Exploring the Latin American Barcelona
The book 'La Barcelona latinoamericana' explores the cultural, social and economic relationship of five centuries between the Catalan capital and Latin America.
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At the end of Las Ramblas, one of Barcelona's most emblematic streets, stands a statue in honor of Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer who discovered America more than 500 years ago, opening the doors to Spanish colonization and forever changing (for better and for worse) the history of Latin America.
The statue of Columbus is far from the only reminder of the close historical and emotional ties that bind Barcelona to the other side of the Atlantic since the explorer returned from his first voyage.
The book Latin American Barcelona, published in 2019 in collaboration with Barcelona City Council, offers a set of itineraries that allow readers to tour places in the city that have, or have had, some relationship with Latin American countries.
The book will take readers to places in the Catalan capital with the colonization of America, the importance that trade with the new continent had in the development of the city and with the participation of Catalans in the independence of some American countries.
Some of the places suggested by the guide are mansions such as the Palacio de la Virreina, in Las Ramblas, the Palau Malagrida and La Pedrera, in Passeig de Gràcia, built by families of 'Indianos,' who made huge fortunes trading with the New World.
It will also guide you through the monuments in the streets of Barcelona that recall characters of Latin American history, as well as visit the places of arrival for thousands of Latin American immigrants in recent decades, where there is a big cultural presence.
Barcelona is also considered the third homeland of tango, and was home to greats of Latin culture such as Margarida Xirgu, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Roberto Bolaño, El Gato Pérez and Shakira.
Each chapter of the book focuses on one aspect, such as "Art, music and cinema," "Barcelona businessmen in America," "Repression in Barcelona and Exile to America," "Literature in exile," "Solidarity from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean," and "Gastronomy, tourism and sport," among others.
The author of Latin American Barcelona is Joan Maria Serra, a graduate in Geography who has dealt with the crossroads of Barcelona with other cultures, such as the U.K. and Ireland, Germany and Africa.