Barcelona the Great Enchantress
By Robert Hughes
(National Geographic Society, Paperback, 9781426201318, 169pp.)
Publication Date: September 18, 2007
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Robert Hughes has been a regular visitor to Barcelona since the 1960s and published a book about the city in 1992 that was quickly hailed as a classic. In Barcelona the Great Enchantress, Hughes crafts a more personal tale of his nearly forty-year love affair with the Spanish metropolis, one of the most vibrant and fascinating cities in Europe.
Beginning with a vivid description of his wedding in the splendid medieval ceremonial chamber in Barcelona's city hall, Hughes launches into a lively account of the history, art, and architecture of the storied city. He tells of architectural treasures abounding in 14th-century Barcelona, establishing it as one of Europe's great Gothic cities, while Madrid was hardly more than a cluster of huts. The city spawned such great artists as Antoni Gaudi, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Casals. Hughes's deep knowledge of the city is evidentbut it's his personal reflections of what Barcelona, its people, and its storied history and culture have meant to him over the decades that sets Barcelona the Great Enchantress apart from all others' books.