Barcelona -- rebellious and industrious

Barcelona -- rebellious and industrious; centre of the cotton industry, centre of purposeful action. The town that Don Quixote came to at the end of his fourth expedition is the largest Spanish port on the Mediterranean, and is said to have been founded by the Phocians. It is a complete world of its own, this town of museums, and of competitions with floral prizes -- (first prize a rose, second prize a silver rose, third prize a gold rose -- for consolation!). Life and art complement each other. Make for the Ramblas -- the continuous avenue that leads from the centre of the city towards the sea and the docks, and then to Montjuich and the museums. The capital of Catalonia is the cradle of Romanesque art, and its museum of Catalan art contains 12th-century frescoes of exceptional importance.

The panels on the tomb of Sancho Saiz de Carillo (which come from Mahamud, in the province of Burgos) are remarkably fine. Taken all together, the museums have something to offer every kind of special interest, from prehistoric art ( Spain has one of the richest troves of rock-paintings of any country in Europe: Altamira, Puente Viego, Navazo, Alpera and Albacete have famous caves and grottoes) to numismatics; while the music-lover can see an excellent collection of old musical instruments. The model Pueblo Español (Spanish Village) is also worth seeing. And from the top of the hill, you can look out over the great stretch of smoke-stained roofs which go on towards the sea.

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