is now a hipster hangout with high-class stores but in the turn on the 20th century, it was one of Picasso’s hangouts – and back then, Barcelona’s red light district. In 1907, Picasso would go on to paint five nude prostitutes from a brothel on this street – and change the face of art forever. A masterpiece that has left a profound impression on generations of artists, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
is widely considered to be the painting that begat Cubism. The ladies and the brothel are long gone, with fashionable stores like Happy Socks and American Apparel now in their place. Shop while you take in the history of one of art’s most indelible images.
The Musee Picasso, right in Barcelona, shows an impressive collection of Picassos, the best anywhere of his early years and the most in his native country.
Picasso ultimately moved to Paris in 1904, but Picasso continued to be inspired by Barcelona all his life, returning several times until Francisco Franco took control of Spain in the late 30’s. Known for some of his powerful political works (and notably Guernica), Picasso vowed not to set foot in Spain while the fascist dictator remained in power. He stayed true to his word, never again returning to his homeland even as he continued a series of anti-Franco works.