As the crisp air brightens my cheeks and little puffs of breath escape from my mouth, I inhale the scent of sizzling meat being cooked to perfection. The tantalizing aroma drifts on a light breeze from cheerfully decorated wooden huts and I wonder how many minutes will pass by until we succumb to buying a sausage. Festive lights hang in a canopy over the street, casting a warm glow onto the revelers swaying to the music as they peruse the wares for sale. Although I feel foolish, I can’t wipe the giddy grin from my face. Advent has begun – and there is nothing quite like a European Christmas market to usher in the holiday spirit. With a steaming cup of spiced, mulled wine in one hand and my other tucked into the crook of Kris’s arm, we navigate our way through the merriment as we celebrate the beginning of Christmas in Zagreb, Croatia.
There are so many things that make Christmas in Barcelona spectacular! From the fabulous churches to historic Christmas Markets to two extremely odd Barcelona Christmas traditions, we jumped right in and celebrated the holiday Catalan style!
Christmas in Barcelona: Churches
Barcelona seems to have two distinct styles of architecture: European Gothic and Modernism, led by Antoni Gaudi. It couldn’t be more evident than when looking at the two most visited churches in town: La Catedral and La Sagrada Familia.
La Catedral, wedged into the crowded Barri Gotic district, has soaring spires and gargoyles on the heavily decorated façade. The spacious, wide interior is lit by grand chandeliers, with two main aisles on the sides along the chapels, rather than one down the middle of the church. Stairs lead down, beneath the altar, to a crypt, which is the final resting place for Santa Eulalia, one of Barcelona’s patron saints.