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Luxury villa rental » Spain » Costa Brava » Barcelona area

Barcelona, Spain, is an ideal destination for all types of travelers. Between hiking in the mountains and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, the city has something for everyone. Whether you're renting a villa for a wedding or a birthday party, the seaside invites you to enjoy a change of scenery just an hour from Paris. The capital of the Costa Brava is a city that has always found its way back to the world, most recently in 1992 with the successful Olympics. The first breath of modernity came in the first year of the 20th century, when a certain Antoni Gaudí i Cornet began to make a name for himself...

Let’s start in downtown Barcelona, where we offer a masterpiece apartment. Light floods in to embellish every room. Style blends old-world chic with sleek modern. The building’s Catalan modernist style invites you to explore the city’s many architectural currents. Staying in this apartment means you’re a true local, ready to set off and discover your new home town. The entire city center is a unesco World Heritage Site.

For those who want a little more ostentatious luxury, you’ll love our charming villas in magnificent surroundings. Our lodge is set in five hectares of parkland, some thirty kilometers from Barcelona. You can perfect your swing on one of the two golf courses around the villa. There are also tennis courts and a horse-riding arena, so there’s plenty of room for sports. Surrounded by palm trees, our old-fashioned chateau is decorated in a colorful Moorish style. The ochre and muted colors contrast perfectly with the surrounding landscape. Other architectural styles represented are Hispanic and Renaissance. Built 120 years ago, the house has been restored, preserving its style but adding all modern comforts. On 3 levels, it is ideal for large groups wishing to discover the region or travel to Barcelona (30 mins away). All 9 bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, and some have Jacuzzis. Outside, the gardens are just as remarkable. Within a 2-hectare walled park with a wide variety of plants and trees, you can enjoy the covered porch with sofas, various areas for outdoor dining, a play area, a beautiful heated swimming pool or the tennis court.

Barcelona is a city of a thousand hues. Whether you’re a partygoer, art lover or architecture enthusiast, the Catalan capital is sure to seduce you at any time of day. The city as we know it today was shaped by the emblematic Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, who had his heyday in the 1910s. He was the architect of several extravagant apartments known as “casas”. Casa Batlló and Casa Milà are right in the heart of the city. Further north is the Sagrada Familia, one of Gaudí’s major works. Sadly, he died in 1926, hit by a streetcar. Antoni was too carried away and distracted by his architectural thoughts that he didn’t take the time to look out for the dangers on the road. It was the same death as Pierre Curie’s in 1906, when lost in his scientific thoughts, he was hit by a carriage. In Barcelona, the city was saddened by the loss of a great man, but his plans remained. During the Franco period, extremists burned all Gaudí manuscripts that had not been duplicated. This was a major blow for the cathedral, whose rear façade suggests that it came straight from outer space. If you’d like to find out more about this astonishing figure, we invite you to read our Bellavista article about him at the bottom of the page. Let’s also pay tribute to another architect who made a name for himself in Catalan modernism, albeit a less extravagant one. Lluís Domènech i Montaner is famous in Catalonia for having designed the Sant Pau hospital just a stone’s throw from the Sagrada Familia! This man is more discreet than his compatriot, and also more open-minded. He studied in Madrid, the absolute enemy, and went on to live in France and Germany, where he analyzed architectural trends. Passionate about his homeland, Catalonia, he opted for the low-cost option of carrying out small commissions in less attractive, “second-rate” towns. This is how you’ll come across buildings that stand out from the crowd if you take a stroll through Canet de Mar, such as the restoration of the Castell de Santa Florentina or the Casa Roura. Lluís works in L’Espulga, Olot, Palma de Mallorca and Cantabria. In Barcelona, you can find his work by looking for these four casas that are well worth a visit: Casa Lleó Morera, Casa Thomas, Casa Lamadrid and Casa Fuster.

Let’s digress for a moment and talk about two related subjects that are just as interesting as the architecture. Barcelona’s flag features warm colors and a striking cross. Blood and gold are the colors of the Crown of Aragon, or the Catalan colors that the Aragonese have copied, they’ll tell you. Occitanie, Languedoc, Perpignan, Castillans, all proudly display their bright colors, inviting you to appreciate the sun. The red cross on a white background is that of St George, Sant Jordi in Catalan. This cross can be found on the coats of arms of many Christian places. The cities of Bologna, Genoa, Milan and Calvi in Corsica all bear this cross. It also appears on the flags of Sardinia, Georgia and England.

