Buscando Barcelona

Lights, Water, Music…Oh My!: Font Magica

Posted on: December 15, 2009

      Every couple of weeks, my friends and I would go to the Consum, buy a couple bottles of wine and head to the Font Magica. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. You get off at the Espanya stop on and walk up Carrer de Reina Cristina which is lined with brightly lit pillars of water.  There in the center, framed by the rows of fountains and the stunning National Catalan Museum of Art is a massive fountain shining like a jewel as it spouts water into the sky. Surrounding the vivid sapphires, emeralds, rubies, golds, topazes, and amethysts of the fountain’s lights are hundreds of spectators, both tourists and locals alike. All ages come out to see the fountain, from the little girl twirling like a ballerina to the music, to the elderly couple holding hands and watching quietly. Music booms into the plaza surrounding the fountain as the spectators enjoy drinks and tapas from the three café’s in the area. The music ranges from classical favorites that I find myself swaying to, to 80s hits which my friends and I sing along with.

            The Magic Fountain gives you an unexpected glimpse into the culture of Barcelona. Time is not as strictly observed. The fountain show is scheduled to begin at 7, but the crowd does not really thicken for about another half hour. And while it is after dinner time for most of the tourists visiting the show, the locals are casually sipping drinks and snacking on tapas as an appetizer to their dinners which they will go home to after the show around 9.People are much more laid back and take the time to go to events like this that their city offers. This is very different from where I live in the US.  My town does not have a fountain show, or anything remotely like it. And you really cannot beat the views the steps up to the MNAC provide of Barcelona at night. Theirs is truly nothing more beautiful.

 This also lets you have a glimpse into the pride that the people of Barcelona have for their city. At the end of the show, the theme song to the 1992 summer Olympics plays, obviously called Barcelona. If you turn your back to the fountain and look up past the 9 beams of white light (one for each letter of the city) that crown the MNAC, you can catch a glimpse of the white modern sculpture that marks the site of the Olympic Village. The Olympics were a huge economic and social turning point in the history of Barcelona that turned them from a Catalan capital, to a tourist and economic capital of Europe. The number of locals who still come out to view this beautiful display is a testament to the pride they feel in these events.


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