Hello hello hello! How’s everyone doing? For this Where in Spain Wednesday, I’ve got a photo of one of the most important symbols of Catalonia and Barcelona – Sant Jordi. You might know him better as Saint George.
This fancy sculpture is on an even fancier building on the fanciest street in all of Barcelona – Passeig de Gràcia. It’s just a few doors down from Gaudí’s Casa Batlló, so you may be forgiven for overlooking this little sculpture while you gaze at the shimmering modernist house.
Why mention Casa Batlló at all? Well, the sculpture and the house are both related to Catalonia’s patron saint, Sant Jordi. This sculpture is a more literal depiction of the legend of the saint killing the dragon, while the house’s colorful exterior is said to represent the dragon’s skin. The spiny ridge at the top of it is supposed to be the dragon’s back.
There are sculptures and interpretations of Sant Jordi hidden all over Barcelona. Much like the city’s secret bats, it’s quite good fun to have a wander around and see how many depictions of the saint you can find. Hint: there are loads in the Gothic quarter!
In Catalonia, Sant Jordi is so important that he gets his own special holiday on April 23. La Diada de Sant Jordi is like a Catalan version of Valentine’s Day. Men traditionally receive books and women receive roses (because a rose supposedly grew from the dragon’s blood after Sant Jordi killed it), although lots of women I know get both a rose and a book. Lucky us! 🙂