The Plaza Antoni López of Barcelona, houses a monumental building, whose towers can be seen from various spots in the city, with stairs the many look for in order to enjoy the meal they bought in Bo de B (check out my article about this place and its take away food).

Let’s talk about the post office building of Barcelona. A building that, despite being really close to everybody, is seldomly visited, and very few know its interior and enjoy the view of its dome.

A Little history

Barcelona’s first postal service started in the year 1338, being managed by a group of people, with its headquarters in Capilla d’en Marcús, in the middle of Barrio de la Ribera (now “Barrio del Born”). We will talk more about it in the next posts, just know that it’s one of the oldest buildings that are still intact, with parts of its structure being of roman style.

In 1716, King Felipe V incorporated the postal service to the Spanish kingdom and its headquarters moved to Carrer Correu Vell (el correo viejo, the old post office).

That was not its final location, and the headquarters kept relocating to various places in the city.

Finally, in the beginning of the 20th century, the project that we’re observing now finally arrived.

Via Laietana was about to be open, a new avenue in the middle of “casco antiguo” that connected the modern “Barcelona del Eixample” with the sea. In this context, a new project for a post office building was created, whose activity had been transforming due to the arrival of new means of transport. 

Features of the Post Office building

The building, designed by architects Josep Goday and Jaume Torres i Grau and of neoclassical style, was built between 1916 and 1929, and open at the same time as that year’s universal exposition, whose main venue was Barcelona. 

Built with stones from Montjuïc digging site, a mountain that is a symbol of Barcelona, with a main facade that has 4 giant columns, a baseboard with the inscription CORREOS Y TELÉGRAFOS, four sculptures of feminine figures that represent communications, transportations and the Spanish royal house shield, at the time of   King Alfonso XIII. 

But without a doubt, the most attractive part lies inside the building. So don’t miss it when you are around this area.

This is a public building, which means there is no entrance fee, and the access is not restricted.

Honestly, most people don’t include this site during their visit, and miss the chance to enjoy the inside part of it. But it’s worth the effort to climb its stairs, and marvel with the crystal dome that crowns the central part of the building, filling it with natural light. 

And what about using the postal service itself?: A postcard of Barcelona in your hand, sending it to a loved one, like in the “old days”.



Sitting in the post office stairs (maybe enjoying a sandwich from Bo de B), you will still be attracted to a weird shaped sculpture, full of colors, known as “La Cabeza de Barcelona” o “La Cara de Barcelona” (the head/face of Barcelona)

It was built between 1991 and 1992, key years for the transformations that the city was living, with the arrival of the Olympic games.

In that period, “Barna” was filling with new pieces of art, and this was one of them. Big and attractive: approximately 15mts high, and 6mts wide. It is a smaller version of one of the heads created by north American artist Roy Lichtenstein, from a series called “Pinceladas” (Brushstrokes). 

In this case in particular, with its Pop Art language, “Cap de Barcelona” is an homage to the great catalan artist Antoni Gaudí.

What elements prove this?

The chromatic impact, the raised red spots and the ceramic coating in a mosaic kind of style, this technique was so common among modern artists, and so typical in the works of the creator of Sagrada Familia or Parc Güell.

Located in Passeig Colom, few metres from Moll de la Fusta, right in the middle of Barcelona’s traffic, it’s very hard to miss, and not to enjoy.



Believe it or not, there are people who, when they see it for the first time, surrounded by cranes and laborers at work, think they are restoring it. Well no, it is not like that. The Sagrada Familia was never finished, hence all that movement around it.

The Sagrada Familia is still under construction today (official facebook).

It all started in 1882, when a neighbor from the area called Bocabella decided to promote the construction of a church in that area, which was not yet part of Barcelona (it was a town outside the city). An architect was hired but he only worked for one year, abandoning the project in 1883.

It is at this moment that Antoni Gaudí i Cornet enters the scene and the history of this temple changes forever. Gaudí wold dedicate almost 40 years of his life to the Sagrada Familia, until his death in 1926. And during so many years of work, he only built one façade and finished the crypt, where he is buried today.

That façade, that of the Nativity and the most famous of this temple, together with the crypt, are today an UNESCO World Heritage Site. And just by looking at them, one can understand why.

But the development of the project and its construction have not been easy. Financing was a problem, since Sagrada Familia had not received money from the State or the Church: it had always been maintained thanks to private donations or aid generated by the neighbors themselves.

Hence the time it took to complete it. Today, the Sagrada Familia can announce its completion date: the year 2026, when the 100th anniversary of the death of its creator, Antoni Gaudí, will be commemorated.

