Spectacular fireworks, top bands like The Kooks, dancing, open air shows and a party that lasts for 3 entire days? Right, it is that time of the year again!
In early fall arguably the biggest highlight of the year for every citizen and tourist in Barcelona awaits while the Mercè festival takes off. Between the 21st and the 24th of September, National Day of Catalonia, the streets come to live for the festival in honor of the “Lady of Mercy”. You wouldn’t want to miss the entertainment that is representative for all the cities liveliness and joy.
“La Mercè” of Barcelona is a festival organized to honor Mare de Deu de la Merce, who is the saint patron of Barcelona.
In 1687, Barcelona suffered a plague of locusts. To help fight these insects, Barcelona prayed to the Virgin. At the end of the invasion she has been named patron of the city of Barcelona, and was recognized as such by the Pope in 1868. Since then, every year around the 24th of September, the festival of the Mercè is celebrated. This festival annually hosts a number of cultural events, folk and leisure.
Each year, the Mercè is illustrated by a piece of art, and it is the artist Jaume Plensa that has been chosen by the Mayor of Barcelona to carry out this project this year. This year’s festivities will begin with the famous Prego speech, given by a personality of the cultural world and held in the great gallery of the city hall of Barcelona. Lluis Torner Mercy, professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and founder and director of a scientific institution will holdthe Prego.
Rent4Days Barcelona apartments recommends following the festivities continuing your way through the street Montalegre in the Ciutat Vella and stare in awe at the “giants of Barcelona”.These amazing statues represent the popular archetypes of the city residents or the local historical figures. Then you may walk back to the Jaume I square to witness the incredible human pyramids made by the people of Barcelona.
If you want to be more than just a bystander in this festival, you may want to participate to the popular 10km running race. More than 16,000 persons have already registered to experience this intense moment of effort and social spirit.
This festival is the ideal moment to discover more about the people of Barcelona as everyone will be down in the streets spreading the leisure joy and good will and the will to enjoy day and night together with fellow visitors. Do not hesitate to speak to foreign people you will meet, they will be glad to answer your questions about Barcelona or the festival. It’s your yearly chance to see the Catalan people of Barcelona at their best and just have a great time.
For the young and little ones a special program full of fun activities has been organized. It is based on the theme of the sky and the stars by the CosmoCaixa Museum. Shows around the cosmos will be organized along with observation of the stars and the sun and great explanation on the scientific but also wonderful and mysterious topic!
Later in the evening you should not miss the dragons and other beasts of fire, which will impress you with the burning intensity of the show they offer. These fire-breathing statues amaze with the strength and the number of sparks they let escape, and how close some of the brave bystanders are dancing around them. Montjuic holds the biggest firework show of the year supported by classical music and a light-and-water show to end the festivities on a high note. This is one of the greatest fireworks in Europe and certainly unforgettable for everyone who gets the chance to be there.
If you are more in a musical mood, go directly to the popular Barcelona Brewery Estrella Damm to rock out in the free, open-air, live concert with top bands. Last year more than 15,000 people filled the streets in front of the old Estrella Damm brewery to watch such famous bands. This year, the Kooks, Love of Lesbian and La Laia have been invited for the pleasure of your ears. On sunday then the legendary Fatboy Slim is discjokeying in Europes favorite indie disco, the Razzmatazz! There is no space for boredom during the days and nights of the Merce. Every moment offers multiple spectacles all around the city to satisfy each individuals preferences, whether you enjoy high class cultural events, music and dancing, fireworks and spectacles or drinks and parties, you will find it in the Merce 2012 in Barcelona.
The unmissable event of this festival remains the light show offered by the City of Montreal, will offer a tribute to the genius of Gaudi, illuminating his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia. Their dazzling show of lights will be inspired by the creator, whom used to say that creation continues incessantly through the media of man, and that man does not create … but discovers. This ode will illuminate for 3 consecutive nights the front of the icon of the Catalan Capital.
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