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The Best of Barcelona, Catalonian Capital of Spain   by Beatriz Lopez
Located on the northeastern coast of Spain is the intoxicating city of Barcelona. Set against the Mediterranean Sea, this multifaceted jewel rewards visitors and locals alike with mesmerizing architecture, impressive museums, outstanding cuisine and more... read more
Barcelona Hotels by Area:
Barcelona El Prat Airport Area  - Camp NouDiagonal Avenue Area Barcelona - Diagonal Mar - Gothic Quarter - Güell Park
L'Eixample Area - Las Ramblas - Las Ramblas Area - Olympic Port - Paseo de Gràcia - Plaza de España
Sagrada Familia Area - Sants Station - Via Augusta
FEATURED BARCELONA HOTELS - SPAIN
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SAGRADA FAMILIA AREA, BARCELONA FEATURED HOTELS
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (official Catalan name; Spanish: Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia; "Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family"), often simply called the Sagrada Família, is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain since 1882 and is expected to continue until at least 2026. Considered the master-work of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), the project's vast scale and idiosyncratic design have made it one of Barcelona's (and Spain's) top tourist attractions for many years. A portion of the building's interior is scheduled to open for public worship and tours by September of 2010.
The Sagrada Familia was designed by Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), who worked on the project for over 40 years. Gaudi devoted the last 15 years of his life entirely to the endeavor. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2026. On the subject of the extremely long construction period, Gaudí is said to have remarked, "My client is not in a hurry." After Gaudí's death in 1926, work continued under the direction of Domènech Sugranyes until interrupted by the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Parts of the unfinished church and Gaudí's models and workshop were destroyed during the war by Catalan anarchists. The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the lost plans as well as on modern adaptations. Since 1940 the architects Francesc Quintana, Isidre Puig Boada, Lluís Bonet i Gari and Francesc Cardoner have carried on the work. The current director and son of Lluís Bonet, Jordi Bonet i Armengol, has been introducing computers into the design and construction process since the 1980s. Mark Burry of New Zealand serves as Executive Architect and Researcher. Sculptures by J. Busquets, Etsuro Sotoo and the controversial Josep Subirachs decorate the fantastical façades.
According to the newspaper El Periódico de Catalunya, 2.26 million people visited the partially built church in 2004, making it one of the most popular attractions in Spain. The central nave vaulting was completed in 2000 and the main tasks since then have been the construction of the transept vaults and apse. As of 2006, work concentrates on the crossing and supporting structure for the main tower of Jesus Christ as well as the southern enclosure of the central nave which will become the Glory façade.
987 Barcelona Hotel, Barcelona
The 987 Barcelona Hotel is a listed heritage building situated in Barcelona city centre, 500 metres from the main shopping street of Paseo de Gracia and one kilometre from Catalunya Square.  The bar serves a selection of cocktails and long drinks. Guests can relax over cappuccinos in the café, surf the Internet, or unwind in the massage-treatment room.  The concierge can help plan sightseeing trips around the city. Further amenities include an express check-in/out service, business centre and airport transfers.  Restaurant 987 Barcelona serves a wide selection of Mediterranean food in a relaxed setting. The 92 air-conditioned guestrooms are decorated in a sleek contemporary style with colourful fabrics and matching decor.  Amenities include cable television, wireless Internet, CD players, direct-dial phones, minibars, safes, and refrigerators. 
Eurostars Gaudi Hotel, Barcelona
The Eurostars Gaudi is located in the center of the Eixample District in Barcelona, Spain. The hotel is 500 meters from Sagrada Familia, the unfinished cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi. The Gothic Quarter, Picasso Museum and shopping at Las Ramblas are within three miles of the hotel. Olympic Village and Barceloneta Beach are six kilometers away.  Patterned marble floors, red chairs and modern lighting accent the hotel's lobby. Buffet-style breakfasts are available daily, while drinks are served in the bar. The hotel's sun terrace offers views of Barcelona. Room service is available 24 hours a day.  Although the hotel faces a busy street, guestrooms are soundproofed to minimize distractions from inside and outside.  Guestrooms at the Eurostars Gaudi are decorated with wood floors and contemporary artwork.
Hesperia Sagrada Familia Sport & Spa, Barcelona
The Hesperia Sagrada Familia Sport & Spa is located in Barcelona, one block from Gaudi's Sagrada Familia temple, one kilometre from the Placa de Catalunya, and 1.5 kilometres from the historic Barri Gotic.  The hotel has a contemporary facade, and offers a multilingual staff and a front desk open around the clock.   Stays at the hotel include per person, per stay access to the Metropolitan Sagrada Familia, a sports centre with the latest in equipment spread out over 7,000 square metres. The sports centre includes a swimming pool, fitness rooms, Turkish bath, and cycling rooms. It also has a spa area with treatments and massages, as well as a solarium. Audio-visual equipment is available, and there is complimentary wireless Internet available in the air-conditioned public areas. Breakfast is served for a surcharge.  Guests must be at least 17 to enter Metropolitan Sagrada Familia sport centre. 
