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Arc de Triomf

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Batty for Barcelona's Arc de Triomf  Barcelona  Spain

Batty for Barcelona's Arc de Triomf

Who doesn't love a proud arch at the beginning or end of a grand avenue? This Barcelona example was built when the city hosted the Universal Exhibition in 1888 as the entrance to the fair. Barcelona's own Arc de Triomf (many a Parisian isuncomfortable with that spelling) has a modernist edge, bold colors, and yes, lots of bats in its design. Evidently, a bat was the emblem of King Jaume I, during a time where Barcelona was hitting its stride culturally and economically. Throughout Catalan Art Nouveau, animals like the bat were repeatedly seen in Modernist design to symbolize the independence of Catalonia. This creature is still the emblem of Valencia and for those of you that know your Spanish football history, you'll recognize that it was once even on the first crest ever designed for FC Barcelona. You will find the bat again and again in structures of Modernism, the Catalan Art Nouveau. Modernist architects repeatedly used animal symbols to represent the independence of Catalonia.