10 Must-See Gaudi Buildings In Barcelona:
Best Gaudi Sights
If you are planning to go on a trip to Spain, then you are probably going to visit Barcelona. And if you are visiting Barcelona, then you should definitely see the buildings designed by the infamous Antoni Gaudi.
Antoni Gaudi is one of the most well-known and prominent architects of the Art Nouveau movement. His creations are unusual and strikingly breathtaking. Even if you don't know Gaudi or his style, you will easily set these buildings apart while walking through the streets of Barcelona and the Cataluna region in whole.
This article will look into the ten buildings designed by Gaudi that are definitely worth seeing while in Barcelona.
1. Casa Batllo
Originally built in 1877, Casa Batllo was redesigned by Gaudi in 1904. In 1906, the Barcelona City Council awarded it with being one the three best buildings of the year, despite the prior criticism during construction.
Gaudi used stone, forged iron, and ceramics to reimagine the look. The roof is arched like a dragon's spine, while the façade is decorated with mosaics. The locals call the building Casa dels ossos, which means House of Bones, for its skeleton-like design.
2. Palau Guell
Palau Guell was built between 1886 and 1888 and was commissioned the count of Guell himself, Eusebi Guell i Bacigalupi. It served as the palace residence for the Guell family.
The façade of the building is quite different from what you can usually expect from a Gaudi building, but it still shows some details that are characteristic of Gaudi's style. The parabolic arch entrance the mosaic figure designs on the roof are the first of these. The front iron gates were specifically designed for the arch entrance, while the chimneys and vents on the roof resemble fir trees.
On the inside, Palau Guell is much more like what you would see in a Gaudi building. The central living room has a parabolic dome, while the lounge ceiling is perforated by circles. These circles give the ceiling a planetarium appearance under the daylight.
Palau Guell is considered World Heritage by UNESCO and can be visited by tourists.
3. Casa Mila (La Pedrera)
Casa Mila is often referred to as "the stone quarry". This is due to its unusually rough appearance which also makes it one of the most popular modernist buildings in Barcelona.
In 1984, UNESCO recognized the building as World Heritage. By that time, it was already sixty-two years old. Casa Mila was built between 1906 and 1912 with a lot of pain and hard work. It was one of Gaudi's last residential projects and one of his most imaginative designs.
Gaudi explored the irregularities of the natural world and made an outstanding job doing so. One of the building's most spectacular parts is the roof terrace. There are sculpted skylights, decorated staircase exits, vents, and chimneys all over the place. Normally, such things would be of small importance to a visitor, but here they are truly a work of art.
RELATED POST: Long-haul flight essential
4. Colonia Guell
Just like Palau Guell, Colonia Guell was also commissioned by Eusebi Guell and is an unfinished building by Antoni Gaudi.
Colonia Guell was designed way back in 1898, but in 1914 the construction had to be halted when Guell lost his profits. The church and crypt originally had to become a place of worship for the residents in a suburb near Barcelona, but only the crypt had been completed.
The crypt has five aisles in whole with one central nave and two aisles at each side. All of the details Gaudi included here serve as a kind of a precursor for the work of his life - Sagrada Familia.
5. Parc Guell
Another member of World Heritage of UNESCO, Parc Guell was built between 1900 and 1914 and was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, who was Gaudi's good friend. Parc Guell is a garden complex that consists of various buildings including Gaudi's house.
Most of the buildings have the "trencadis" covered in ceramic pieces characteristic of Art Nouveau and Gaudi in general. The most famous places of the park are the terrace with the serpentine stairs and the colonnaded hall. In front of the hall, you can see the famous Gaudi dragon, and from the terrace, you get to experience one of the most breathtaking views of Barcelona.
RELATED POST: Eco-friendly travel accessories
6. El Drac de Gaudi at Finca Guell
The most interesting part of the complex in Eusebi Guell's ownership is the iron gate at the entrance. Originally, the buildings were created not by Gaudi, but he was later asked to redesign them. Gaudi being Gaudi proposed several gates in his favorite Neo-Mudejar style, but the main gate was different.
A wrought-iron dragon threateningly stares at you down as you approach. It symbolizes the dragon from the Garden of the Hesperides in a myth about Hercules. The dragon was manufactured by the locksmith Vallet i Piquer and is a great example of Art Nouveau.
7. Casa Calvet
Commissioned by a family of textile industrialists, Casa Calvet was built for the Calvets between 1898 and 1900. Many agree that this is one of Gaudi's most conventional works due to the lack of space at eh time of construction and location in Barcelona's more elegant sections.
The building mostly represents Baroque influences and is very unusual for Gaudi. There are some details such as the balconies that signal at the architect's weird preferences, but it doesn't go much further.
8. La Sagrada Familia
This church is by far Gaudi's most famous work. La Sagrada Familia has been in the process of construction since 1892 and will not be finished up until 2026.
The construction actually began in 1882 under Francisco de Paula del Villar, but he resigned the next year and Gaudi took over. The architect combined Gothic and Art Nouveau styles to create a masterpiece in the place of a usual cathedral.
Gaudi devoted his life to the project, but by the time of his death, less than a quarter of the work was complete. The church represents the relationship between nature, man, and religion by employing various allusions to the Bible.
9. Casa Vicens
Considered one of the first Art Nouveau buildings in the world, Casa Vicens is by far Gaudi's best creation. It was built between 1883 and 1888 for a wealthy family that owned a ceramic factory.
The building is a reflection of Neo-Mudejar architecture which influenced a lot of Gaudi's works. In the "trencadis" façade, Gaudi paralleled his client's professional background by using a variety of ceramic tiles.
There are Islamic architecture influences to be seen in some of its rooms and the façade. Gaudi loved mixing the neoclassical and oriental to create a style of his own, and Casa Vicens is the symbol of his new life, breaking away from traditions.
Nowadays, the building has become a museum which showcases temporary and permanent exhibits as well as telling the story of Casa Vicens and its creator.
10. Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella
Cascada Fountain is one of Gaudi's first projects. It was designed by Josep Fontsere in 1881 with Gaudi acting as an assistant. The fountain was to be displayed in the universal exhibition in 1888, and the inspiration for it came from the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome. There are various mythical figures on display including a standing Venus designed by Venanci Vallmitjana.
Now that you've read this article, you're probably thinking that you are an expert on Gaudi. After all, it was so informative! (And the author is really modest, am I not?) But there is always a lot to learn about Gaudi and his works. And no better way to do it than to visit those sites and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.
I hope that this 10 must-see Gaudi buildings article will help you create your best Gaudi sights to visit itinerary. If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elisa Abbot completed a degree in Computer Science. She finished her study last year but is already a true expert when it comes to presenting a text in a creative and understandable manner. Now she’s engaged in assessing translation services for PickWriters. Elisa is thirsty for knowledge and is always on the lookout for tips to share with her readers.