Tracing Gaudi's Architectural Genius in Barcelona
Gaudi and Barcelona
Rarely do we find such a strong connection between an architect and a town as it is the case with Antoni Gaudi and Barcelona. The Art Nouveau architectural gems he created at the beginning of the last century are must-see landmarks of the fascinating Catalonian capital city. Some of them are included in any tour of the city. Others can be discovered while strolling along Barcelona's streets. One thing is sure: the two names (the architect and the city) will always go together, hand in hand.
Photo credit: SXC
La Sagrada Familia
Gaudi’s unmistakable style is particularly evident in this colossal, still awaiting fulfillment cathedral that kept the visionary artist busy during the second part of his life. Only the transept with its four 100 meters high towers was built during his lifetime, but it give us an idea of Gaudi’s enormous project and utopic ambitions. Most of the facades have been added after the architect’s death, except “La Fachada de la Natividad”, built under the master’s supervision. While touring this impressive church, admire the eclectic architectural style and the details’ precision. After all, they were meant to be seen by the angels.
La Sagrada Familia Finished - 3D Project
A large and elegant avenue built for and by the rich, Passeig de Gràcia is a good place to admire Gaudi’s style. Strolling along this avenue is one of the most interesting activities for your Barcelona city break. Although they are not open for tourists’ visit, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila are two exhibits of his visionary ambitions. Renovated and entirely transformed between 1904 and 1907 by Antonio Gaudi for the industrialist Josep Batllo Casanovas, Casa Batllo has a colorful and curvy facade, covered with ceramics and glass pieces. The harmonious interior of the house bears Gaudi’s aesthetic print up to the smallest detail: the fireplace looks like a mushroom and the stairs imitate a meandering river. The bulbous roof is adorned by sculpture and surmounted by a cross, while the chimneys are coated by colorful ceramics.
Another undulating facade on Passeig de Gracia, La Pedrera is another worth seeing landmark if you want to have a comprehensive perspective on Gaudi's style. La Pedrera, also known as Casa Mila, was built between 1906 and 1912 for the businessman, Pere Mila and his wife, Roser Seguimon. Gaudi found his inspiration in natural forms when designing it. The iron and glass door is a mere copy of a spider's web. The courtyard, terraces and windows create an unreal world and atmosphere. Anthropomorphic sculptures populate the terraces, mounting on the roof.
Assisted by Rubio, Berenguer and Jujol, Gaudi designed this garden on Muntanya Pelada in order to offer Barcelona's inhabitants a pleasant and green oasis. The iconic salamander welcomes visitors at the park's entrance. Patience is a must-have feature if you want to take a nice picture, but having some rest after the climb is not such a bad idea.
Going up the stairs you arrive at PlaÃ§a de la Natura, where you can admire the colorful ceramics all around you, the snake shaped benches and the interesting architectural details of the columns supporting the square.
Which part of Barcelona do you like best? Do you consider Gaudi's landmarks works of art or examples of absurd design?