Batllo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreuccio1986/12916494113 Image credit: Andrea

This week’s Grand Prix takes place in Barcelona, a city renowned for the stunning buildings and designs of one architect in particular – Gaudí.

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) is one of Catalonia’s most notable sons, famous for producing outstanding examples of Modernisme architecture. Although many other countries were experiencing similar movements at this time, in Barcelona it was a way to express, solidify and celebrate Catalan culture.

However, Gaudí also had his own distinctive style, influenced by nature and religion, and seven of his buildings in or near Barcelona are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Dragonlizard: https://www.flickr.com/photos/69214385@N04/13301262024 Image credit: Don McCullough
Dragonlizard: https://www.flickr.com/photos/69214385@N04/13301262024 Image credit: Don McCullough

1. Parc Güell

Gaudí used to live here, and today the building is home to the Gaudí House Museum. In the garden you can find examples of his mosaic work, like the dragon/lizard fountain and the serpent-like seating on the terrace at the top. Take a wander through pathways surrounded by some seriously sloping columns and around the Doric Temple.

Palau Guell: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anne_arnould/10647345055 Image credit: Anne Arnould
Palau Guell: https://www.flickr.com/photos/anne_arnould/10647345055 Image credit: Anne Arnould

2. Palau Güell

Just off the famous La Rambla, this was Gaudí’s early works. Built for Eusebi Güell, wealthy industrialist, this is now open to the public. Visit to admire the hall, a parabolic pyramid; the most stylish basement you might ever see; several stunning floors; and the roof, home to a myriad of mosaic pyramids.

Pedrera: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramonduran/2972642010 Image credit: Ramón Durán
Pedrera: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ramonduran/2972642010 Image credit: Ramón Durán
Pedreraroof: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moriza/186812469 Image credit: Mo Riza
Pedreraroof: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moriza/186812469 Image credit: Mo Riza

 

3. Casa Milà

Casa Milà, also known as La Pedrera (stone quarry, as it supposedly looks like an open quarry) is today a cultural centre. Guided tours are available throughout the day in several languages, and take you around the roof terrace, the attic, an early 20th-century apartment, the courtyards and the exhibition hall.

Vicens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ishot71/6279396457 Image credit: Ian Gampon
Vicens: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ishot71/6279396457 Image credit: Ian Gampon

4. Casa Vicens

I can’t say this is my favourite of his works, but again, the façade shows his great attention to detail. I don’t believe you can visit the inside of the building, but if you’re on the way to Parc Guëll then it’s worth stopping to see Gaudí’s first significant work.

Batllo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreuccio1986/12916494113 Image credit: Andrea
Batllo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreuccio1986/12916494113 Image credit: Andrea
Batlloinside: https://www.flickr.com/photos/linkahwai/8241574624 Image credit: Kah-Wai Lin
Batlloinside: https://www.flickr.com/photos/linkahwai/8241574624 Image credit: Kah-Wai Lin

 

5. Casa Batlló

This was designed for Josep Batlló, a wealthy man who wanted a house that stood out from the crowd. He certainly got it with one of Gaudí’s masterpieces. The outside looks like a mixture of skulls and bones, and inside is a further feast for the eyes.

Crypt: https://www.flickr.com/photos/carlos_lorenzo/462207285 Image credit: Carlos Lorenzo
Crypt: https://www.flickr.com/photos/carlos_lorenzo/462207285 Image credit: Carlos Lorenzo

6. Colònia Guëll – Gaudí Crypt

The idea here was actually to build a church. However, after six years, the Guëll family stopped funding Gaudí’s ambitious project and it was left unfinished. However, it was the first design to bring together all of his architectural innovations.

Sagrada Familia: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/2051232504 Image credit: Wolfgang Staudt
Sagrada Familia: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangstaudt/2051232504 Image credit: Wolfgang Staudt

7. Crypt of La Sagrada Família

It hardly needs an introduction: the Sagrada Família is the most visited attraction in Spain, and one of the most famous buildings in the world. Gaudí devoted himself to the church for the last eleven years of his life, and it remains uncompleted. The current architect hopes the masterpiece might be finished by 2026!

Gaudí is famous for his attention to detail, so I can’t even begin to describe all the things that make each of these buildings so special – they have to be seen to be believed! Whether you like his work or not, there is no doubting his unique talent, and his cultural contribution to Catalonia.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Links:

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/320

http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/gaudi/barcelona-gaudi.html

http://www.parkguell.cat/en/

http://palauguell.cat/

http://www.lapedrera.com/en/home

http://www.casavicens.es/

http://www.casabatllo.es/en

http://www.gaudicoloniaguell.org/en

http://www.sagradafamilia.cat/sf-eng/?lang=0

16
Leave a Reply

avatar
 
Photo and Image Files
 
 
 
Audio and Video Files
 
 
 
Other File Types
 
 
 
7 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
rapiermanLauren RobertsonMatthew Snyderbigbrof1The Captain Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
jeff
Guest
jeff

Lauren, thanks for these pieces. Although I’m too uncultured to appreciate your suggestions, those provided undoubtedly prove helpful for those more refined. Do you have an interest in food? When traveling, I soak in culture via sitting down with locals and sharing drinks and grub (the foie gras croquettas at Tossa in Barcelona rock); if you do have suggestions or interesting food/drinks places, some might be interested. For example, I must decide within the next week whether we’re taking the annual Montreal trip (don’t miss the amazing Au Pied du Cochon), or I travel solo to Monte Carlo for the… Read more »

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Jeff: You may want to check out “Made in Spain” with Jose Andreas on your PBS “Create” channel.

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

There’s also “Spain…on the Road Again” with Mario Bartali, same channel.

jeff
Guest
jeff

Thanks Rapierman. I’ve been to Barcelona (not to the GP), but am always interested in food travelogs; good stuff.

I was personally asking about Monte Carlo, but if there’s a general interest food/drink-wise, and Lauren shares that interest, I’d have thought it a nice addition to her fascinating write-ups.

The Captain
Member
The Captain

Even outside of the Gaudi’s work Barcelona is easily one of the world most beautiful cities. Man I want to go back!

meine
Member
meine

Personally I never liked Gaudi, too over the top. Kitsch, not art.

But of course that’s just my opinion :-)

Matthew Snyder
Guest
Matthew Snyder

Was in Barcelona for 8 days last month (then 4 in San Sebastián). Pretty much the sole purpose of the trip was food (Quimet & Quiment, Pakta, Kokotxa, Arzak), and our lofty expectations were obliterated. For example, foie gras is bar food in San Sebastián. I want to live in there. “Made In Spain” is one of the best food/travel shows I’ve ever seen, and was the principal reason I got into Spanish food culture. “On The Road Again” is pretty good, too…. but they spend a month driving across Spain and Gweneth Paltrow does not eat jamón. That would… Read more »

jeff
Guest
jeff

Getting way off-topic, but we hit Basque country during our last trip to Spain, about 5 years ago. Based upon recommendation, hit Arzak and by luck was introduced to the wonderful (and damned sexy!) Elena Arzak. She modestly asserted her father was the real genius; either way, what a fantastic restaurant, in a beautiful setting.

I really need to watch your and Rapierman’s show recommendations. Why am I not surprised Ms. Paltrow forgoes Iberico jam? I mean, why even go? :D

Back to regularly-scheduled programming.

Rapierman
Member
Rapierman

Admittedly, I’d like to do some travelling, mostly on four wheels, but I’ve never had the time nor the money to do it. That’s why I have to settle for the next best thing and read about it. ;-)