Hotel Europark, Barcelona
The Hotel EuroPark is located in the centre of Barcelona, Spain, four blocks from the designer stores of the famous Passeig de Gracia, and 800 metres from Gaudi's Sagrada Familia.  A striking contemporary hotel, the EuroPark features a roof terrace with an open-air swimming pool and solarium. Complimentary wireless Internet access is also available. Secure parking is available.  The Hotel EuroPark's Euro-Bar offers hot and cold snacks, tapas, cakes, alcoholic and soft drinks.  Breakfast is available (surcharge).  Room service is also available.  The 105 guestrooms all feature sleek, avant-garde decor and furnishings in glass, stainless steel, and striking lacquered wood. Amenities include satellite television, direct-dial phones, complimentary wireless Internet access, minibars, safes, and bathrooms with hair dryers, telephones, and complimentary toiletries. 
Hotel Medium Abalon, Barcelona
The Medium Abalon is a modern hotel with a white façade and is situated in front of one the beautiful Hospital de Sant Pau, two kilometres from Barcelona city centre. The modernist buildings, pavement cafes, shops and restaurants of Passeig de Gracia are one kilometre away. Other attractions include Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Cathedral, 300 metres away, and Parc Guell, 850 metres from the hotel.  The breakfast and coffee room provides a relaxing setting with a simple modern white decor and tiled floor. Guests with laptops can check email throughout the hotel thanks to Internet. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can help with sightseeing information and restaurant bookings.  This five storey hotel features 40 guestrooms, all of which have simple modern decor with black furnishings.
Hotel Omm, Barcelona
The hotel is 100 metres from La Pedrera, the Casa Mila designed by renowned architect Gaudi, and Passeig de Gracia's wide boulevards and boutiques. The lively promenades of Las Ramblas, the Gothic quarter and La Sagrada Familia Cathedral are all within one kilometre. The Diagonal metro station is 100 metres from the hotel. Moo Restaurant is decorated in black-and-white tones with contemporary art and serves local Catalan specialties and fine wines. Moovida Restaurant offers seasonal Mediterranean cuisine. Guests can take in panoramic city views and drinks at the poolside bar with roof terrace. The Omm hotel's nightclub stages live performances and music. The rooftop pool has wooden decking, and a terrace with views of Gaudi's Casa Mila. The health centre includes massage areas, water treatments and hair salon. Decorated in light, neutral colours with modern furnishings, the Omm hotel's 91 air-conditioned guestrooms have balconies and parquet floors.
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SANTS STATION AREA FEATURED HOTELS, BARCELONA
Barcelona Sants (also known as Estació de Sants) is the name of the main railway station in Barcelona, operated by RENFE. It has become the Catalan capital's most important transportation hub - being the centre of commuter (Rodalies Barcelona) and medium-distance train services, as well as the main inter-city train station for national and international destinations. The station is named after Sants, the neighbourhood of Barcelona in which it is located. New parts of the station have recently been reformed on the occasion of the introduction of the Spanish high-speed train AVE in the city, which took place on 20 February 2008. There is also an adjacent international bus station by the same name.
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Hotel AB Viladomat, Barcelona
The Hotel AB Viladomat in Barcelona is set in an imposing glass-fronted high-rise building in the heart of Barcelona's Eixample district, just two kilometers from Plaza de Catalunya and close to the main Sants railway station. The hotel restaurant serves daily specials and Mediterranean dishes, featuring Catalonian produce, and guests can enjoy coffee and cocktails in the AB Bar. Additional amenities at the AB Viladomat include the meeting rooms, a non-smoking floor and parking facilities.  At the Hotel AB Viladomat, Barcelona, guests can also make use of the information desk, where staff can offer help in booking sightseeing trips and restaurants.  The hotel has 81 modern and light-filled double rooms, decorated with restful yellow, blue and peach tones, and featuring wooden floors and cedar furniture. 
Hotel AC Sants, Barcelona
The AC Sants is located in Barcelona, Spain, adjacent to Sants station, three kilometres from the centre of the city, and four kilometres from the Sagrada Familia church.  The modern lobby area features modular furnishings in grey tones, Internet access (surcharge), and a 24-hour front desk.  There is a business centre and a concierge desk, and the meeting room is suitable for up to 90 people.  Breakfast is served for a surcharge, and room service is available around the clock.  AC Sants' 78 guestrooms are air-conditioned and feature modern furnishings. Amenities include satellite television, complimentary Internet access, minibars, desks, and minibars.
Hotel Barceló Sants, Barcelona
The modern Barceló Hotel Sants is located in central Barcelona, Spain, above Sants Metro and train station. The hotel is 500 metres from Catalonia Congress Palace convention centre and Fira de Barcelona exhibition centre. Placa Espanya square and the lively promenades of Las Ramblas are within two-and-a-half kilometres.  Mediterranean and Catalan cuisine is served at the Michelin-starred El Bistrot de Sants. Guests can order dishes including cod with anchovy oil and sweet tomatoes. The restaurant has wood panelling and large windows with park and city views. La Cantina L'Estacio offers tapas and buffet-style cuisine.  The Cyber Corner features computers with high-speed Internet access (surcharge) and facilities for faxing, photocopying and printing.  The hotel has a fitness centre with free weights and cardiovascular machines.
