May of 2016 I planned a last minute trip to Europe. American Airlines had an incredible sale from Atlanta roundtrip for $500. Who could pass that up – not I. The ticket was only $16 while the taxes made up the remainder of the fee.
I had visited Barcelona prior but it was around March timeframe where it was a tad brisk and the beaches were empty. I wanted to experience the beach scene, flowers blooming and outdoor cafes. This trip would be my second already to Europe for 2016 but who gets tired of going to Europe.
I registered for a evening walking tour with Running Bean Tours. The tour started at the Arc de Triomf at 7PM on a Monday. The tour highlights were: The Spanish Inquisition / Dark legends of the city / Medieval punishments and tortures / Forgotten cemeteries / Life as an executioner.
The Tour Guide (can not remember her name) had a small projection device with her that she used to show old pictures of how the places on our tour looked back in the olds days. The setting made you feel like you were walking the streets in ancient times.
I had not heard about the Spanish Inquisition since my schools days many moons ago. I learned enough to pass my tests but nothing really stayed with me outside of remembering the name. If you don’t remember what it was, here is a little background.
The Spanish Inquisition was established in 1478 as a court for the detection of heretics. Heretics were non Catholics mostly. Others were listed under this category by their actions. The most targeted religious groups were Jews, Protestants and Muslims. The Court believed that they were saving the Heretics from their actions which would lead them to a hideous fate awaiting them in the underworld.
Many Heretics were put to death. Executions were performed by the use of a garrote (strangulation). Whether or not an individual would be executed was determined by the Court.
Enough about the Spanish Inquisition, the dark side of Barcelona, lets take a look at some of the street art.
Lastly, we also visited cemeteries – but of course we did. The one of most interest to me was the Fossar de les Moreres. The literal meaning is Grave of the Mulberries. Pictured below is a memorial square adjacent to the basilica of Santa Maria Del Mar. This square/plaza was built over a cemetery where defenders of the city were buried following the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. It is a memorial to the fallen Catalans of the war. The light seen is on a structure that is used as a torch – eternal flame. The light never goes out.