Barcelona. In Gaudi's footsteps

Barcelona, Spain

5 places
Kristina Shvets

Antonio Gaudi is Barcelona's major architect and city hero. Gaudi adored Barcelona, spoke Catalan and found inspiration in the traditions of his people. Almost all his architectural masterpieces can be attributed to the influence of nature, including those thirteen that are found in Barcelona. Gaudi's buildings give the city a special charm and are tourists' main attraction. It's hardly possible to visit all of them in one day, but it's definitely worth looking at the most iconic and exciting of them.

Casa Vicens

The first big commission of the famous Antonio Gaudí (1883-89г). Built of rough stone bricks and bright chessboard-like tiles, it is one of the first Gaudi's modernism works contrasted to eclecticism, which was en vogue at that time. Casa Vicens is still a private building and is closed to visitors – such a shame as Gaudí also designed some of its interiors.

Park Güell

Number one Gaudi work, it was commissioned by his patron, tycoon Eusebi Güellm, who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. Initially, the architect was to build luxury houses at sixty lots but only two were built – one was taken by the tycoon himself and another stood empty as no one wanted to move so far from the city center. The awesome park is famous for its amazing stone decorations, stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. At the entrance you will be welcomed by the famous dragon fountain with multicolored mosaic salamander. Then take a walkway supported by twisting rock pillars to the top of Güell– here you get a wonderful view of the park and of Barcelona City seating on a long sea-serpent shaped bench. Workers collected thousands of old tiles and bottle glass to create it. The park is so vibrant that everything seems alive and breathing – all creatures and even buildings – it’s just amazing that it was created more than a century ago. Better come early to be able to see the famous dragon without crowds.

Bunkers del Carmel

Old wartime bunkers have been renovated and graffiti-decorated becoming a hip spot with a splendid view of the city. From the hilltop, your breath will be taken away, when you see the sea, narrow old quarters and straight artery-like streets of L’Eixample. Better come at sunset, on a date with some nice wine and spend a couple of hours admiring the view.

Casa Milà

A residential house built at the beginning of the last century by Antonio Gaudi for the Milla family, now it is one of the main tourist attractions in Barcelona. The most interesting thing about the house, the one that justifies the entrance fee, is an incredible rooftop terrace. It looks like a stone park of Gaudi’s imagination, with hanging gardens, benches, bridges, stone flowers and chimney pipes that resemble guards.

Palau Güell

Antonio Gaudí designed this beautiful mansion for his patron, the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell. The palace opened three years ago after major renovations and now you can walk inside to admire the main hall with a high ceiling and a giant parabolic dome decorated with extravangat ceramic pieces and floral motifs that the architect will later master in his La Pedrera.


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