Sardana at the Cathedral

Jake has called for Black and White this week, and I’m thrilled, because i have some old shots from Spain, the winter after Franco died, that I’ve been looking for an excuse to post.

It was a Sunday morning in late November, and we’d been to Mass in Barcelona’s marvellous gothic cathedral.  As we all poured out of the dim interior into the bright winter sunshine we were met by an amazing sight.  There, on the steps of the cathedral, surrounded by the city’s worthies, was an ensemble of wind and brass players, and a double bassist, while down below in several great circles,  people were dancing in the paved forecourt.  A long suppressed expression of Catalan nationalism, the population of the city was joyfully gathering to participate in the Sardana.

Led by the fluvial player (bottom left), the little orchestra was seated in two neat rows, all decked out in fawn suits

Being a sucker for parades, you can imagine how interested I was to watch as people readied themselves for a parade before Advent – Barcelona.

In Cordoba, in a courtyard near the Mezquita, we came across old folk soaking up the sun, chatting

and in Avila, on a freezing, sleeting blustering day, we watched the Guardia at work in the livestock market

Check out other Black and White entries here.


A little aside –

Half the house has been plunged into darkness (don’t ask!) so I won’t write much, in case the other half goes, which will knock out the internet and leave me with only an already fried  battery to power my laptop …  fingers crossed!


Several hours later …  Yes, the whole house went dark, and I suspect it was we who shorted the neighbourhood.  Bless the multi-talented Amarasiri – he’s made temporary repairs to the main trip switch – lets hope they withstand the surges of tomorrow’s power cut (oh, I forgot, we’re not having a power cut tomorrow, in honour of Ramazan).

34 thoughts on “Sardana at the Cathedral

  1. I’m super impressed that you have such interesting black and white photos just hanging about waiting to leap into a challenge! Even if I did have appropriate photos, I know I’d never be able to find them. Glad you did.

    • it’s only in looking at the old photographs that you realise how much the world has changed in 30 – 40 years!

      We’ve another week of the current regime of cuts – then they’ll reassess. I just wish they’d stick to their schedule so I could turn things off and avoid frying batteries and things … 😦

    • Some rain would be nice, to fill the dams, then they wouldn’t have to ration … I’ve got my fingers crossed, but I’m fearing they’ll increase the outages next. If they’d just stick to the schedule, we could turn sensitive things off in time to avoid damaging surges – that would be nice.

      So glad you enjoyed the old pictures Jo.

  2. sounds like the challenge was more technological & personal than anything to do with photography – but what a wonderful story & a thrilling slice of life to have witnessed: the resurgence of culture 🙂

    • Yes it was, Keira, especially as my first visits were all during the Franco era – machine guns in the streets, riots, and rubber bullets … You’re right – they’re more documents than photographs.

  3. I have photos of the Sardana in colour and they don’t seem half as nice as your black and white ones! These are so beautiful and the people somehow seem more elegant 🙂

  4. The photos are magic! They transport you right there. I can almost hear the whispers and chuckles. It always amazes me when black and white can do this.

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