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Curious facts

Many curiosities can be found in Barcelona, such as the ghost stations of the railway network, the Magic Square on one of the facades of Sagrada Familia, or the large number of Movies that have been filmed in the city. Now you are going to find out about this and other curiosities that the city offers to its visitors.


Magic Square on the facade of Sagrada Familia Magic Square on the facade of Sagrada Familia

One of the things that attract attention is the Magic Square situated in the Passion Facade of Sagrada Familia. Magic squares are a peculiarity of numbers arranged in a square array that sum up the same amount in all columns, rows or diagonals. According to chronicles, they are known since the third century BC in China. In particular, the magic square of Sagrada Familia sums 33. It is a special number because 33 is the highest degree in the Masonic lodges, and is also the age at which Jesus dies on the Cross.
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Magic Square in the interior of Sagrada Familia
Image: Magic Square in the interior of Sagrada Familia

Other Magic Square at one of the doors of Sagrada Familia
Image: Other Magic Square at one of the doors of Sagrada Familia


Movies filmed in Barcelona

Many music videos of worldwide famous artists have been filmed in Barcelona. Also, many movies have been filmed here, to name a few: the horror movie REC (2007) filmed in a building on Rambla Catalunya, The Nameless (1999) that was filmed in different locations like Barceloneta Square, its market and the Marina Port Vell. According to the world movie database IMDB the number of films, including documentaries and movies, filmed in Barcelona is 3967. Here we review a short list of some of them, with a brief description, indicating the locations of the city where it was filmed, with a link to the trailer and a billboard.
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The Passenger – (Professione: Reporter)

The Passenger – (Professione: Reporter)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni (1975)
Famous actors: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider.
Review: A story about a dangerous investigation carried out by a reporter and about international intrigues of politics, linked to dictatorships in African countries.
Locations: Streetcars of the 70's, the terrace of Pedrera of Gaudi, with its fireplaces and sculptures.
Trailer:



All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre)

All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre)

Director: Pedro Almodóvar (1999).
Famous actors: Cecilia Roth, Penélope Cruz.
Review: A mother travels to Barcelona to meet with the father of her son, who died on his birthday while running after his favorite actress for an autograph.
Locations: It shows the city of Barcelona in all its essence and spontaneity.
Trailer:



Uncovered

Uncovered

Director: Jim McBride (1994). Escritor novela : Arturo Pérez-Reverte.
Famous actors: Kate Beckinsale.
Review: A restorer finds a hidden inscription while working with 'Table of Flanders', a famous fifteenth-century painting.
Locations: Beautiful examples of the architecture of Barcelona, and especially the architecture of Gaudí.
Trailer:



L'Auberge Espagnole (Pot Luck, The Spanish Apartment)

L'Auberge Espagnole (Pot Luck, The Spanish Apartment)

Director: Cédric Klapisch (2002).
Famous actors: Romain Duris, Judith Godrèche, Kelly Reilly.
Review: a comedy about the life and the vision of a young French student of Erasumus.
Locations: The Ramblas, Park Güell, Sagrada Família, Barcelona beaches, Gothic Quarter, Raval.
Trailer:



The Machinist

The Machinist

Director: Brad Anderson (2004).
Famous actors: Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Aitana Sánchez Gijón.
Review: A thriller about the life of Trevor Reznik, a factory employee who suffers insomnia, and that over time gets worse and ends up suffering severe hallucinations which make it very difficult to interact with his colleagues.
Locations: Barcelona Port, Tibidabo amusement park, Terrassa Torax Hospital.
Trailer:



Fragile (Frágiles)

Fragile

Director: Jaume Balagueró (2005).
Famous actors: Calista Flockhart, Richard Roxburgh, Elena Anaya.
Review: Horror story set in Mercy Falls Children's Hospital, where strange and shocking events occur.
Locations: Terrassa Torax Hospital.
Trailer:



Perfume: a story of a murderer (Das Perfume: Die geschichte eines mörders)

Perfume: a story of a murderer (Das Perfume: Die geschichte eines mörders)

Director: Tom Tykwer (2006). Novel Writer : Patrick Süskind.
Famous actors: Ben Whishaw, Dustin Hoffman, Alan Rickman.
Review: The story is set in the eighteenth century. Fura dels Baus participated in its complex scenes.
Locations: Gothic Quarter, Major Square into the Poble Espanyol (Montjuïc), Horta Labyrinth Park.
Trailer:



Manual of Love 2 (Manuale d’amore 2)

Manual of Love 2 (Manuale d’amore 2)

Director: Giovanni Veronesi (2007).
Famous actors: Monica Bellucci, Elsa Pataky.
Review: Comedy. There are four stories about love.
Locations: Sagrada Família, Gothic Quarter, Vila y Port Olímpic, Barcelona beaches.
Trailer:



Salvador

Salvador

Director: Manuel Huerga (2006).
Famous actors: Daniel Brühl, Tristán Ulloa, Ingrid Rubio.
Review: The plot is based on the life of anarchist Salvador Puig Antich, who fought for freedom by all means in a turbulent time in Spanish history.
Locations: Gothic Quarter, Universitat, Modelo Jail, Montjuïc Cemetery.
Trailer:



Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Director: Woody Allen (2007).
Famous actors: Scarlett Johansson, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem.
Review: A romantic comedy in which two American girls who travel to Barcelona find themselves involved in an unconventional relationship with an artist.
Locations: Colom Monument, Maremagnum shopping center, Maritim Club, Barceloneta, Pla de Palau, around of Barcelona Old Town, Santa María del Mar Church, Montcada street, Picasso Museum, Sagrada Família, The Ramblas.
Trailer:



