HIDDEN OASIS

Plaza de Sant Felip Neri is a peaceful space hidden in the Gothic Quarter for the locals or unsuspecting tourist, to discover.

Or to be more precise, Plaza de Sant Felip Neri is a peaceful space for the locals to hide from the tourists! You won’t find this plaza written up in any guide book and because of its privacy it make an idyllic spot. The name lends itself to that of the The Hotel Neri (situated round the corner). The hotel bar, overflows into the courtyard, an ideal place for a quiet drink. Quietness is somewhat of a luxury in the bustling BCN.

The Gothic Quarter is an area of BCN. Here can be found Roman architecture from 2000 years ago, mansions, Church’s, fresco’s. The narrow, windy streets let you loose all sense of direction and feel like you really are discovering a slice of underground Barcelona. While this Plaza holds hard memories of Franco’s dictatorship ironically, the space now is tranquil and incredibly pretty. Dappled in sunlight it is a favoured spot with the locals to sit and relax. I feel to, an appropriate spot to pause to remember Spanish history.

To think that its only 32 years ago, in 1975 that Franco’s reign ended. Quite remarkable how this city has developed, and, how it has preserved it’s identity. The 1992 Olympics marked the beginning of a long process of urban renewal, a city reborn. Quite remarkable how identity, whether referring to a brand, personality, country is so powerful. i-am as designers have a great responsibility to create new identity while preserving old ones.

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