No place like home, except the seaside. Difficult to say what I liked more in Barcelona – sangria on our first night, the flavors of paella, eating the Boqueria market fruits next to the Mediterranean, strong coffee on Passeig de Gracia while admiring the Gaudí architecture and being called “señiorita”. Si. With flamenco in the background.
Inspired by the poetic and insightful articles wrote by Anna about Sweden, I revisited my memories of Spain. I visited Barcelona first time in 2009 and went to the seaside and to Camp Nou stadium. Imagine! During my second visit, after 7 years, I understood and discovered more Gaudi treasures.
Looking ahead with perspective, I still remember and return to my trips with a smile. Luckily I always wrote and made pictures so I don’t forget.
Man makes art for man and hence it must be rational.
Antoni Gaudí is the famous son of Barcelona and the traces he left behind are encrypted in a design language only he was fluent in. His own colorful way of seeing the world; for example:
- Modernisme is the Catalan Art Nouveau
- Trencadis ~ Small Ceramic stones on a surface, signature in Gaudi Art
Antoni Gaudí, Catalon genius architecture, said “in nature there are no straight lines or sharp corners. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.” We start exploring the most famous of his works.
La Sagrada família
Gaudí started creating at 31 years old the only church in Art Nouveau style, and was called “God’s Architect”. He envisioned the interior of his church to have the feel of a forest because he believed only in Nature man can feel closest to God.
Unusual Basilica de la Sagrada família is not finished yet and is said it will be completed by 2026, more than 140 years after it was started and marking the centenary of Antoni Gaudí’s death.
Casa Milá (La Pedrera) & Casa Batlló
Casa Milà in the center of Barcelona on Passeig de Gràcia no 92 is unconventional. The other name “la Pedrera” is derived from the stones façade with iron balconies. I remember so well the visit at Casa Milà and our tour guide telling us that at the beginning it was considered controversial, as most of Gaudí work.
While admiring the city view from the spectacular roof, I wondered how it must feel to wake up or go to work daily in such a beautiful place.
Casa Batlló is uncommon. Nicknamed “House of bones” due to the colorful façade and the columns in the shape of bones. We didn’t entered in La Casa Batlló, so if you visited also this masterpiece I envy you. On my list. Until than, Casa Batlló opened the doors in a Virtual Tour.
Colorful Park Güell in Carmel Hill is an UNESCO World Heritage. The park is unique, commissioned to Gaudí by his friend, architect Eusebi Güell and was designed as a private residential area. Probably the most iconic images from Barcelona are from the Güell gardens, where we find most colorful trecandis.
Other works of Gaudí are Casa Vicens, Plaça Royal, Cascada fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella – inspired by Fontana di Trevi of Rome – or Palau Güell – residence located in the Gothic Quarter.
In general, you have so much to visit and experience in Barcelona. Time to have only for all. More unforgettable places are:
- El Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter) is in charming historic center
- Salvator Dalí Museums
- Picasso Museum Barcelona
- Concert hall Palau de la Música Catalana
- Scenic Montjuïc with the Magic fountain, the Olympic Ring, concert hall Palau Sant Jordi, hiking routes to an amazing view and the Castle at the top
- The hill Tibidabo can be reached with a funicular for another great view overlooking Barcelona
- And of course, let’s not forget, the harbor with the seaside
Instead of conclusion
I loved the description of this city from the website of Casa Batllò – „the one thing that you can certainly say about Barcelona is that art can be found where you least expect it, even under your shoes.“