Catalonia is also soccer! There’s Espanyol Barcelona, but above all, there’s the world-famous FC Barcelona. Sport being a reflection of political and social tensions, it’s only natural that Barcelona’s main rival should be… Madrid! The club is over a hundred years old, founded in 1899, and the Blue and Garnets play in one of the world’s most grandiose stadiums, the Camp Nou. The stadium also played host to the 1982 World Cup semi-final between Italy and Poland. In addition to Italy’s 2-0 victory, this was the beginning of a story, an epic. The stadium became part of the sport’s international history. All we can hope for now is that Spain will let Catalonia host the final at the next World Cup to be awarded to them. The Cam Nou played a small but important role in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. In particular, the stadium hosted many soccer matches. The city is a sporting hub, and the facilities built for the Olympics have almost all been reused for the new needs of its citizens. The Athens Olympics in 2004 have still not been paid for, and the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2014 left the infrastructure orphaned, but the people of Barcelona have made 92% of their constructions profitable. This figure is a source of pride for the locals, as it’s one of the best success rates over more than forty Olympiads (summer and winter combined). Sport has given a much-needed boost to the city, which used to see its sewage run off into the old town. Numerous buildings were constructed in an astonishing style, including the Palacio Sant Jordi, the Torre Agbar (designed by Jean Nouvel) and the MACBA contemporary art museum. In town, rent an electric moped and visit the steep hills of Parc de Monjuïc, home to the Olympic Village. At the top, you’ll be transported back to the Middle Ages, when the Catalans reconquered the Balearic Islands from the Arabs. The Castell de Monjuïc is an attraction not to be missed.

To discover Barcelona, you’ll need to head for the heights of Parc Güell. This park is one of Gaudí’s creations and a unesco World Heritage Site. Built between 1900 and the outbreak of the First World War, the park was restored for ten years prior to the Olympic Games. The restoration caused considerable controversy, as white ceramic cladding was preferred. The park was supposed to be a garden city commissioned by Gaudí’s patron. The architect’s patron was Eusebi Güell, a wealthy industrialist who had amassed a considerable fortune on the island of Cuba. The large garden had to be set high up, to provide an unobstructed view of the city. Towers didn’t exist in those days, so the panoramic view was unobstructed. The 270° view across the Mediterranean was an immediate focal point of the city. The Greek theater and the ceramic lizards are in the paying section. Reservations must be made online a few days before the visit. Today, if you want to enjoy the heights, you’ll have to climb a little higher. Climb the serpentine path in Park Güell and the Turó de les Tres Creus tower for a better view. For the best views of Barcelona and Catalonia, read our Bellavista article below. There are many nuggets to be found there.

Finally, we come to the Ciutat Vella, Barcelona’s old town. We see the city as it appeared in the 18th century. Not much remains of the fortifications, but the charm, architecture and soul remain. Separated by Las Ramblas to the east and Via Laietana to the west, the old town is a meeting place for those who love parties, museums and gastronomy. It’s a good idea to watch out for tourist traps and take a good look at the restaurants before making a hasty choice. If all you want is a coffee or a pastry, ask carefully, as some shopkeepers do not accept credit cards and prefer cash…

Let’s end this page with a little anecdote. As you walk down the Ramblas, you’ll come to a gigantic roundabout next to the old maritime customs. The roundabout is very high up, and at a height of around thirty meters, a person seems to be indicating a point, or giving us an order. It’s a statue of a man pointing to a destination with his arm! The Catalan coast borders the Mediterranean to the east, towards Constantinople, Athens and Cairo. Could this be a statue in honor of the Crusades? Well, no. It’s Christopher Columbus pointing to the Americas, or rather the Indies! Boston and New England lie 7,000 kilometers behind the mountains. Columbus died convinced that he had reached the Indies, while many Spanish and Vatican generals seriously believed that a new continent had been discovered. The latter was named after one of his marine rivals, Amerigo Vespucci!

As the locals will tell you: bienvingut a Barcelona!

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