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Hermes: Barcelona’s favourite Greek god

By | 18 September, 2020 | 0 comments

It’s a well-known fact in classical mythology, with all its gods and goddesses, heroes and villains, that the discipline is fertile ground for some incredible and exhilarating stories that have been passed down over thousands of years and countless generations to still resonate today. The relationship we humans have with our deities, their adventures, love lives, deceptions and various other mythological aspects — mainly the Greeks and the Romans — have created a generation of infinite legends and myths to explain just about anything and everything.

Hermes Barcelona

And the origin of our cities is one of the recurring ‘excuses’ for turning to mythology. The foundation of lots of Earth’s greatest cities is usually attributed to the gods and goddesses themselves. Particularly in an attempt to strengthen their image of greatness and grandeur, as well as to ‘warn’ visitors from other parts that they were ‘competitors’ during more difficult days. Barcelona’s history is certainly not exempt when it comes to this kind of legend. That’s why you’ll see Hermes practically around every corner in town. He is, by far, the most well-represented Greek god in town. Want to find out why?

Who was Hermes in classical mythology?

The Greek god Hermes was also known as Mercury in Roman mythology. Though known by a different name, they were in fact exactly the same deity and depicted identically in paintings, mosaics, engravings and sculptures. Hermes was the son of Zeus, the father of all gods, and of the nymph Maya. The Greeks attributed a range of roles to him: he was his father’s messenger, a guide to the souls of the dead in hell, a symbol of prosperity among humans and a protector of travellers, merchants and thieves alike.

The Greeks described his character as resourceful, dexterous and cunning. In short, the perfect incarnation of any young, attractive man in the prime of his life without any cares, very fond of playing jokes and getting away with the odd mischievous lie with a smile. He’s most commonly depicted as a good-looking young man with a winged hat and sandals to help him move at incredible speed. He usually carries a staff in his hand to do magic or hypnotise people with.

What does Hermes have to do with the history of Barcelona?

According to Greek mythology, after the fourth of his twelve trials, Hercules joined Jason and the Argonauts in their search for the Golden Fleece. Nine vessels took part in their quest. During a particularly violent storm, the fleet of ships was separated and, when the calm of daylight returned, only eight ships could be seen. Jason dispatched Hercules to find the ninth.

Hercules and the rest of his crew found the wreckage of the ninth ship — or ‘barca nona’ as locally known — on a gentle mound, a hill we know today as  Montjuïc. Together with Hermes, who was his half-brother, Hercules and the crew who discovered the hill founded a city — Barcanona — on that exact spot, which they thought was simply magnificent. That’s the legend of both the name and origins of our wonderful city.

That’s also the reason it’s widely thought the city of Barcelona was protected under Hermes’ influence and, in turn, represented prosperity and commerce, the favoured symbols of the Catalan bourgeoisie when people came to settle and trade began to prosper in the early fortunate days of Barcelona.

Categories: barcelona

Barcelona, May 13th 2020

Our highest priority is the health of our customers and employees for this in HCC Hotels is still working hard to provide new and enhanced sanitization and cleaning protocols for a safe stay in our HOTELS.

  • Provision of disinfectant gel in public areas of the hotel.
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Barcelona, March 24th 2020

It is time to take care of each other!

Following the instructions of the Central Government, we communicate that all HCC Hotels will remain closed until the state of alarm ends. The safety of our employees and customers is and has always been our highest priority.

However, we continue to work from home, so we are available by phone (+34) 934817350 or e-mail hcc@hcchotels.es for any questions you have about your reservations.

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