it was necessary to find and to restore them to the actual place which was the exact location of the temple. For example, one of the columns was on the rei square as a monument.
Before that something bad happens to you in case if you looked to the skull, let’s go to the Ardiaca house (calle santa llúcia 1), near to the bisbe street and the cathedral. At the right side of the main entrance, there is a letter box decorated with swallows and a turtle. It is a modernist work by Domènech i Muntaner when the building was the headquarters of the Lawyers Association. The swallows mean that the mail should be quick and the turtle means the reality of the action so if you stroke its shell, you will free of the curse.
Now go inside, you will discover a very nice courtyard with a fountain. The house has been renovated during the 15th century and by this way, the courtyard has been moved from the center to the actual place near to the entrance. There is a tradition called ou com balla (egg how it dances) done during the corpus christi which consists to put an egg at the top of the fountain where the water comes out and to watch how it dances without falling.
Near to it, there is the sant felip neri square. You may wonder about the holes that you can see on one of the wall sections. Those holes are related to the shrapnel of a bomb that killed about 20 children on january 30, 1938, it was the bombing period suffered by Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. In the middle of the square, there is a fountain but an important element is missing. On its top, there was a statue called the student which was stolen by someone and until now, no one knows where is it and who did it.
The next area to go is another square called sant just. Here you will find the first public fountain of gothic style dating from the 14th century built on the former parish cemetery and like you can guess, the oldest one of Barcelona. It was said that Joan Fiveller, an important member of the politic institution called Consell del Cent (you can see a statue of him on the main façade of the City Hall), found a water canal meanwhile hunting in the Collserola mountain which went down until this place, very near to his palace so he decided to build the fountain. If you take a closely look, you may spot a falcon catching a partridge paying tribute to his creator and his hunting. That is why some people say there is a subterranean river under the square and that if you feel its heat, you will renew your energy.
Near to it, there is the sant just i pastor church dedicated to the 2 martyr children Just and Pastor. It was said that both were the christianization of the brothers Castor and Pollux. One of the old curious customs is related to the church. It was said that if a person was in death danger, he/she could say her/his last will to someone then this one had to come here and by repeating the exact words under oath in the altar for the dying person, it acquired a legal testament value.
The final stop will be at the rei square where there is the history museum of Barcelona. In the past, the square was served as a market place but the most curious event happened when the executioner lived here next to the santa agata chapel. No one wanted this function so at the end, an official job was created with some benefices as a royal employee but before that, to recruit the person, a bag of money with the tools of the execution could be found on one of the corner of the square and if no one took it, the butcher was nominated. One of the benefices was the right to sell the belongings of the dead person and everyone wanted to buy the shoes because it was said that putting them in front of the main door, it allowed to keep away the bad spirits.