le-meridienWhen Conxita Badia takes part in the hommage to Enric Granados in 1966, Hotel Manila by then is a luxury hotel, which venue after the concert becomes the cultural reference of the Catalan capital. The site itself has a rich history.

In the mid-nineteenth century a wandering salesman nicknamed ‘el Feo Malagueño’ (meaning the ugly man from Málaga) opened a department store which he called El Siglo (the Century) on a plot next to the Academy of Sciences on the Rambla de Santa Mónica. A later owner moved it to the Rambla de los Estudios in 1881.

El Siglo became famous among the inhabitants of Barcelona as well as visitors from afar for the variety and quality of its products. Sadly it burnt to the ground on Christmas Day 1932, a loss mourned by its many customers.

For years the open space was used for performances of circus and theater companies, until the construction of the neoclassicist Gran Hotel Manila in 1957; now only its façade survives.

During the 60s international artists like Frank Zappa, and sopranos and tenors acting in the Liceu, stayed at the hotel. Since 1991 this five-star hotel is part of the Le Méridien Group.

Address: La Rambla, 111 – Barcelona

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