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Palau Dalmases Review
If you can find a way through the massive portals that open onto Carrer Montcada (at the moment, the only way to get in is during Café Espai Barroc's opening hours) Barcelona's best 17th-century Renaissance patio is showcased here, built into a former 15th-century Gothic palace. Note the heavy wooden doors with door knockers up at horseback level; then take a careful look at the evocation of the Rape of Europa represented in high relief running up the baroque facade of the elegant stairway cutting across the end of the patio. Neptune's chariot, cherubic putti, naiads, dancers, tritons, and myriad musicians accompany Europa's mythological abduction by Zeus, who, in the form of a bull, carries her up the stairs and off to Crete. On either side of the door leading up the stairs, look for the minuscule representations of either putti or maidens covering their nakedness with their arms. These, along with the 15th-century Gothic chapel within, with its reliefs of musical angels, and the vaulting in the reception area and in the main salon, are the only remnants of the 15th-century palace originally built here. Espai Barroc, on the ground floor, is a café with baroque-era flourishes, period furniture, and musical performances.
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