One of the major attractions of Barcelona is the architecture of Antonio Gaudí (mind that the stress lies on the last syllable of Gaudí).
Antonio Gaudí (1852-1926) was an architect that was born in Reus, close to Barcelona. His most important works can all be found in Barcelona and consist of Parque Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, Palau Güell and his still unfinished masterpiece "La Sagrada Familia".
Important characteristics of his work are organic natural forms, ceramic tiles, mosaics, cast iron, parabolic arches and strangely shaped chimneys. Next to these things Gaudí was also good at inventing very creative solutions for improving comfort in his buildings, such as ventilation and blinds to keep the sun out.
Gaudí died in a hospital, almost unknown after his was hit by a streetcar in 1926.
We saw this magnificent building from the top deck of the tourist bus while the traffic lights were on red. It looked to me to have come straight out of a Fairy Tale book. The stunning architectural detail just gleamed in the sunshine. Another masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi whom Barcelona's architecture owes so much to such a talented artist.
The impression of gaudi is seen all throughout the city of barcelona. For example, while walking down the roads, stop by a street lamp, it might be one of those masterpieces from this genius. As soon as he graduated from his college, one of his first assignments were designing street lamps.
Observant visitors will notice that Gaudi also contributed a variety of unique street lamps to the city of Barcelona. These works by their design are among his earliest, commissioned soon after he graduated from architectural school. The street lamps in the Plaza Real, for example, built from 1878-1879, are actually part of the formal porticoed square off the Ramblas. The lamp posts, topped with winged wrought-iron helmets, flank the avenue, contrasting with the geometric pattern of the plaza.
Don't miss La Pedrera, Casa Battlo, Palau Guell, Parc Guell and of course Sagrada Familia. You can get a pass that gives you discounts if you go to a bunch of these attractions. It can be purchased next door to the Casa Battlo at Casa Amatller. Both are located on Passeig de Gracia.
In the summer La Pedrera (also known as Casa Mila) has drinks and Jazz on it's unique rooftop!
While in Barcelona - you CANNOT miss visiting the Sangrada de Familia!
This Church has been under construction since 1882!
Isn't that AMAZING?!?
This is the work of famous architect/artist Antoni Gaudi inspired by Montserrat Mountain. Although far from being complete - What a masterpiece!! Estimates are for another 50 - 100 years to complete.
OK - There is an elevator that takes you up to the TOP! TAKE IT!! It was only 2 Euros when I was there, and it was worth it!!
***** Of course, please be prepared, you must walk down... and it's a long way down very circular stairs. *****
The view from the top is beautiful. A highlight for me was seeing the colorful mosaics up close. From the ground, the towers appear to be solidly colored. However, up close, you'll note that they're not! They are mosaics! What time, effort, care, and attention went into the construction of this building. Very Beautiful. Please enjoy the pictures below.
Inside you may also find of interest a room that describes Gaudi's inspirations for different aspects of the church. There are also numerous original "blueprints" and plans to be viewed in a dark room, as well. FANTASTIC!
I could have spent HOURS here. However, my tour was ready to move along. In fact - they waited about half an hour for me to return to the bus.... :-S Not very good. Yet, I'm glad to have seen everything I saw - it was worth it! (I'd do it again!)
In order to get a perspective of locations of the Gaudi sites, it is helpful to have maps to plan a route. These may help some in your venture. Local maps show the general direction, but not the detail sometimes of the locations on a street-
Visit La Sagrada Familia and all Gaudi's buildings! La Pedrera, Parc Guell, Casa Milá, Casa Batló, etc. This is a picture of Palacio GÜELL.
A style so wonderful that no one was or is able to reproduce...
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was one of the leading architects of Catalan Modernisme. His works were a 'nationalistic searching for a romantical medieval past'. He created a lot of beautiful buildings. Recommendable to see are:
- His masterpiece: La Sagrada Familia
- Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
- Casa Battlo
- Parc Güell
Here is the famous Gaudi's Fanal (lamp). I don't like it very much but we can always say that Gaudi was still too young (1858) ;-). It is very (too much) elaborated, it has 6 lights and it ends with the God Hermes' helmet and other of his attributes (God Hermes was the patron of shopkeepers). There are two Gaudi's fanals in this square.
Gaudi architecture is what I primarily went to Barcelona for. And I bet you any tourist has seen at least one of his buildings, which are dotted all around the city.
Some Great Gaudi Buildings:
- Sagrada Familia Cathedral;
- Casa Mila;
I recommend taking the train which will make all of Gaudi's works accessible with ease. I even found little known,but mentioned in a number of Barcelona guide books, creations like this dragon gate handle off the side of Finca Guell Pavillions. There is a fountain spout in Pedralbes and a couple of masonry gates in ruins in the university, also in Pedralbes.
If you're a fan of architecture, you can't miss all the works of Gaudí. They're impressive!.
Depends of the time of the year, Barcelona has a lot to offer... for example, in june, don't miss the traditional festivity of "Saint Joan", or this year (2002) the 1st of June, when Barcelona celebrate the "year of gaudí", with a spectacular performance in the "Sagrada Familia" with lights, music, laser lights and fireworks (if somebody has the oportunitty to have been in barcelona to watch this live, will be agree with me that it was tremendous and beautiful!)...
And, hte beaches are a good option too!... if you can, try to go to Sitges,(a place near Barcelona... 45 minutes by train or so..). Good warm water... but the worst thing is the weather in barcelona... hot and wet....
And if the day is good.... try to make a picnic in the Parc Guell..... veeery pleasant!
I loved every thing in this city designed by Gaudi, Must are the Sagrada Familia the most amazing and intricate building I have ever seen, It alone was worth the trip. His Casa Mila is also nice especially the surreal roof(see top picture).
Nothing new: you HAVE to visit Gaudi's work!!!
La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Parc Guel, Casa Batlo,... .
No need to give a description: Gaudi's work is UNIQUE.
The shapes, colours, imagination... .