10 reasons to visit Catalonia: Gaudi’s architecture and divine cuisine

Gaudi’s 14 masterpieces in Barcelona

The extraordinary architecture of Antoni Gaudi is a jewel in the crown of Barcelona. In the capital of Catalonia 14 masterpieces of modernism are preserved: Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, houses, small architectural forms. All Gaudí’s masterpieces in Barcelona with a map and description. Addresses, opening hours, ticket prices, what to see for free and how not to queue.

Park Guell Barcelona

Before you go to see Gaudi’s creations, plan your time and budget. Barcelona’s sights are some of the most popular and expensive in Europe. You can spend 2 hours waiting in line at Sagrada Familia, and a ticket to the Casa Batlló costs €35.

What to do? Choose only the most interesting places with paid admission and buy tickets online, they often have discounts. In many cases, you can limit yourself to an external view or visit the free part.

Barcelona transport and discount cards

    – Free admission to 25 museums in Barcelona, free public transportation, city map, discounts in stores, valid 72, 96 or 120 hours. – Transportation and discounts for 2 days. – Unlimited travel in Barcelona and the province by public transport, including trains to the airport.

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is a synthesis of the theory and practice of Gaudí’s architecture and a symbol of Barcelona. It has been under construction since 1883, the surviving models and drawings allow to continue Gaudí’s work with the help of a computer. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2005). In 2010 the Sagrada Familia was consecrated by the Pope and proclaimed a basilica.

  • Address: Carrer de Mallorca 401
  • opening hours:
    • October to March Mon-Fri 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • April to September Mon-Fri 9:00-20:00

    Parochial School of the Church of the Holy Family

    The simple brick and tile parish school building is adorned with a wavy roof. One of the rooms was occupied by Antoni Gaudi a year before his death. There is now a museum dedicated to the construction of the church. Admission with a ticket to the Sagrada Familia.

    Palau Guell

    Palau Guell was built for Gaudí’s patron Eusebi Guell. It combines medieval opulence with the architect’s unique style. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

    • Address: Carrer Nou de la Rambla 3-5
    • opening hours:
      • April to October Mon-Fri 10:00-20:00
      • November to March Mon-Fri 10:00-17:30

      The Lanterns on the Royal Square

      The lanterns are on a stone pillar with chrome-plated cast-iron columns topped by a Mercury helmet with wings and a rod.

      The oldest flamenco show in Barcelona takes place in one of the historic buildings on the Royal Square. Enjoy a performance by the stars of Spanish flamenco, a cultural tradition protected by UNESCO.

      Casa Batlló

      The peculiarity of Casa Batlló is the almost total absence of straight lines. The façade shows the gleaming scales of a monster with the bones and skulls of its victims.

      • Address: Passeig de Gracia 43
      • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9:00-21:00
      • €3 off with the Barcelona Card

      Casa Milà, La Pedrera

      The Casa Milà is Gaudí’s last secular work, an example of Catalan modernism. The panoramic roof terrace is decorated with sculptures of mythological creatures that serve the practical function of ventilation.

      • Address: Carrer de Provenca 261
      • opening hours:
        • March 3 to November 1 Mon-Fri 9:00-20:30 p.m.
        • From November 2 Mon-Fri 9:00-18:30

        Casa Vicens

        Casa Vicens is built in the Mudejar style with ceramic finishes and a parabolic arch. Gaudí’s first major commission from the manufacturer Manuel Vicens. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2005). Long a private property, it opened to the public in November 2017. It is possible to walk around the entire complex and the adjacent garden.

        • Address: Carrer de les Carolines 24
        • Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00
        • 25% discount with Barcelona Card

        Casa Calvet

        Casa Calvet is one of Gaudí’s earliest creations and was built for the textile manufacturer Pere Màrtir Calvet. It was awarded the prize for best building of the year by the Barcelona City Council in 1900. It is a residential building with a restaurant on the first floor.

        Casa Figueras and Torre Bellesguard

        Neo-Gothic Casa Figueras and its tower stand at the foot of the Tibidabo hill. It was built on the site of the medieval castle of King Martin Guman, a reminder of his past. The Bellesguard Tower offers a panoramic view over Barcelona.

        • Address: Carrer de Bellesguard 16
        • Opening hours: WT-WS 10:00-15:00

        Park Güell

        A unique model of a residential neighborhood, Park Güell embodies the perfect harmony of nature and architecture. Included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO (1984). Entrance to the Park Güell is free, the monumental area is accessible for a fee.

        • Address: Carrer d’Olot 5
        • opening hours:
          • January-February Mon-Fri 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
          • March 1-25 Mon-Fri 8:30-19:00
          • May 1-27 August Mon-Fri 8:00-21:30
          • 28 August-28 October Mon-Fri 8:00-20:30
          • October 29-31 December Mon-Fri 8:30-18:30

          Gaudi House Museum

          Gaudí’s House is located in the grounds of Park Guell in Gaudí’s former mansion. The museum tells about the life and work of the great architect between 1906 and 1925. The exposition presents the furniture and furnishings.