Map of The Sounds of Tokyo

Map of The Sounds of Tokyo

Director: Isabel Coixet (2009).
Famous actors: Rinko Kikuchi, Sergi López, Min Tanaka.
Review: A hired assassin in Tokyo leads a double life and hides her murderous profession behind the one of a market employee.
Locations: Plaça Rius i Taulet in Gràcia Quarter, La Llibertat market.
Trailer:



Biutiful

Biutiful

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu (2010).
Famous actors: Javier Bardem, Maricel Álvarez.
Review: A story of the protagonist's struggle for maintaining his children's lives in Barcelona, while his wife is sick and is about to die of cancer.
Locations: Badalona, Raval Quarter, Santa Coloma de Gramanet, Barcelona.
Trailer:



Barcelona

Barcelona

Director: Whit Stillman (1994).
Famous actors: Taylor Nichols, Chris Eigeman, Tushka Bergen.
Review: An Illinois man works in an office of a U.S. company in Barcelona. He soon receives a visit from his cousin who is an officer of the United States Navy, and his life begins to change gradually to become a drama.
Locations: Many places of Barcelona, Colom Monument, Drassanes, Plaça Espanya.
Trailer:



Barcelona ghosts Metro and Train Stations (Metro, FGC y Rodalies)

Barcelona has 12 ghosts stations on its rail network (Metro, FGC and Rodalies), some of them have been closed to use for various reasons, such as new routes or extensions of rail lines, others have given way to other uses, such as tunnel ventilation area, and some of them have disappeared with the onslaught of new works such as the AVE high speed train.
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Currently of the 12 ghosts stations only 11 remain. The list of these stations is as follows:


LINE 1 Bordeta Metro station: It was located between the stations of Santa Eulalia and Mercat Nou. Was opened on June 10, 1926 and closed on December 23, 1983 due to its proximity to the station of Santa Eulalia. Now it is demolished for the construction of one of the walls that run through the extension of the AVE high speed train.

Bordeta metro station
Image: Bordeta metro station


LINE 1 Catalunya Metro station: Was opened on June 10, 1926, but was changed to allow the construction of the tunnel RENFE between Plaça Catalunya and Estació del Nord, and reopened in 1928. Finally it was transformed again and got one more level, so that the metro and the RENFE lines were separated.


LINE 1 Espanya Metro station: It was opened in 1929 and amended in 1975. There was a third way that was used for the Universal Exhibition of 1929, and subsequently used as a depot for trains. Since 1975 it is being amended converting this third way in entrances and stores at the current Espanya station, separating with the Metro Line 3.


LINE 1 Santa Eulalia Metro station: Was opened on July 1, 1932 and closed on July 5, 1980 due to construction of the new station of Santa Eulalia. Today it does not exist.


LINE 1 Universitat Metro station: Was opened on June 10, 1926 and closed on July 27, 1971, because this original station was transformed for the construction of the tunnel RENFE between Plaça Catalunya and Sants. The current station Universitat was opened December 23, 1972.


LINE 3 Ferran Metro station: It is situated between the stations Liceu and Drassanes. Was opened on April 15, 1946 and closed on March 1, 1968 for being very close to Liceu station and allowed to extent the run to Drassanes.

Ferran metro station
Image: Ferran metro station


LINE 3 Travessera Metro station: It is situated between the stations Fontana and Diagonal, at the height of Travessera de Gràcia. It was built but never used.


LINE 4 Banc Metro station: Located under the seat of Caixa Catalunya (former headquarters of the Bank of Spain), in the Plaça Antoni Maura. The urban legend tells that in this subway station after the closing time the Bank of Spain collected the money from the various bank branches in the area, and brought it down the steps directly to the bank vault, connected with the station. It was built in 1913 using the underpasses that ran under the current Via Laietana.

Banc metro station
Image: Banc metro station


LINE 4 Correus Metro station: It opened on February 20, 1934 as temporary station until the Metro extended until França Station. On March 20, 1972 it was closed due to its proximity to the Barceloneta Metro station, but was used until 1977 as a transfer station. The station was built using the underpasses in 1913 that ran under the current Via Laietana. Old stairs to the station can be seen in front of the main facade of the Post Office building, on the right side of the sidewalk under a metal ventilation grate. The abandoned platforms are seen in the tunnels between stations Jaume I and Barceloneta, direction La Pau.

Correus metro station
Image: Correus metro station


LINE 5 Gaudi Metro station: It is between the stations Sagrada Familia and Hospital de Sant Pau. It was built, but it has never been used. It can be seen through the window of a metro train car just a little bit away from metro station Sagrada Familia in direction to Hospital de Sant Pau station. Sometimes it is illuminated for Christmas or advertising, and then it becomes visible.

Gaudi metro station
Image: Gaudi metro station


FGC Avinguda de la Llum station: It is situated next to Plaça Catalunya, Las Ramblas. The station has never been used. Avinguda de la Llum was once a major project of an underground city, 175 meters long and 10 meters wide, the first of the kind in Europe, built in 1929 with a total of 68 stores of various kinds, a cinema, a recreation room, and even showers, as it has verified an Internet user (Joan Macià) who demonstrates as a proof some pictures of this underground city.

Avinguda de la Llum metro station
Image: Avinguda de la Llum metro station


RODALIES Bifurcació-Vilanova or Marina station: It is situated between Sant Andreu Arenal and Arc de Triomf. Was built but never used; one of its platforms has decayed, but the other still can be seen, though RENFE does not permit that. The ventilation grid can be seen from the street. This air-shaft was supposed to be the entrance to the metro station.

Bifurcacio metro station
Image: Bifurcacio metro station