Wednesday, April 18, 2012
For our second field we went to a district in Barcelona called El Born, or the Born District. This is my favorite area in all of Barcelona so I was particularly excited to get toured around the area. We started at the Jaume 1 metro stop and walked through the tiny streets (definitely not built for cars) of el Born. There was some incredible architecture all around in the area, but especially close to the Picasso Museum. It used to be a very rich and affluent area for the bourgeois so there are very nice houses and apartments all around. After passing through this area we made it to the Jewish area, which was especially interesting for me given that I'm Jewish. We got to see the first synagogue ever built in Barcelona, but unfortunately we didn't get to go inside. The synagogue was smaller than I expected it to be, but given the treatment of Jews throughout history, I wasn't all that surprised. After the synagogue we headed over to the Mercat de Santa Caterina, which was very cool looking from the outside. The inside felt like a smaller version of La Boqueria. I liked La Boqueria better, however this one was definitely quieter and more tranquil. Getting to see the more hidden parts of the Born district was definitely really cool. I really am enjoying getting to know Barcelona.
Our first field trip of the semester was to go see the old Roman City of Barcino, founded in 15B.C. What is now commonly known as Barcelona. The Roman City is located within what is known as the Gothic District. Some of the most well-preserved spots from the city are located underground. This is because between the time of the Roman empire until now, things were built on top of it. After excavating the old city, you can still see the makings of a market all around you. The old city walls are still intact. Along with guard towers, a wine store and even a pool. It was truly remarkable how well kept everything was. The old forum is also visible near the old columns built for the Temple of Augustus. Along with the city itself, there were several artifacts and models around to show what daily life was like in Barcino. We got to see a model of a typical villa for a rich family that was very interesting to see. The house did not have hallways, which is a big difference between Roman and modern houses. The villa also had a garden in the middle of the house with an open roof over it for rain to fall in. There were also little toys that children played with two thousand years ago, including some marbles and what looked like dice. All around, the Roman City was incredible to be able to see. The fact that a city could be built over two thousand years ago and can still be seen today is mindblowing.