Robert Hughes has been going to Barcelona regularly since the 1960s, and in 1992 he published a book about the city that was quickly hailed as a classic. Now, Hughes returns to his beloved city in a new and more personal chronicle of his forty-year love affair with the Spanish metropolis. Compelling, informative, and passionate in every detail, Hughes offers a wonderful song of praise for the city he lovesand that has become his second home.
Hughes begins his lively account of the history, art, and architecture with a vivid description of his recent wedding in the splendid 14th-century ceremonial chamber in Barcelona's city hall. Architectural treasures abounded in 14th-century Barcelona, Hughes explains, and it was becoming one of Europe's great Gothic cities. While Madrid was hardly more than a cluster of huts, Barcelona commanded a trading empire as far as the Mediterranean. Crushed and colonized by the Bourbons in the 19th century, Barcelona nevertheless entered another period of great architectural growthand spawned the artists Gaudi, Picasso, Miro, Dali, and Casals. Hughes goes on to describe how in the years leading up to and beyond the 1992 Summer Olympics the city has blossomed anew, becoming one of the most vibrant in Europe.