Barcelona and Gaudi are two inseparable concepts. What would Barcelona be like without its most famous architect? And, of course, how would the work of Gaudí have been like without the inspiration of a city like Barcelona.
Today, there are many works that can be found in the Catalan capital that carry Gaudí’s signature, some are well known, like the famous Sagrada Familia, and some others aren’t so known such as the Bellesguard Tower, a hidden jewel in the uptown area.
Passeig de Gracia: the ideal environment for Gaudí’s buildings
Who walks around the Passeig de Gracia experiences an environment where each building competes in beauty with the next one. This environment is precisely the one that the great Catalan architect chose to create two of his most celebrated and famous works: La Pedrera (Casa Mila) and Casa Batlló.
Both buildings are difficult to classify in a particular artistic style, due to their unique structure and their original architectural and ornamental design. The generic modernism attribution is basically given due to the close relationship of Gaudí with this architectural style, however, these buildings are closer to expressionism as they are full of symbolism and mythological elements.
In the case of Casa Batlló, Gaudí emphasizes the imaginary related with the Sant Jordi dragon and its location within the so-called “Bone of contention“. Casa Batllo shares space with other famous modernist buildings such as Casa Lleó Morera (by Lluis Domenech i Montaner), Casa Mulleras (by Enric Sagnier), Casa Bonet (by Marcel·lià Coquillat) and Casa Amatller (by Josep Puig i Cadafalch). A competition in the middle of the city to see which was the most outstanding architect.
In the case of Casa Milá, we are talking about an iconic and imposing building widely known as “La Pedrera” among the locals. Currently it’s not just the pride of the city, but a World Heritage Site since 1984.
Sagrada Familia and Park Güell
Sagrada Familia hardly needs an introduction. This temple is Gaudí’s masterpiece and it’s part of Barcelona’s skyline since its construction began just over 100 years ago (in 1882). Together with the Prado Museum and the Alhambra in Granada, Sagrada Familia is one of the most visited monuments in Spain, welcoming around four million visitors annually.
With its iconic facade, its charm and the added value of being in permanent construction visiting this landmark is compulsory when staying in Barcelona. It’s really difficult to see a monument with these kind of features nowadays.
Concerning the Park Guell, it welcomes us from the worldwide known stairway access with its famous “lizard”, which already gives a hint about Gaudí’s imaginary that floods the whole area. Some other recognizable elements which are already an icon of the park, are the banks and the “trencadís” decoration; Gaudí’s famous decorating technique based on the use of small pieces of colored ceramics. This technique can also be easily recognized in most of the souvenir shops.
Casa Vicens and Torre Bellesguard: two hidden treasures
The monuments we have talked about so far are widely known, but Gaudí still hides real gems in this city, two of the most beautiful and unknown ones are Casa Vicens and Torre Bellesguard.
Casa Vicens, although being a World Heritage and being located in the touristic district of Gracia, it stays unnoticed by most of the tourists or even Barcelona’s inhabitants. This building is the pride and privilege of the residents of Carolines street, who claim to have as a neighbor the first important building designed by Gaudí as an architect.
Regarding Bellesguard, it’s the best touristic option to escape from the bustle of the city to attend the quiet and charmed neighborhood of Sant Gervasi, a Gothic-inspired tower at the foot of the Collserola mountain. A unique setting for such a unique work.