July 22, 2014

La Paloma, Barcelona

La Paloma, El Raval, Barcelona
photo by Styrous®

In 1853, over a hundred and sixty years ago, Jaume Dora opened the Comas Foundry in The Raval in Barcelona, Spain, on Carrer Tigre, 10. The foundry manufactured machines, metal castings and molds; it was where the 60 meter (197 foot) bronze Columbus Monument (Monument a Colom) was constructed from 1883 to 1888. The enormous figure was completed just in time for the opening of the Universal Exhibition in 1888. The designer of the statue was Gaietà Buigas i Monravà, a Catalan, who won the competition to build it.

Gaietà Buïgas (1851 - 1919)
al 1904 a Buenos Aires
photographer unknown

Barcelona was where Christopher Columbus landed after his historic voyage to the new world. Future Viewfinder articles will cover more structures from the 1888 Exhibtion.

The foundry failed and from 1903 to 1915, renovations turned the huge complex into a dance hall of extraordinary proportions and features. The revitalized Art Nouveau dance palace was stupendous and was in operation up until 2006. I was fortunate enough to have visited it a couple of times before it closed.

La Paloma was on one of the many mysterious and incredibly fascinating passages that tunnel the vibrant world of El Raval.

 Carrer Tigre, El Raval, Barcelona 
 photo by Styrous®

Although from the outside it didn't look like much . . .

La Paloma, El Raval, Barcelona
la esquina de Carrer de Sant Vicenç 
photo by Julio M. Merino

. . . if you managed to find your way there and got in (they took care who they let in) , , .

¡Qué sorpresa!

photos by Styrous®

After a night of dancing and drinking, the exiting patrons were implored by mimes who wandered the street in front of the dance hall to be quiet (respectfully and silently of course) so as not to disturb the neighbors.

Unfortunately it didn't work; the dance hall was closed down due to complaints from the neighbors. The last night it was open was on December 29, 2006. 

I was told in it's heyday (1915 - 1930's), ladies were admitted for free on Thursdays so maids from around the area would come by the hundreds; of course, would you believe it, the men would too. Ummmm . . . sounds like the Crazy Horse in San Francisco from my early days in the 60's (see link below).

La Paloma
early 1900's
photographer unknown

As I said at the beginning, I'd had the good fortune to have gone there twice; the second time was on the Club's last night while attending the birthday party for writer Ana Briongos who I actually would not meet until . . .

right: Ana Briongos
La Paloma - 2006
photo by Styrous®


. . . But that's another story which you can read @ the link below.

What an incredible adventure!

 La Paloma
 Carrer Tigre, 10,
 08001, Barcelona

Ana Briongos @ La Paloma, BCN            
Bye Bye Blackbird at the Crazy Horse

Styrous® ~ Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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