As an optional extension to your Colors of Provence itinerary, we invite you to experience the wonder of Barcelona, Spain. With the city’s rich history, famous artistry, and exquisite cuisine, a multitude of enjoyments await your arrival. Here are just a few of the magnificent works of art and architecture that will captivate you during your land package with AmaWaterways.
Echoes of Roman Architecture
During your included tour of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, visit the beautiful Plaça de Sant Jaume. This plaza used to be the location of the city’s Roman forum, the ancient center of the city where the Temple of Augustus once flourished. Now, you can witness the majestic Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the Catalan Government, on one side of the square, and the beautifully crafted Barcelona City Hall. Even through the test of time, the Plaça de Sant Jaume continues to be an important place for politics – a place to visit to make one’s voice be heard.
Architect Antoni Gaudí’s Final Masterpiece
In the province of Barcelona, seven buildings designed by famous architect Antoni Gaudí have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most notable of his works is the Sagrada Família, which is currently the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world. An incredible work of art, this immense church stands out along the Barcelona skyline. Tying together classic Gothic architecture with elements of nature and Christianity, this church is a masterpiece of both its own time and our modern world. The sight of this building’s intricate details and extraordinary designs filled with hidden symbolism against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains is enough to take your breath away.
Funded entirely by private donations, the construction of this masterpiece began in 1882. Although progress on the church’s development was slow, this did not phase Gaudí, who famously said, “My client [God] is in no hurry.” The gradual progress of the Sagrada Família’s formation was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. During the war, Gaudí’s original plans for the church were damaged, and after 16 years spent repairing the original plans, drawings and plaster models of the master design, the building construction began once again. This beautiful work of architecture is scheduled to be completed in 2026, the 100-year anniversary of Gaudí’s death. This incredible church will be a highlight of your guided tour through the Gothic Quarter as a part of your AmaWaterways land package.
The Black Madonna of Montserrat
The Benedictine Abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat, a magnificent monastery set atop this beautiful mountain, is home to more than breathtaking views of the surrounding area – it is filled with incredible religious works of art. One of the abbey’s is the Virgin of Montserrat. Also known as the Black Madonna, the statue depicting the Virgin Mary and infant Christ is situated on an altar of gold. In 1844, Pope Leo XIII declared this statue to be the patroness of Catalonia.
To see this beautiful statue, you must climb a golden stairway. The room that is home to this Black Madonna statue is also decorated with an ornate golden overlay as well, and the statue is protected behind a layer of glass, save for one of her hands. This hand holds a special sphere meant to symbolize the universe, and tradition holds that visitors touch the Virgin’s hand while holding their other hand to Jesus.
Witness even more of the splendor that Barcelona has to offer on our 3-night land package to the city as an optional extension to your Colors of Provence itinerary. Contact your preferred travel advisor to reserve your place on this land package today!
What’s Included in Your Optional Land Package
- 3 nights at the Le Meridien Barcelona (or similar)
- Daily breakfast at the hotel
- Convenient transfers between your hotel and ship
- Guided tours through the city’s Gothic Quarter and Montserrat
- The services of one of our wonderful Cruise Managers throughout your river cruise and land journey