The most literary side of Barcelona presented by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Barcelona is one of the few cities in the world which holds such a special charm. Strolling along its streets and exploring all its corners invite both visitors and residents to discover its rich history which has made it one of the most visited cities in the world.

Barcelona as a city is simply magical and one of the most highly acclaimed writers of the contemporary era, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, has shown us in many of his works a city which is hard to forget and one which is well worth visiting.


“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. A Barcelona with history

In “La sombra del viento” (The Shadow of the Wind), the main character Daniel Sempere explores some of the most emblematic spots of the Condal City in one of the most fascinating stories which has been written about Barcelona in recent years.

Set in the first half of the 20th century, Daniel visits some of the most photographed enclaves of Barcelona such as the Plaza Real, which when the story is set, is one of the most luxurious areas of the city and where some of Daniels most bleak moments take place.

As the story develops references are made to the “Els Quatre Gats”, a homage by Zafón to the artists which invaded Barcelona, which could have been the case for Picasso. The Catalan café was a popular meeting point for artists, intellectuals and the rest of the Bohemian world.

In ‘The Shadow of the Wind’, Daniel pursues the story of Julián Carax, a failed writer whose final destiny is unknown, and he intends to find out. Carax’s life was full of mystery, disappointment, fear and misfortune…And he became the most intriguing character in the whole story.

Carax spent his childhood in the Fortuny Hat Shop, in the shadow of a father who didn’t love him and a mother who was unable to protect him as much as she would have liked to, The Fortuny Hat Shop in reality is known as ‘la Sombrerería Obach’ in Barcelona, and is on the Calle del Call, in the old Jewish district of Barcelona.

In ‘The Shadow of the Wind’, everything comes to an end within the walls of the Palacete Aldaya, the centre of all the action; in a Barcelona full of stately homes that greet visitor and invites them to return again and again.


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