18 July 2010

Barcelona - Agua, Agua, Por Todas Partes

What do you do when you're a wealthy engineer with extensive property who has a thing for hydraulics? You dot your extensive property with illuminated fountains, of course! That's exactly what Pierre S. DuPont did at Longwood. A visit to the World's Columbian Exhibition in 1903 gave a young Pierre a fountain of ideas. Inspiration came from all over the globe - French, Italian, Moorish - making Longwood famous for its water features.

When we heard about the fountain show at Montjuic in Barcelona, we couldn't but wonder if the DuPonts saw the fountains there? And we couldn't leave without seeing them for ourselves.

Font màgica de Montjuïc at the head of Avenida Maria Cristina was proposed, built, and opened in a year, just in time for the 1929 Great Universal Exhibition. With the imposing National Museum of Art of Catalonia as a backdrop, the views of Barcelona from the top are stunning.

On our last evening in Barcelona, some of us decided to see the fountain show. We emerged from the Metro stop, rounded the corner, and basically stopped in our tracks. It's amazing the difference a little light and water can make in a landscape.

Yeah, I think Pierre would have been impressed!

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