Tips to visit the Sagrada Familia

If you ask us which is the building / museum / attraction of Barcelona that you must visit, we would say that this is it. The Sagrada Familia is unique, its architecture is incredible and the experience of visiting it is unforgettable. So here are some tips for you:

  • Buying tickets in advance: This is very important, since most of the time, when you arrive at the church, you will discover that the tickets are sold out. To avoid wasting time, queues or stress (especially if you are staying in Barcelona for a few days) we recommend being proactive and buying tickets online. They are also a little cheaper than at the box office.
  • Since we are talking about buying online, here’s the link to the website where you can do it:, the official website of the temple. Only on this website you can check the actual availability of tickets. There are many websites that resell tickets, but they do not always have availability in real time, and they tend to sell them a little more expensive, because they add a management fee. To guarantee that you will not have surprises, make your purchase on the official website.
  • Among the offers of tickets you will see that the cheapest one does not have any guided tour or audio guide. It only includes admission to the Sagrada Familia.  If you are not on a tight budget, we recommend you to visit with a guide (audio guide or with an official temple guide). This way your visit will be complete and you will be able to understand everything that Gaudí wanted to convey with his culminating work.
  • When making the purchase, you will discover that you must choose an entrance time. It is the best way to avoid queues and also, by doing so, they control the number of people inside the church, as there is a capacity limit . Big advice: get tickets for the morning or midday hours. When the sun is up and through the stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia, the spectacle inside is wonderful. Especially in winter, the earlier the better, because you will have better natural light.

And now, enjoy the experience of being in front of this work of art, that Gaudí has given us in Barcelona. And, in case you want to have a nice meal or a drink, before or after your visit, do not hesitate to go to RARO (click on this link to see the article).

Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau 5 (2)

Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau 5 (2)

In the same neighborhood where the Sagrada Familia is located (and the so recommended RARO, about which we talk in this link), a few blocks away, is another of the great modernist works of that period: the Hospital de the Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

This hospital is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the work of another great architect from the Catalan Modernism. His name was Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

The first Hospital de la Santa Creu was located in the Raval neighborhood, and its construction began in 1401, unifying the six hospitals that had been in Barcelona until then, in one. It would be the city’s public hospital for almost 500 years. But by 1926 it was insufficient for a modern Barcelona, so the project of this new hospital began, which today is only a 10-minute walk from the Sagrada Familia.

In 1902 the cornerstone was laid and the inauguration of the new facilities would come in 1930. Sant Pau was added to the original name of the Santa Creu, in this new site, due to the contribution and legacy of the banker Pau Gil, that allowed the construction of this hospital.

In 2009, the sanitary activity moved to more modern facilities, in the far northern part of this architectural complex.

And today the Hospital de Sant Pau, as the locals call it, is a more than interesting museum to delve into the modernist world, but also in the new concepts of medicine of the early twentieth century.

The original project

It was conceived as a space that could house all the services inside of it and be isolated from the city. In fact, at the time of its construction, the hospital was far from the center of Barcelona and this area was an excursion destination on Sundays. That is why it was designed with its own streets, gardens, a church and even a convent.

It was supposed to occupy about 9 blocks, with a central building where the Administration tasks of the hospital were carried out. Then, about 27 medical and nursing pavilions were developed. All the buildings were linked by underground galleries, to transfer the sick, and all of them converged at the center of the complex: the surgical ward.

The architect would also pay special attention to the use of natural light and fresh air, considering that the recovery of a patient is not only related to medical care. It is also influenced by light, color, fresh air and the beauty of a garden.

Hence, the hospitalization wings had delicately decorated ceilings and walls, and a space similar to a winter garden, so that the sick could be surrounded by beauty, even in the midst of their seclusion.

If you are passionate about architecture, medicine, or you just really like to enjoy the beauty of an incredible building, be sure to take a tour of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, so close to the Sagrada Familia, that it would be a shame to lose the opportunity.

Both buildings are connected by Av. Gaudí, a tree-lined promenade full of gastronomic offers, where you will meet many locals who enjoy this public space.

The Hospital de Sant Pau has free visits (not free of charge, “free” means that they are done without a guide), from Monday to Saturday all day, and on Sundays and holidays the closing time is at 3pm. Anyway, as the hours can vary according to the season, we suggest to check out the hospital’s official website. They also do guided tours, on special hours depending on the language. Here’s the website, where you can also check the prices of the tickets.

And this is THE tip: if you are in Barcelona on the first Sunday of each month, you can enjoy this magnificent museum for free (now yes, free of charge!). We only recommend you to reconfirm the schedule (and even book the ticket online, free of charge) on the Hospital’s website, just to make sure there is no changes and that you get your free ticket.



There is a situation that is always repeated in bars and restaurants in Catalonia.

