What’s in a number?

28 Jul
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


Hi! Today’s post is all about numbers. The numbers on buildings around town. So useful, yet I think we often we overlook their beauty, so I thought it would be nice to put them in the spotlight for a bit… enjoy!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Tile count

In Barcelona there are some very fine examples of numbers, in keeping with the general profusion of detail everywhere. The tiled number above in a street full of tiles, is only a common sight in that particular street. The carved stone numbers (below) an example of the many that grace buildings built during Barcelona’s big expansion at the end of the 19th and early 20th Centuries.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Frilly stone

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


A beautiful marble disc, carved with the number, inserted into a rosette of chiseled stone – very pretty, don’t you think?

The metal numbers affixed on a tablet which in turn has been screwed onto a gorgeous pink wall. Very solid looking and not a very common sight around Ciutat Vella as far as I am aware, but very graphic and striking in their simplicity, and very sleek in contrast with the rough finish of the wall.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

One entrance

These 3 (above and the next 2 below) are typical of Ciutat Vella, yet they differ among themselves thanks to either their setting with other plaques or the simple addition of a star. In the image above you can also see the sign to indicate the direction of traffic, which nowadays would be depicted by a minimalist blue disc with a white arrow. Much as I like the modern version, I’m so glad the old horse + carriage plaques have not been removed from our streets!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


Another, newer version of the horsey plaque, this one indicating a no entry side of the street, just as lovely as the previous one, in my opinion. And I just love the star beneath the number 28, but have no idea of its meaning…

Have you noticed that numbers were often followed by a dot? That is something I don’t often see outside of Barcelona, at least not on buildings. What are the numbers like where you live? I’d love to know, so feel free to leave a comment.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

On blue

These final four are all in blue. Starting with the striking peacock blue above, so stunning against the grey stone of the building it graces, followed by the tile with the number 6 below…

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Tile beauty

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Enamel circle

… and these enameled numbers which are quite common here, but no less beautiful. It makes me realise that enamel is a medium that is not used much these days. Do you have any enamel items in your home, such as a teapot, mugs, plates perhaps? I have a large cast iron cooking pot, coated with enamel. but I think that’s all. Although as a child, we had enamel mugs too. Hmmm… may have to lay my hands on some enamel beauties in homage to this applied art!

Have a great Thursday everyone! I’ll be back tomorrow, with more Barcelona delights. Hope you’ll join me!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Enamel label

2 Responses to “What’s in a number?”


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