Hotel Gran Derby, Barcelona
The Gran Derby Hotel is a townhouse property situated in the centre of Barcelona, 500 metres from Las Ramblas and 800 metres from Barcelona Sants train station.  Guests can swim in the outdoor pool, relax beside it on a sun bed, or chat over drinks in the bar.  The concierge can help plan sightseeing tours, or guests can research local attractions using wireless Internet. Practical amenities include a 24-hour front desk, on site parking, and 24-hour room service.  The business centre offers conference and banqueting facilities for up to 150 delegates.  Gran Derby Hotel serves lunch and dinner in The Times restaurant. The bar also offers a wide selection of drinks, cocktails and tapas. The 41 air-conditioned guestrooms are individually decorated in a contemporary style in neutral tones with designer furnishings.
Hotel Medium Prisma, Barcelona
The Hotel Prisma is a modern property in Barcelona's Eixample area, 200 metres from Francesc Macia Square and 500 metres from Sants Station. Montjuic Palace and the Nou Camp Football Stadium are all a kilometre away from the hotel and Placa de Catalunya and Las Ramblas boulevard are around three kilometres away. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can help book any shows or restaurants around Barcelona. Internet access is available. Guests can relax in the lobby which features bright modern furnishings and a coffee machine. An elevator facilitates access to all rooms. Although there is no restaurant in the hotel the surrounding area has a variety of dining options.  This three storey hotel features 27 guestrooms, all of which include bright modern decor in light colours with tiled floors.
Sercotel Abbot, Barcelona
Sercotel Abbot is a modern hotel set in central Barcelona, just 500 metres from Sants Station and two kilometres from Gaudi's stunning Casa Milà. Guests can start by browsing the complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and plan sightseeing activities using the wireless Internet access available throughout the hotel. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can provide tour assistance and make any bookings for sightseeing trips and tours. Bicycles and scooters can be hired from reception, while other practical amenities include dry cleaning services, laundry facilities and a parking garage. This six-floor property features 42 air-conditioned guestrooms decorated in light decor in natural colours with patterned fabrics and modern wood furnishings. All offer televisions, telephones, wireless Internet, safes, and minibars with complimentary water. 
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VIA AUGUSTA AREA, BARCELONA FEATURED HOTELS
Via Augusta (also known as Via Herculea or Via Exterior) was a Roman road crossing all the Hispania Province, from Cádiz in the southern tip of current Spain, to the Coll de Panissars, where it crossed the Pyrenees close to the Mediterranean Sea, and joined the Via Domitia. The road stretched around 1,500 km (around 1,000 miles), passing through the cities of Gades (Cádiz), Carthago Nova (Cartagena), Valentia (Valencia), Saguntum (Sagunto), Tarraco (Tarragona), Barcino (Barcelona), and Gerunda (Girona). It had branches passing through Hispalis (Seville) (where it joined the Via Lusitanorum), Córdoba, and Emerita Augusta (Mérida). The road was named after Emperor Augustus, who ordered it renovated between 8 BC and 2 BC. It was mainly a commercial road. Its path is currently followed by the N-340 road and the A-7 highway. North of Tarragona there remains a Roman Triumphal arch, the Arc de Berà, around which the road divides. At Martorell, the ancient Via crosses the river Llobregat on the impressive Devil's bridge which dates from the High Middle Ages in its current form.
AC Hotel Irla, Barcelona
This lovely 4 star hotel is located in one of the city's sophisticated and commercial areas. Housed in a new building that offers all the services with the highest comfort and design, the AC Irla has everything the discriminating traveler could want.  With an agreeable avant-garde design, with touches of the Eighties, the hotel offers a complete buffet breakfast of first-rate products. Because of its location, on the first floor, it’s the perfect place for a calm breakfast. Another very comfortable option is the hotel’s twenty-four hour room service. We want our guests to be in good shape to enjoy their stay. We therefore provide a free Fitness Centre, where you will find Bodybuilding equipment, exercise benches, turkish bath, sauna, television and mini Hi-Fi system, as well as a selection of mineral waters, all offered free of charge.
Hotel Husa Tres Torres, Barcelona
The Hotel Husa Tres Torres in Barcelona, set in a quiet residential area of the city, is conveniently located a few minutes from the city center. The hotel offers easy access to the city's main ring roads, known as "rondas," as well as its motorways. The Hotel Husa Tres Torres sits nearby the shopping area of Diagonal-Pedralbes, a leisure and entertainment center in Barcelona with cinemas and a gymnasium, along with the University area and neighborhood of private hospitals and clinics. The Hotel Husa Tres Torres, Barcelona, houses a restaurant that serves both lunch and dinner. Parking is available for a fee, and the 24-hour front desk can provide a safe-deposit box and room service. The 56 guestrooms at the Hotel Husa Tres Torres feature minibars, satellite television, telephones and in-room safes.
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La Sagrada Familia - Past And Future   by Mike McDougall

