«Ramblejar» as we say in Catalonia, or what is the same, walk along La Rambla of Barcelona, is very common and appetizing on summer evenings when the sun gives a truce and temperatures drop. This iconic boulevard has become the obligated stop of millions of tourists who daily visit the city. It was originally a passage of water towards the sea. Now due to its terraces, its kiosks of flowers and its great banana tree, it becomes a beauty for the enjoyment of everybody. Perhaps for that reason, it was also the greedy and grim objective of the terrorists of the Islamic State that on August 17th of 2017, committed an attack with the van they were driving.
Terrorism will never be able to injure a friendly city that daily receives citizens from around the world. After the tragic attack, Barcelona has turned to help the victims and their families offering them lodging, food and any assistance.
La Rambla is a beautiful boulevard in which thousands of pedestrians flow from Plaça Catalunya to the Colombus monument in front of the Mediterranean Sea. Today, locals and visitors walk along this stroll again to show “WE DO NOT HAVE FEAR”.
The van used for the terrorist attack did not ride all La Rambla. It stopped at the height of Joan Miró‘s mosaic, Pla de l’Os, in front of the Gran Teatro Liceo (The Opera House). Just in front of a work of Surrealism that is part of three designs that the artist offered to the city to, precisely, welcome visitors by air, land and sea. From hospitality to terror, by a group of inhumans that wanted to stain the art of the city with blood of those we most appreciate: our citizens and visitors.
Miró’s mosaic is on the pavement and it has the circular shape of the cosmos in vivid colors, now covered with flowers, candles and emotive messages in honor of the victims. Also some soft toys for the innocent children that in Barcelona as in other parts of the world have carried an absurd war that goes nowhere. Enough already! This Pla de l’Os mosaic was installed in La Rambla in 1976 and now it is waiting for more visitors all over the world.
The other two artworks that Miró offer to the city:
Welcome by air:
There is a giant mural at the façade of Terminal 2B. It was built in collaboration with and it was inaugurated in 1970. This artwork is fifty metres long, 10 metres high and made up of 4,865 brightly coloured ceramic tiles. You can’t miss it if you are arriving to Barcelona by plane.
Welcome by land:
The last piece of Miró welcomes travellers arriving in Barcelona overland. It is called “Woman and Bird” and it is a sculpture located at the train station Barcelona Sants. This statue was built also in collaboration with Joan Gardy Artigas. Its 22 meters were inaugurated in 1983. The city said, says and will say WELCOME TO BARCELONA!