Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Corpus in La Garriga (Spain)

Our friend invited us out to his town's celebration for Corpus Christi, a feast day for the Body of Christ. La Garriga, about 50 minutes north on the train from Barcelona, is a town famous for its hot springs - which we can recommend! - and fine examples of Modernisme (Catalan modernism) architecture. Some of these buildings are open to the public during Corpus, including one whose smallish rooms were dwarfed by the religious paintings that would encompass entire walls - check out the painting of Jesus getting circumcised and other pictures by clicking on the Barcelona album on the left.

Casa Barbey was our favorite house though with intricate iron work, tile accents in floral motifs, a fountain whimsical with snail sculptures, and a gorgeous sundial in mosaic. With a hedged garden fit for a tennis court, it's a bargain at 20 million euros!

Other notable structures open for Corpus included the granite tunnels used as a bomb shelter during the civil war (exceptionally cool in heat of the day) and the Roman ruins of the bath house of Can Terres whose "series of small walls" (a la Eddie Izzard) were scorching hot. The indifferent docent reluctantly took a break from her sunbathing to tick off our visit on her record.

The pride of La Garriga's Corpus festival are the floral carpets, or "catifes," that different schools and organizations design and construct on the streets of the town. Bright carnations and gerbera daisies were set off nicely by the greens of stems and sprigs of evergreens, pale yellows and tans of dried grains and chaff, and deep browns of mulches. Even celebrities were attracted to the event - Rich can now say he said, "Hola!" to the President of Catalunya! He was passing by with the mayor of La Garriga.

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