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Arc de Triomf

Batty for Barcelona's Arc de Triomf
As I've mentioned before in a few highlights, I love a proud arch at the beginning or end of a grand avenue. Blame it on Paris. This one was built when the city hosted the Universal Exhibition in 1888 as the entrance to the fair and I love the colors and the hint of fierce independence.

Barcelona's own Arc de Triomf (many a Parisian uncomfortable with that spelling), has a modernist edge, bold colors and yes, lots of bats.

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. In Modernism were repeatedly used animal symbols, which symbolizes the independence of Catalonia.
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