Catalonia’s timeless appeal to creative souls


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Catalonia has received 16 recognitions of tangible and intangible cultural World Heritage by UNESCO. Serving as a muse for many of the world’s greatest artists, Catalonia nurtured the creative spirit of Pablo Picasso and Lluís Domènch i Montaner.

Imagination sings in the roots of Barcelona, home to many of the world’s greatest creators throughout history.

This year marks a half century since the passing of Pablo Picasso, arguably the most influential artist of the 20th century. In honour of his enduring impact on the artistic community – including the Cubist movement – we take a look at the life and inspirations of Picasso through the years.

Picasso’s connection to Barcelona began when he was fourteen, moving to the city from Malaga in 1895. Barcelona became his home during his formative artistic years, where he matured creatively amidst a vibrant cultural backdrop which fostered his close-knit friendships with other artists and creatives in the city. He frequented Els Quatre Gats, mingling with fellow artists like Rusiñol, Casas, Nonell, and Utrillo.

Although he later moved to Paris, he maintained strong ties with the Barcelona and Catalonia at large, returning occasionally and donating a number of his most prestigious works to the city, as well as organising two exclusive exhibitions of his work. Today, the Museu Picasso features around 5,000 of his works in its permanent collection.

Such rich history and culture runs as deep as the veins of Barcelona. 2023 also marks a century since the passing of Lluís Domènech i Montaner, one of the key architects involved in the influential Catalan Modernisme català movement. Initially, his academic path started with a focus on physics and natural sciences before Barcelona guided his transition into the world of architecture.

Exploring beyond the boundaries of Barcelona, it is vibrant history like this which has seen Catalonia receive 16 recognitions of tangible and intangible cultural World Heritage by UNESCO. Catalonia beckons you to fully immerse yourself in its arts and culture with the Grand Tour of Catalonia – a 2000km odyssey that unveils the region’s remarkable history and modern charm.

Divided into five sections, each stretch of the tour reveals the unique artistry and cultural tapestry of Catalonia. The tour offers limitless experiences for travellers of every creed; explore the mesmerising Mediterranean coast, the ancient abbeys, Michelin-starred cuisine, or ascend the rugged Pyrenees – home to artisan cheesemakers and pristine night skies.

Catalonia’s history resonates in every corner, every breath of air. Reus, known for its breathtaking modernist mansions, and L’Amettla de Mar, where you can swim with wild tuna, are just the beginning.

Discover Catalonia’s enduring legacy through the Grand Tour, where artistry and history entwine in an exquisite cultural tapestry that celebrates the past alongside the future.

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