One of the highlights of Barcelona is the architecture, which can be heavily attributed to the work of Antoni Gaudí. He is considered to be the father of the Catalan Modernista movement and is regarded for his unique and organic style, which was heavily influenced by shapes found in nature. His use of expressive lines, curves, bold colors and mosaics has made him one of the worlds more renowned architects. Visiting any (or many!) his incredible buildings is sure to awe and inspire.
Here are some Gaudí highlights:
La Sagrada Família
The La Sagrada Familia is a Unesco Heritage listed building is perhaps Gaudí’s most famous work, and for good reason. The large Roman Catholic Basilica features a blended Gothic and Art Nouveau style and although construction began in 1882, it is a still incomplete. Gaudí devoted the last years of his life to the project, but died suddenly and the project was unable to continue until modern engineering was able to understand his techniques and continue construction. It is estimated the church will be complete in 2026, for the centennial of this passing.
The building is perhaps the most incredible man-made structure that I have had the pleasure of visiting. The grand interior is white stone, with brilliantly colourful stained glass windows and a 45 meter tall nave. The interior columns have an organic nature to them and look like tree branches reaching to the sky. It is incredible.
Another one of Gaudí’s masterpieces, the Casa Batilo is located in central Barcelona and features a very playful and creative style that Gaudí is famous for. The house was remodeled by Gaudí in between 1904 and 1906. The facade is covered in beautifully cooled mosaic tiles and the organic shaped windows create a skeletal feeling.
The upstairs hallways arch-like ribs, and almost every detail has soft curves, twisted shapes and ergonomic shapes. It is a great way to get introduced to the world of Gaudí.
Park Güell was built between 1900 and 1914, and is a large urban free space filled with small buildings, sculptures and tile work of Gaudí’s. It has a magical air to it and great views over Barcelona from the beautiful tiled terrace. There is also a the Gaudí House Museum within the park, where Gaudí once lived, that now features a collection of furniture and objects designed by him.
Exploring the wonderful architecture of Barcelona is sure to the a highlight for anyone who visits, even if architecture isn’t your ‘thing’.