We had a big discussion if we would like to live in a building like Casa Mila, one of the most famous buildings of Gaudi also known as La Pedrera (pic 1). We spend a lot of time checking the different rooms(I guess this is how they look like at the beginning of the 20th century) and of course the weird roof terrace that is open to visitors and you can have a picture next to the surrealistic chimneys(pic 2). It isn’t so colorful like Casa Batllo but it’s worth to visit it. I only wish it wasn’t so heavily packed with visitors. If you don’t go inside check the balcony details.
It is open daily 9.00-18.30 (march-october till 20.00) and the entrance fee is 14euro.
At Avinguda Diagonal check Palau del Baro de Quadras. It was built by Cadalfach in 1904 and since 2003 is the headquarters of Casa Asia with aim to strengthen cultural, social and instituational exchanges between Spain and Asia. Go inside for some nice pictures of the staircase(pic 3). Some meters further on the same avenue check Casa Terrades (pic 4), another building designed by Cadalfach in 1903, known as House of Spikes because of its towers. It’s not allowed to go inside so I just took some pictures of the red brick walls and the sculptures on the façade.
If you enjoy beautiful architecture or just a stroll with some window shopping, then take yourself off to Gracia Street where you will find all the buildings I photographed below.
They also have many of the very expensive shops, sort of like 5th Avenue in New York.
Also several of Gaudi's works are here, the Batllo and Mila houses, but I will show them elsewhere.
Take the metro line L2 to the Passeig de Gracia station.
A note on pronunciation, the Eixample area to my American trained eyes looked like it would be pronounced EeXample, but it is pronounced EeShamPlay.
The Basilica "i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família" is also commonly known as the Sagrada Familia. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, this large Roman Catholic church has been under construction since 1882. The estimated completion date is 2026.
The cathedral is open during the following hours:
October to March: 9am to 6pm
April to September: 9am to 8pm
Queues are normally long, however, they move along quite quickly. Admission charges cost €12.50 per person, and you'll need to pay an extra €2.50 if you want to take the lift to the very top of the tower. Children under 10 years of age are admitted for free, and people under 18 years of age pay €10.50.
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes (The Great Way of the Catalan Courts) is a huge boulevard that stretches for quite some distance and that takes on various characters along its expansion through the city. The part of the street that most visitors see is, of course, that which cross the Passeig de Gràcia, just north of the Plaça de Catalunya. This is another one of those intersections where you get to experience the monumental side of Modernism (Modernisme) and the Expansion (l’Eixample) – the Gran Vitalicio building and the other banking buildings all tower over this massive intersection and its rather crazy traffic. The Cinema Coliseum is another building of note, this one on the north-west corner of the intersection. There is a small memorial in front of the Cinema dedicated to the victims of Italian air raids during the Spanish Civil War – a sad chapter in a dark part of the city’s history, one that was only officially marked with this monument in 2001. Keep on your toes in this part of the city – traffic is killer, especially with all the mopeds. Things can get quite busy here too, as the massive Zara attracts more than its fair share of tourist hoards.
One of the most interesting Modernista buildings in Barcelona, Casa Comalat has two entirely different façades. The main side, located on Avinguda Diagonal (seen in the attached photos), is topped by a green tiled roof and contains flamboyant floral decorations around the balconies and irregularly shaped windows, all clearly inspired by Gaudí. The back side, on Carrer Còrsega, looks like a completely different building. It is quite colourful, mixing in greens and pinks, and is irregular in shape. It contains no straight walls... a little hard to describe and unfortunately I have no photo to show. Perhaps on my next visit, I'll make it a point to take one! Casa Comalat was designed by Salvador Valeri Pupurull and completed in 1908.
Like a fairy tale castle, the Casa les Punxes buildings are complete with six conical towers. The structure is made up of three residential buildings covering an entire irregularly-shaped block on Avinguda Diagonal in the upper Eixample district. It was designed by the celebrated architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch and completed in 1905.
The Barcelona architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch (designer of Casa Amatller and les Punxes) renovated this late 19th century into the exuberant Gothic style that we see today. The work was completed in 1904 on a building that was owned by the Baron Manuel de Quadras. An institution called Casa Àsia is now housed in Palau del Baró de Quadras.
Another modernista building in Barri Eixample, la Casa Josefa Vallenueva is clearly inspired by Gaudì's creations. Its most distinguished feature is the spire and stack of balconies below it at one of the building's two angles. Like all corner buildings in Barri Eixample, la Casa Josefa Villanueva has two angles, but when the building was completed in 1909, it is said to have originally had two identical spires and balconies at each angle. Sadly, in a subsequent renovation, the left hand spire and balconies were completely removed.
Casa Hermenegild Blay was completed in 1903 by Josep Pérez Terraza. Pushing Art Nouveau to an extreme, the Catalan architect managed to execute an unusual design with unmatched elegance. I found this building rather mesmerising, particularly the top floor with its exaggerated curves and floral motifs. I want to live in this building!
Designed by Enric Sagnier Villavecchia in 1904 as a residence for the banker Ruper Garriga, the Casa Garriga Nogués is a subtle modernista interpretation of Baroque architecture. For a while, the sumptuous palace became a public school, but in 2007, it was converted into a luxury hotel. Casa Garriga Nogués is adjacent to two other modernista buildings: Casa Miquel Ibarz and Casa Berenguer.
Sandwiched between two other modernista buildings, the Casa Miquel Ibarz was designed by Salvador Soteras i Taberner and completed in 1904. The façade combines Belle Epoque and Gothic elements. The most pronounced features of the building are the semicircular balconies on the top floor, along with the carved statues taken from Greek mythology on the ground floor.
Designed by the Bassegoda brothers for the textile company “Sobrinos de Berenguer”, the Casa Berenguer was completed in 1908. It is also known as Casa Clapés, after one of its original owners. The modernista style elegantly combines Gothic and Art Nouveau designs. Casa Berenguer is located next to two other modernista buildings on Carrer Diputació, a short distance from Passeig de Grácia.
This Monument was erected by Pericas and is a tribute to one of the Catalan language's two most influential poets: Jacint Verdaguer (the other is Maragall). It's remarkable more for the way it marks the intersection of two major thoroughfares, as the monument is neither ornate nor massive. There is a statue of Verdaguer at the top of a rather plain column, along with some interesting classical figures sculpted along the base of the monument. The column is important to remember, however, as it marks the centre of the liveliest part of Passeig Sant Joan (with plenty of shops and restaurants around). A bit farther north and you just get into apartments, until Passeig Sant Joan abruptly ends in Gràcia.
A street is probably not an attraction in and of itself, but Via Diagonal is really, really long - and it contains some interesting examples of modernist architecture. This is particularly apparent if you walk along the street in the Dreta de l'Eixample from Passeig de Gràcia until Plaça Verdaguer. There are a number of buildings, most of which are now private offices with store on the groumd level. One of my favourites is the Casa de l'Àsia (once Casa Quadras), which is just before th intersection of Diagonal and Rosselló, and has a very interesting façade. There are plenty more, usually unidentifiable unless you have a specialized guide to the architectural wonders of the city.
Casa Serra always caught my imagination when I passed by, and that's probably the effect it was supposed to have when it was built. It was constructed at the turn of the last century as a home, but it was never used as such and was instead converted to a nunnery. It is so interesting because of the style employed: mediaevalism as seen through the eyes of a modernist. Indeed, the turrets seem almost fantastical given their shapes and the colours of the tiles.
I don't know what the building is used for now, probably an office building, or if you can enter for tours.