The artsy area of Barcelona - El Raval

Kai Bonsaksen | Live the World

November 23, 2022

There are a few cities that have a little something to them. A sense of specialty to them. Not necessarily a taste, smell or flavor. It's more of a mix between those three at the same time. Paris has this. Berlin has this. London has this. Barcelona has this.

The sensing Belgrade article is the Balkan version of this.

Usually, it's a specific place in the city that makes it so special and gives them that little something. It is hard to narrow down exactly what it is about Raval that makes it so special. I will make an attempt.

El Raval was reconstructed

The Raval side of Barcelona was massively reconstructed in the 80s. It has a heavy nightlife and a lot of different cultures inside of it. This place is not super neat. The place is for particular people. The bohemian type would like it here. The area gives you a sense of how it was before the Olympic period. The Olympic period was the period that the city was cleaned up and structured to be presentable during the Olympic games.

Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Antoni Tàpies

Knowing that writers and artists are super inspired by Barcelona helps to motivate me to be artistic here. El Raval is the area of bohemian creation and thought. Imagine Salvador Dali's thoughts. Then you look at the area of El Raval and you begin thinking, ''there might be a correlation between the scenery of Raval and the thinking of Dali''.

Gaudi has to be mentioned

The city of Barcelona is very much inspired by Antoni Gaudi. This is perhaps why it is so special. It's the result of when you take a person's authentic mind and put it into a city. There is thought behind Gaudi's work. It's not like those new fashionable glass buildings. I think he didn't like corners. Because in Barcelona, the buildings are often shaped in a circle-like manner. It is more natural like this anyway. Look at nature, it is shaped like circles. For example, flowers, the moon, the earth. Gaudi understood that part. He also understood that the strict shapes of buildings are not natural. For the sake of adapting to the environment, he made the buildings act against strict shapes. By the way, in some of his buildings, the roof is shaped like waves.

The conclusion for why the city has that special authentic feel is because it is based on personas who made buildings and structures with an authentic personal feeling.

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