In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee. ¡Hail Mary, full of grace! he quoth. And thus, via the order of Shoeless Carmelites and a host of other cunning plot devices which will be fully explained during this walk, did Gracia acquire its name and its shield: an iris, purity incarnate, airborne on a blue sky.
Still viewed by some of its older and less coherent residents as Spain’s second metropolis (after Madrid, of course), Gracia lies at the strategic crossroads of the north-south Roman highway with the riverbed-road connecting the insignificant port of Barcino/Barcelona with the province’s mountain wilds. Thrice in the nineteenth century an independent municipality, it was one of half a dozen villages finally swallowed up by Barcelona in Cánovas' 1897 municipal reforms.
However, in the Town of Gracia you'll still find a strong sense of a separate identity, the result of a number of factors including:
Some highlights: Gaudí's first major commission, his other church and his house when he still dressed like a gentleman; Franco and the the monolingual Catalan saint-to-be who helped him win the Civil War; the baker and the beanie saint; the speculative jeweller and the girl who found freedom and love amid the Civil War; other remnants of revolution and republic, cows and cats, palaces and farms, secret tunnels and underground hideaways; for those of a thirsty bent, brief interludes in Catholic-regionalist (with a magnificent little theatre), Trotskyite-internationalist, leery-local and/or various other types of bar.
|Base||Barcelona (Meeting point information here, where relevant - make sure you have the right one!)|
|Location tags||Barcelona, Casa Vicens, Catalonia, Gracia,|
|Theme tags||architecture, gastronomy, history, literature,|
|Your guide(s)||Mr Baldie|
|Walking distance||3.85 km / 2.39 miles|
|Walking time||2 hr|
|Total return travel time from base to walk||0 hr|
|Total time from "hello" to "goodbye"||2.30 hr|
|Fiestas and markets in places we go through - combine a walk and some partying or shopping!||
Note that there are also events in most places on January 6 (Three Kings), Carnival, Easter, April 23 (St George), June 23 (St John), and September 11 (Catalan regional/national day)
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|number of people in your group (kids 0-2 don't count, kids 3-16 = 0.5)||
This is the total size of the group. Unlike other (city) tours, you won't have to share your guide with a couple of dozen strangers.