          • Address: Carretera del Carmel 23A
          • opening hours:
            • October to March: Mon-Fri 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
            • April to September: Mon-Fri 9am-8pm

            Pavellons de la Finca Güell

            Another work by Gaudi, commissioned by Eusebi Güell. A wrought iron gate in the shape of a dragon closes the entrance to the utopian Hesperides Park.

            Col-legi de les Teresianes

            The religious symbolism of the building is complemented by towers topped with a four-pointed cross. The School of Teresianes is a closed educational institution where children of influential parents study.

            The Miralles Gate (Porta Miralles)

            Gaudí undertook this small commission for his friend the fabricator Miralles. The gate, covered with tortoise shell tiles, was the grand entrance to his country estate. Now this surreal structure is surrounded by modern urban development. In 2000, a monument to Antoni Gaudí with his autograph was installed in the arch.

            The 4D show “Gaudí Experiència” introduces viewers to Gaudí’s work through the use of modern audiovisual technology. During this fascinating attraction, you will uncover the mysteries behind Gaudí’s revolutionary architectural language. The Gaudí Exhibition Center, where the show takes place, is located next to Parque Guell. buy ticket

            7 architectural masterpieces by Antoni Gaudi that grace Barcelona

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            Masterpieces of the great architect Antonio Gaudi.

            The world-famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926) managed to create 18 masterpieces, which for many decades are considered to be the pinnacle of innovative and unique style. To this day his fantastic constructions are considered by some to be genius, and by others simply crazy. The main part of these works is in his native Barcelona, which became not only his home, but also a kind of strange laboratory, where Gaudi conducted amazing architectural experiments.

            For more than a century Antoni Gaudi's creations have fascinated with their brilliance.

            Although it is considered that the Spanish architect worked in the style of Art Nouveau, but to place his projects in the framework of generally any of the flow does not work. He lived and created by the rules known only to him, following incomprehensible laws, so all the work of the master is better classified as “Gaudi style”.

            With a few of his masterpieces, which are rightly considered to be the pinnacle of architectural art, we will meet today. In fairness it should be noted that of his 18 projects, seven were included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites!

            1. Casa Vicença (1883-1885), the first project by Antoni Gaudi

            A characteristic feature of the House of Vincennes is asymmetry.

            The Casa Vicens, the first independent work by the architect, was commissioned by the wealthy industrialist Manuel Vicens. It is still the main decoration of the Carrer de les Carolines, considered to be the most striking and unusual attraction of Barcelona. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

            The façade is decorated with ceramic tiles, hand-painted with floral motifs (Casa Vicens).

            This house is built in the Art Nouveau style and forms a four-level architectural ensemble, in which even the smallest details play an important role.

            Natural motifs in the interior of the architectural ensemble (Casa Vicens).

            As Gaudí was a devotee of natural motifs and drew inspiration from them, every element of this extraordinary house was a reflection of his preferences.

            Thanks to floral motifs, the entire complex blends harmoniously into the city park (Casa Vicens).

            Floral motifs are everywhere, from the wrought iron railing, as well as the façade itself, to the interior. Yellow velvets and palm leaves were the creator’s most favorite images.

            The luxury of the Moorish style in the decoration of the interior (Casa Vicens).

            The structure of the Wissens’ house itself, including the elements of its decoration, speaks of the influence of Eastern architecture. The decor of the entire unusual complex is in the Mudejar Moorish style. It is evident in the design of the Muslim turrets on the roof and in some of the details of the luxurious interior decoration.

            Domes as on mosques only emphasize the Mudejar style (Casa Vicens).

            2. Pavellons and the Guell estate

            All the buildings were decorated in the same style (Pavellons Guell).

            For Count Eusebi Guell, who after this grandiose project became not only a patron of the great master, but also a friend, Antonio Gaudí created an extraordinary estate, better known as the Pavellons Guell (1885-1886).

            And even the gates support the common theme of the pavilions (Pavellons Guell).

            Fulfilling the order of the count, the extraordinary architect did not just carry out a complete reconstruction of the summer country estate with the ennoblement of the park and the creation of stables and indoor manege, but united all these ordinary buildings so that they became a fabulous complex.

            All the facade works are made in the technique of trenkadis, which resembles the scales of a dragon (Pavellons Guell).

            All the facades are made in the technique of trenkadis, which resembles the scales of a dragon (Pavellons Guell).

            When creating these pavilions, Antonio pioneered a special technique called trencadice, which consists in using irregularly shaped pieces of ceramic or glass to clad the facade. By cladding the surfaces of all the rooms with the same pattern in a special way, he achieved a striking resemblance to the scales of a dragon.

            3. Palau Guell

            Innovative ideas are embodied in the design style of the Castle Guell.

            This fantastic project for his friend Antonio Gaudi in 1886-1888 and is an unusual palace, which the master managed to create in an area of less than 400 square meters!

            One hundred and twenty-seven columns decorate the interior of the palace (Palau Guell).

            Knowing the owner’s main desire to impress the elite of the city with the luxury of his home, the architect masterfully developed a very unusual project, which made it possible to create a truly extraordinary and fabulously rich castle. His style is a mix of centuries-old traditions, innovative techniques and ideas, which he successfully applied in subsequent complexes.

