Hi! Are you as happy as I am that it is Friday? I thought as much! Well, then I think you’ll enjoy stepping into the weekend with me, through this interesting passage. Coming? Passatge de la Pau (Passage of Peace) here we come!
Passatge de la Pau is a street that runs parallel to Rambla de Santa Monica (at the bottom of La Rambla) from Plaça de Joaquim Xirao and ends with a passage way at Carrer Josep Anselm Clavé.
From a distance it doesn’t look all that inviting, but it is well worth strolling over to have a closer look. Watch your step though, because it is a road, and cars and (motor)bikes do drive through this narrow space, and there is no sidewalk to jump on for safety.
Because of this very traffic, the decorative elements on the walls and ceilings of this passage are somewhat damaged from the exhaust fumes, but some incredibly beautiful details are still visible, such as the stunning polychrome plaster ceiling above, and the painted ‘bricks’ on the walls. You didn’t expect this did you?
A lot of the passage doors are closed with plain blinds, covered in artless tags, but there is more to be seen. For instance, another, and different, stunning plaster ceiling, full of details, colours, swirls, and yes… lots of flaky bits.
A third plaster ceiling at the bottom end of the passage is no longer there, no doubt due to water damage. Instead the way ceilings were traditionally constructed in Catalunya in the past, has become visible: arched vaults made of bricks, which rest on wooden beams. If you click on the photo, it will enlarge and you’ll be able to see this more clearly.
On ground level you can find a design studio, a shop that sells artful shirts, and a restaurant that appears to have no name, but no doubt is well know by the locals who live or work in the area.
Gorgeous, but rather faded or damaged frescoes can still be seen on parts of the walls. At times they are barely visible through layers of grime, or have faded, and other parts have been protected by clear sheets of glass.
An interesting-looking shop selling vintage items boasts a very cute sign. The shop was closed when I took these photos, but I’ll go back to inspect it more closely some time, and if permitted, take some photos to show you all the lovely things I spotted through their windows.
The architectural elements in this passage are are very simple, such as this balcony above. The beauty of it resided in the painted details that covered it from top to bottom when it was constructed. It’s a pity that it hasn’t been conserved better, but what is visible now, is really lovely, even when damaged or grimy, and especially when in good condition, such as the fresco below.
At the top end of the passage, a cosy bar, with simple wooden door frames and windows, has protected the frescoes on the walls that surround it with sheets of clear glass, and the upper parts are still in pretty good condition too. Pretty isn’t it? It is the part of the passage that is best conserved.
So, what do you think? Were you as surprised as I once was, to find these gorgeous details in this gem of a passageway? My guess is, that you were.
I leave you with a link to a short video clip I found online, which shows the way through Passatge de la Pau from the bottom end to the top (towards Plaça de Joaquim Xirao). Enjoy, and have a great weekend!