It begins with the order of the dishes or tapas to share, the waiter or waitress takes note of everything, and before leaving he asks the inevitable question: “And bread with tomato?”

And faced with such a simple question, there is always a simple answer: Yes!

You can never miss a serving of bread with tomato on Catalan tables, basically for two reasons: it is delicious and cheap!

Although today it is a dish that everyone enjoys, its origin is very humble. In fact, although some restaurants offer refined ways to taste it, the origin of “pa amb tomaquet” (well said in Catalan), was far from any refinement.

It is the Catalan “pages” (the peasant of these lands) who developed this idea, which is so popular today.


Imagine life in the country more than 200 years ago. Nobody thought of bread as an industrialized product like today, this will only come at the end of the 19th century.

In those years, bread was made once a week.

And not in a small bar. No, no. It was a very large loaf, intended to be consumed for days. And we all know what happens to the bread after a few days: it hardens and it is almost impossible to eat.

And this was something those who worked all day in the fields dealt with. In the afternoons, after many hours of effort, the “pagesos” would snack to be able to endure hunger until dinner time. And what did they have on hand?

Stale bread. Impossible to chew.

So they took the tomato, cut it in two and rubbed it against the slice of that bread. The tomato juices softened it and also gave it flavor. A fantastic solution, don’t you think?

That is why, thanks to a very basic need and the hunger of these people, a tradition is born that today is more alive than ever.


The best bread, the most typical to eat a good “pa amb tomaquet”, is the “Pagés” bread. That very rustic looking bread, generated from sourdough, which is cut into large slices and toasted.

The tomato is rubbed on each toasted slice: ideally it should be a “penjar” tomato (those are tomatoes hanging), characterized by having a soft pulp that well impregnates the bread when scrubbing.

Then comes the salt and, finally, the olive oil in good quantity, overflowing that bread and giving the perfect final touch.

And those who have been in Spain know that olive oil is a guarantee of unbeatable flavor and aroma.

A clarification: it may happen that in some bars they bring you the ingredients so that you “self-manage” your tomato bread. Among the ingredients, you will also find garlic. If you like it, it’s just a matter of peeling it and rubbing the clove against the bread, before the tomato.

A tip: just a little, do not get too excited about garlic, because it can be very strong and cover the flavors of tomato and oil, the main protagonists of this delicacy.

And now, dig in! What is it delicious?

Easy to make, tasty and with simple ingredients. In other words, the perfect formula for “pa amb tomaquet” to be a success, and that is why it will continue to be enjoyed for much longer.

Imagen portada: Tombpelcatala

THE FUET 4 (1)

THE FUET 4 (1)

The origin of the fuet can be traced back to almost 5000 years ago. The Iberians, the first inhabitants of these lands, used the fermentation technique together with the drying of the meat, but the Romans will be its great consumers. And the popular “lucanica”, the Latin name that defined it at that time, will be the one that will give its name to the Catalan “llonganissa”, elder sister of fuet.

Born in Catalonia, the meaning of the word “fuet” is “whip”, that rod or rope tied to a handle to hit horses or mules. But it is also the name of this famous and typical Catalan cured sausage, whose slim and elongated shape (a thickness of between 1 and 2 fingers), is distantly reminiscent of the shape of a whip.


It all starts with lean pork, chopped more or less fine, which is then marinated with salt and black pepper. Subsequently, it is stuffed into a thin casing and cured. The maturation time ranges from 3 weeks to one month.

If there is something that distinguishes the fuet it is that natural white skin that covers it; and it occurs as a result of the fermentation process. Thanks to which fungi are generated that help improve the final flavor.

Now comes the big question: do you eat with or without skin?

And the answer would be: It depends.

Of what? Basically, depends on the origin of the casing in which the meat is stuffed. If it is natural, that is, the tripe of the meat itself, it can be eaten without problem.

It would not be so recommended if the casing is synthetic, which is quite common in industrial production fuets.


Yes, it is true, its flavor is unique, but there are many varieties, and this has to do with the microclimate where the fuet takes place.

Mountain ones, for example, are drier. Those in low or more humid areas (such as the famous one in Vic) have the mold that we mentioned earlier.

But regardless of their precedence, the best will be artisanal, always.

They can be obtained in “cansaladerías”, delicatessen or butchers. Without additives, only meat, salt and pepper. No more is needed to make a great fuet.

Now, if you have already made yourself with a fuet, always remember the following: it is never stored in the fridge.

The ideal is to keep it hanging in a cool and airy place, especially if it is handmade. And when consumed, it must be cut on the bias (diagonally). Some make it very thin, others thicker than “longaniza” (a long pork sausage), but it is always very well accompanied by bread or “bread with tomato” and even in sandwiches.

Now yes, it is time to eat it. So … “Bon profit”!

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