I find Barcelona a city full of life and activity, but it also has a place for the dead and the history they represent. Where better to experience this than at the Poblenou cemetery?
Stepping inside the tall walls that surround it, you find a captivating necropolis. The majestic mausoleums built by the city’s established families are the most striking. They offer a catalogue of the Neoclassical and Neogothic architecture favoured in the 19th century, I guess I find them both spooky and fascinating which is why I pop in every so often.
The sculptures on some of the tombs are quite amazing. The most famous is the “Kiss of Death”, a suitably melodramatic composition with a winged skeleton kissing a dying man who looks like a stone echo of Michelangelo’s Adam in the Sistine chapel. I never get tired of taking photos around here.
If you happen to come around All Saints day, the sight of families gingerly cleaning and arranging flowers on their ancestral niches and graves is always a life-affirming experience for me. Around that time of year, you can sign up via the official web page for a nighttime guided visit, I haven’t done it yet, but I hear it’s well worth doing.
Once you have finished ambling through the cemetery, bring yourself back to the land of the living and have a well-deserved drink across the road on the terrace of El Santet.