            The chimneys have a fantastic view (Palau Guell).

            The main highlight of this interesting in terms of architecture palace are the chimneys, which have the image of bright outlandish sculptures. Such magnificence is achieved thanks to the facing with shards of ceramics and natural stone.

            The roof terrace with its bizarre chimneys is the main highlight of the palace (Palau Guell).

            The gables and the roof terrace, which is designed for spectacular walks, bring visitors into incredible delight with its views of the city and the “magic garden” created and the amazing stove-tubes.

            4. Parc Guell

            The famous gingerbread houses (Parc Guell).

            The project of the unusual Parc Guell (1903-1910) was conceived in an effort to create a garden city, as a counterbalance to the country’s gaining industrialization and protection from its terrible consequences.

            An unusual staircase leads to the Room of 100 Columns (Parc Guell).

            Salamanders and fantastical figures made using the trencadice technique (Parc Guell).

            A huge plot of land was bought by the Count for this purpose, but the townspeople never supported the author’s idea and only three showpieces were built instead of 60 houses. Over time, the city bought the land and turned it into a recreational park, where the delightful gingerbread houses of architect Antonio Gaudi are adorned.

            The Hall of 100 Columns captivates with its magnificence (Parc Guell).

            The curved, colorful staircase, a favorite resting place of visitors (Parc Guell).

            Since it was planned as a luxury village, Gaudi not only created all the necessary utilities, but also designed picturesque streets and squares. The most striking structure was the hall “100 Columns”, which leads to a special staircase, and on the roof is an amazingly bright bench, completely enveloping the contours of the complex.

            The city's Parc Guell still delights visitors.

            This garden city still delights its visitors with its extraordinary architecture and decoration, and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

            5. Casa Batlló

            Casa Batlló (1904-1906) resembles an ominous dragon, lined with scales and able to change its color depending on the time of day. It has many different names – “house of bones”, “dragon house”, “yawning house”.

            The roof of the house resembles a dragon's spine (Casa Batllo).

            The balconies do resemble the remains of a huge monster (Casa Batllo).

            And indeed looking at his strange balconies, bars for the windows, gables and roof, reminiscent of the back of a dragon, get rid of the impression that this is the remains of a huge monster!

            Finishing of the courtyard (Casa Batllo).

            Creating a fantastic courtyard, to improve and even out the light, he achieved a play of light and shade, laying ceramic tiles in a special way – gradually moving from white to blue and blue.

            Branded chimney towers (Casa Batllo).

            The roof of the house, in accordance with tradition, was decorated with his bizarre chimney towers.

            6. Casa Mila Pedrera

            Incredibly shaped apartment house, created by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona (Casa Millà).

            This is the last inhabited house that the great architect created. It is better known as “La Pedrera”, which means “the quarry”. It is considered the most incredible housing project, not only of the whole of Barcelona, but of the world.

            The fantastic interior of an unusual house (Casa Millà).

            Initially, this master’s creation was not accepted and was considered a complete madness. Incredibly, Antonio and the owner of this building were even fined for not complying with existing urban planning regulations.

            Thanks to a special technology a floating form of the whole building was created (Casa Mila).

            Fabulous sculptures decorate the chimneys and elevator shafts (Casa Mila).

            Over time, people got used to it and even began to consider it a brilliant creation, because during the construction without any calculations and designs, the architect managed to introduce technology that was decades ahead of its time. Only a hundred years later such technology was developed by design institutes and began to be actively used in ultra-modern construction.

            7. Cathedral of the Holy Family (Temple Expiatori De La Sagrada Familia)

            The Cathedral of the Holy Family is Antoni Gaudi's main masterpiece.

            The brilliant architect spent the last forty years of his life making his most unrealistic fantasy come true – encasing in stone the characters of the parables and the basic commandments of the New Testament.

            Admirable grandeur of the temple (Temple Expiatori De La Sagrada Familia).

            Surrealistic Gothicism dominates his decoration; the walls are decorated with images of saints and all kinds of God’s creatures from turtles, salamanders, snails to the forest, the starry sky and the entire universe.

            The facade of the cathedral is decorated with sculptures depicting the facts of the lives of saints.

            All eighteen apostolic towers had to rise to a height of no more than 170 meters (the highest mountain in Barcelona was taken as the benchmark for the divine), so as not to put the man-made above the created God.

            Antoni Gaudi will be numbered among the blessed.

            But Gaudi never saw this miracle; he was accidentally hit by a streetcar and died of his injuries shortly after at the age of 74.

            The highest columns and unusual paintings decorate the interior of the temple (Temple Expiatori De La Sagrada Familia).

            The highest columns and unusual paintings decorate the interior of the temple (Temple Expiatori De La Sagrada Familia).

            But the erection of such a large-scale cathedral is still going on. Since the architect kept all the drawings and plans in his head, it took years to continue the construction to make such complicated calculations. Incredibly, only the NASA program which calculates the trajectory of space projects could cope with this task!

            Thanks to extraordinary architects in our time and created unique buildings that can be considered a real work of art, affecting its fantastic beauty and flamboyant forms.

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