Went into BCN today with a friend to check out the newly opened Born market.
Gonna get two posts out of it too, for my trouble!
So here's the Born market. I actually learned a ton of Catalan/Barcelona history today. For instance this is one of many markets in BCN, but they discovered after they finished it that it is was much bigger than it needed to be so they ended up making it a wholesale market, it is near two separate train stations and all the the north of the city making it easy for farmers to bring their produce in.
It was built on the remnants of a large part of the city that was razed by the Spanish military when Catalonia lost it's independence 300 years ago next year. What is now the parc de la ciutadel was a giant fort built to subdue and control the local population and they razed something like 17% of the city to create a defense zone. This was part of it.
In fact as an excellent finishing touch, home owners were forced to tear down their own houses. Nice that, eh?
Here's some photos:
It was strange and touching and weird. There are construction elements that are still in use today, that we have in our house now, virtually unchanged. It brings it home.
It is weird how low the streets are, they just piled it all up and kept building, though much of the building material must have gone into the fort.
It is deeply deeply nationalistic and any Madrid politician will have kittens. Really deeply political.
This leaves me on two levels. One is that it is important to remember and know our history, I do not doubt that for a moment, and visiting it with a Catalan was also illuminating. Felt very personal I would say.
At the same time, there is a very North American part of me that thinks sometimes history has to be let go, or we end up like parts of the Middle East or Ireland with long running hatreds that date back and back and back.
I know that each of these places has a distinct story and history, but I came away from the very political nature of many of the information boards with a sense of it not necessarily being a good idea to fan the flames.
The Catalans continue to impress me with their calm, with their determination for peace and democracy. This felt hotter.
There are also quite a lot of angry Catalan old women. If Madrid thinks this is independence thing is all from young people, or hot heads, they should be aware. The grandmas are pissed. This seems powerful to me.
Still trying to tease apart how I felt about all of this.
Personally I continue to be shocked by Madrid's brazen unwillingness to allow a democratic referendum. Honestly, it is shameful.
Independence itself, I can't vote.
I would like to see it happen, I would.
The Born exhibit.
impressed with their guts
totally worth going. A new must see in the city.