Barcelona Hotels  /  Barcelona Self-Catering Apartments  /  Top

La Sagrada Familia can be found in Barcelona, in Catalonia in Spain and is renowned as Antoni Gaudi's masterpiece.

Although thought of as a cathedral, it is in fact, a basilica - the cathedral in Barcelona is the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia.

Gaudi was handed the project in 1884, but only after the founding association and the original choice of architect Francesc del Villar had irreconcilable disagreements with those behind the project.

Gaudi went back to the drawing board and came back with a completely new design. He worked on the project for more than 40 years and during the last 15 years of his life, he devoted his entire efforts to it.

As the building began to take shape, and reach further and further into the sky, the building began to take on a much talked about fantastical shape and the now world famous four spike shaped towers were crowned with geometrically shaped tops that were most likely influenced by the Cubist movement. The complicated decorations covering the basilica are rooted firmly with Art Nouveau styles.

Unfortunately, in 1926, before La Sagrada Familia could be completed, Antoni Gaudi died. The iconic towers were originally intended to be three times higher than they were. At this time, the Spanish Civil War broke out and parts of the unfinished basilica and Gaudi's models and workshop were destroyed. No plans were left for the completion of the building and since then, work has continued on it with a variety of different architects, including Francesc Quintana and Lluis Gari. Famous sculptors such as J. Busquets and the controversial Josep Subirachs have work decorating the facades.

Work has continued on La Sagrada Familia with the original plans being reconstructed from historical notes and adapting it to modern times.

As Gaudi intended, every part of the basilica's design is rich with Christian symbolism. He wanted the church to be "the last great sanctuary of Christendom". In all, there will be 18 of the striking towers, representing in ascending order of height, the 12 Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and tallest of all - Jesus Christ. The four Evangelists towers will be topped with their traditional symbols, an angel, a bull an eagle and a lion - representing St Luke, St Matthew, St Mark and St John accordingly. The tallest tower will be surmounted by a huge cross.

There will be three grand facades - the Nativity, the Passion and the unfinished Glory façade. The Passion façade includes strikingly emaciated figures of Christ being whipped and crucified and the doors on this façade reproduce words from the Bible in various languages, including Catalan, and the Glory façade is to be decorated with words from the Apostle's Creed.

La Sagrada Familia was the most popular tourist attraction in the whole of Spain in 2004 with 2.26 million people visiting the unfinished building.

It is hoped that, with the advent of quicker building technology than in the 1900's when La Sagrada Familia was started, it will be finished in 2026 - the centenary of Gaudi's death.

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About the Author - Mike McDougall works for Babylon Idiomas, a Spanish language institute with schools in Spain [Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla], Argentina and Costa Rica. For more information visit www.babylon-idiomas.com

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