Barcelona – A City of Culture and History

Peter Morrell discovers a tour in the city based on his favourite book – The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Shadow of the Wind (l’Ombra del Vent) is a Spanish book written by author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. There is an excellent English translation of it by Lucia Graves (daughter of author Robert Graves).

It’s set in Barcelona just after the Spanish Civil War. The protagonist is Daniel Sempere, who is taken by his father to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books where he is allowed to choose one title to take away. He selects The Shadow of the Wind by an unknown author, Julián Carax. Without spoiling the plot Daniel goes in search of other books by the same author and this is when the adventure begins, and he uncovers dark secrets from the past.

Apart from the very good plot construction, I was enthralled by the description of Barcelona in the early 20th century. It conjured up the vision of a city of mystery and secrets and was, for me, a great incentive to go and see where the book was set.

I was pleased to recently discover that there is now a tour available that follows in the footsteps of Daniel Sempere around the sights of Barcelona which are mentioned in the book.

You can find details of the tour by following this link

The Shadow of the Wind is Part One of a four book series, The Cemetery of Forgotten Books. The next books in the series are

  • The Angels Game
  • The Prisoner of Heaven
  • The Labyrinth of the Spirits

The Angel’s Game is, in part, set in the Catalunyan town of Puigcerdà and there is a tour which covers locations mentioned in the book. More details can be found at

Even if you are not interested in the literary tour Barcelona is an unmissable city to visit. There are so many things to see and do from art to architecture and culture to the cuisine.

For more information on visiting Barcelona and Catalunya go to