EST. 2009

September 19, 2011

That Palau of Plenty

LIKE A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM ON ACID, in a crazy carousal with Bach, Beethoven, Pegasus and Zeus. Am I dreaming?

It was a struggle for me not to snap some shots secretly, as the man behind me had done throughout the tour. Photography is not allowed inside the Palau de la Música Catalana and for good reason: that much beauty, culture and wild, over-the-top opulence simply cannot come for free!

Completed and inaugurated in 1908, the music hall was built for the choral group Orfeó Català, by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, a politician and director of the Barcelona School of Architecture, where he was teacher to Antoni Gaudí.

Done in lavish modernisme style, the Palau takes inspiration from nature: with what appears to be a mosaic explosion of a lush, fruitful and flowery garden, from Greek mythology: with half-tiled, half-sculptural muses and other mythological characters, from Catalan culture: with prominent symbols up on the elaborate stage, plus elements of Arabic and Spanish architecture, all brought together in harmonious and cacophonous magnificence.

Up top is an ornate skylight of stained glass featuring a choir of forty female faces surrounding a large, glorious sun. The center of the sun warps down into some sort of inverted dome, appearing like a droplet just about to drop. At the topmost balcony, tilted chandeliers are each fixed around a tiled pillar. Iron around stone. It's mystery, it's magic!

When in Barcelona, do visit the Palau. It came highly recommended by a friend and I am now eager to highly recommend it to you.

As well, do visit the gift shop. The books are quite cheap and carry very good, legally taken, photos.

Palau de la Música Catalana, Images from Palau de la Música Catalana by Triangle Postals.