Summer reads about Barcelona

We recommend a few of the books published by Barcelona City Council, such as a city guide based around the British and Irish influence on our city, the chilling chronicle of Nazi presence in post-war Barcelona, a marvellous collection of photos of spots which are now gone, an account of Dalí’s close relationship with the city and even an invitation to step inside 345 Barcelona buildings.

La Barcelona britànica i irlandesaThe itineraries in this guide offer the chance to discover different spots in the city of Barcelona from a British and Irish perspective, learning about the secular relationship between the city and the countries of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The routes include insights into the Anglo-Catalan alliance during the War of the Spanish Succession, the British influence in the industrialisation of Catalonia in the 19th century and how Catalans collaborated with British secret services in World War II.

Nazis a Barcelona. L’esplendor feixista de postguerra (1939-1945): Despite the official neutrality of the Francoist government, World War II had a direct and visible impact on the country. For nearly five years, Catalonia received numerous Italian and German delegations. The enthusiasm for the new Europe proposed by Nazi Germany and the promises of the future by the fascist regime in Italy formed the basis of written and visual propaganda which was promoted all around the country. This book offers a captivating and hard-hitting account of the presence of German and Italian ‘friends’ in the Catalan cities of Barcelona, Terrassa, Sabadell and Tarragona. Parades, visiting delegations of young fascists and Nazis, academic acts at the University of Barcelona, exhibitions and more, all explaining how Francoist Spain received these friends and allies with open arms.

Barcelona desapareguda de Giacomo AlessandroUnknown places as well as other unlocatable ones. Obligatory festivals and spontaneous celebrations. Events and tragedies. Black and white and also in colour. This book, now in its second edition, offers a healthy combination of photos of life in Barcelona and offers another chance to rediscover the city. A collection of photos by Giacomo Alessandro, an Italian architect who started it out of his love for the city. Following his death from cancer, city enthusiasts and friends of the architect have published the book conceived by Alessandro.

Dalí i BarcelonaThe historian Ricard Mas narrates how the city became a showcase for the genius from Figueres. Salvador Dalí had a close relationship with Barcelona, now accurately detailed in this book which is the result of over two years of research and narrates how Dalí used the city to catapult his eccentric figure to fame. The first chapters are more analytical, synthesising and reviewing Dalí’s work. The second half focuses more on his life, describing a series of experiences and relationships with various sectors of Barcelona society.

345 maneres de viure (a) Barcelona: A book which shows what life is like in Barcelona by looking at the buildings which have taken part in the 48h Open House Barcelona festival. The main body of the book is made up of photographs of architectural spaces classified according to their current use, helping readers to understand Barcelona as it is today. The book also includes the experiences of those taking part in the festival (architectural accounts including immersive 360 degree videos allowing readers to explore different places). Available in Catalan, Spanish and English.


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