Without any doubt Barcelona is one of the most artistic cities in the world. The Catalan capital owes that to some extent to Antoni Gaudí – the leader of the local modernism. Some of his buildings are still symbols of Barcelona, and while exploring them you will get to know, feel and understand the city much better.
One of the best places to start any tour in Barcelona is La Rambla. Many people don’t know it, but hidden in one of the many little streets around the famous tree-lined pedestrian mall is the only building made by Antoni Gaudí in this part of the city. The beautiful Palau, which in Spanish means Palace, was built as a residence for the family of Eusebi Güell – a wealthy industrialist. Everything about the building is unique, but the colorful towers on the roof that look like giant ice creams are so exquisite and represent the true spirit of the city.
While in Barcelona tourists can admire one of Gaudí’s earliest masterpieces, Casa Vicens. The Casa Vicens project started in 1883 and was built for industrialist Manuel Vicens. Unfortunately the interior of the house cannot be visited as it is a private residence, however you can still fully admire and appreciate the wonderful patterns and styles of its exterior.
flickr/Ferdi de Gier
Casa Batlló is one of the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí. Once it was just a regular house, but Gaudí changed that in 1904, adding colors and architectural elements which shocked many by that time. The use of straight lines is avoided in Casa Batlló, instead the house has weird and wonderful features of all shapes and sizes. Now tourists crowd in front of the doors just to have the chance to visit this architectural piece of art.
The real name of the building is Casa Milà, while La Pedrera means The Quarry. Gaudí designed it later than Casa Batlló and Palau Güell in 1906, and it shows his full imagination. The façade of La Pedrera is unique and the wrought iron decoration of the windows and balconies make it more impressive.
flickr/Dan in Mars
Park Güell is not just a garden, nor a typical architectural complex, It is a place that captures the real spirit of Barcelona. Gaudí worked on this project for 14 years and if you ever wondered what the house of this great architect looked like, you can see it in Park Güell. There are many other things to explore in one of the largest architectural complexes in Europe. On your way up, don’t forget to pet the mosaic salamander, one of the symbols of Barcelona.
La Sagrada Familia
The name of the church means Holy Family in Spanish. Antoni Gaudí became involved with the project in 1883 when the construction had already been started. And he never stopped, until June 7, 1926, when he was hit by a tram and died in the hospital 3 days later. Even so Gaudí managed to finish part of the basilica and when you see his masterpiece you will know why it took him so long. There are many majestic Gothic cathedrals all over Europe but with its Art Nouveau influence, La Sagrada Familia is one of the most imposing.