Passage to the past

12 Aug
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


The other day, in my post about ventilation grilles, I mentioned passage ways that are closed during the night, remember? Well today, I have one such passage way, a really beautiful one, for you. Step with me, if you will, into the past…

I’m taking you to Passatge Bacardi. Yes, Bacardi, the same name as that world famous brand of rum! The name Bacardi is actually Catalan, and Catalan emigrés from Sitges ( a town down the coast from Barcelona) actually founded this brand or rum many many years ago in Cuba.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Full view

Anyway, there is a passage way named after them, and this is it. Tucked between the seaward side of Plaça Reial and La Rambla, this passage transports you to the past as soon as you step into it. We’re accessing it from the Plaça Reial side.

Ornately decorated, covered by a skylight and crossed by a glass ‘bridge’ in the middle, most of it is covered in layers of dust. But nevertheless, the beauty of its detailed artwork and other decorative elements is still very visible.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


The passage has been decorated with a mix of styles, from rather baroque cast iron balcony railings, to classical columns and mythology for the various crests above door ways and balcony windows. But there are also minimally styled window surrounds, which remind of the simplicity of the Gothic period, and cowboy western style lettering indicating the entrances to the buildings on either side of the passage.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Layers of dust

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Mythological decor

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


Several more modern elements are unavoidable, but some are still of interest (in my opinion) such as the lock (above) and the wooden carving of a South American native pounding cocoa, which has been used as a sign for a shop selling herbal remedies. The cast iron door to the lobby of entrance N. 1 also seems rather newer than the building itself, but it is no less charming.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Cocoa pounding

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Entrance N.1

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Bright lobby

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Sky way

My favourite is the cast iron and glass sky way, joining both sides of the passage. Imagine living on that floor and using it every day? How fun that must be! Although I suppose you’d get used to it and not think about what an architectural innovation that would have been for the time in which this was constructed, and take it for granted…

Did you like stepping into the past with me? I hope you did! And I hope you have a great weekend! See you here on Monday?

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf


2 Responses to “Passage to the past”


  1. Stony stares « cute suite - September 30, 2011

    […] Passatge Bacardi (which I wrote about here) we can find another version of Hermes. This time his head only, but of course with his winged cap. […]

  2. Pretty patios « cute suite - October 31, 2011

    […] to enter and exit the square. One of such passageways is Passatge de Barcardi, which I posted about here, and another is Passatge de Madoz (above). The building encloses all 4 sides, and obtains light and […]

Tell me what you think...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: