A Tour of Barcelona and Gaudi: The World’s Most Famous Architect

Author: KDanck

But first, who was Gaudi?

Gaudi was born in 1852 and is considered one of the most influential architects in modernism. Nature and organic shapes played a large role in his art “Gaudí himself once said: “originality consists of going back to the origins.”” (3). He began studying architecture in 1870 in Barcelona and upon completion of his degree, “Director, Elies Rogent, declared: “I do not know if we have awarded this degree to a madman or to a genius; only time will tell.”” (3). Many of his works (listed below) have become World Heritage sites and are staples to the Barcelona scene.

Gaudi died in 1926 after being hit by a tram on his way to the Sagrada Familia (a church you should visit, but is still not complete!). Since he did not have any identification papers on him, no one realized this was Gaudi until he was taken to the hospital. He was buried two days later (3).

Plaça Reial

Plaça Reial (translation: Royal Square) is located in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona and was designed by architect Frances Molina as a praise to the monarchy. A statue of the king at the time, Ferdinand VII, was planned, but never actually built. Instead the fountain of the Three Graces stands in the center (1). The two lamp posts that circle the fountain were designed by Gaudi and added in 1879 at the request of the City Council, with the winged helmet representing Barcelona’s commercial power (2).

Price: Free

How to get here

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Palau Guelle

In 1885, Eusebi Guell commissioned Gaudi to create a house for him in 1885, which Gaudi finished in 1890. “This building is perhaps the only finished piece of the master” and UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1984 (2). This mansion was meant to show off Guell’s wealth with stained glass windows, marble columns, and ornate ceilings. Although Eusebi Guell moved his residence to Park Guell, this site remained a private residence until the Spanish Civil War (when it was used as barracks) (2)

Price: 12 Euros. Buy tickets here.

How to get here: Tip: This is very close to Plaça Reial, so do these in the same day

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Casa Batllo

This is one of Gaudi’s most famous works and was considered revolutionary at the time of its construction. Using mosaic tiles and organic shapes, Gaudi created an interesting juxtaposition of different styles of art which blend together in a beautiful and unique way.

The building was orginally created between 1875-1877 and Gaudi added his own touches between 1904-1906 by Josep Batlo, a textile industrialist. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 (2).

Price:

(Get your tickets online to skip the line/ save money!) Tickets start at 28.50 Euros. Order here

How to get here:

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The house is several stories. This was on our way to the top

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The outside

Casa Mila

This was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984 and belonged to Pere Mila and his wife, Roser Segimon. “La Pedrera has a highly unusual appearance and its façade is often described as undularting as no straight lines were used in its construction” (2). The site actually consists of two buildings with two separate courtyards (2) “Initially. The name “La Pedrera” was given by citizens who disapprevied and the term is translated to mean “the quarry.” It was given that name due to its stone façade, which many people found offensive and overwhelmingly bold (2)”

Price: 22 Euros. Buy tickets here.

How to get here

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Sagrada Familia

The unfinished church! Construction began in 1882 (2) and continues to this day (It’s projected to be done by 2026). In spite of being unfinished, 3 million people visit this site each year (2). This too is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and combines Gothic and Art Nouveau art and will have 18 towers when complete: 12 will be dedicated to the 12 apostles, 4 to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (also known as the 4 evangelists who are credited with the first 4 books of the New Testament) and 2 to Mary and Jesus (2)

Price: Tickets start at 15 Euros, but there are different options (including tours and viewing the tours). Buy tickets here.

How to get here:

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Park Guell

This project was also commissed by Eusebi Guell who envisioned this as a site with 60 family homes (2). “Park” in the name was meant to take on the British meaning, for luxury living. Gaudi worked on this site for 14 years (from 1904-1914) (2) and Gaudi’s famous use of organic shapes, fusion of old and new art styles, and mosaics can be found throughout the park.

Additionally make sure to visit the Gaudi house museum, where Gaudi lived before or after you enter the paid area of the park.

Price: Only a limited amount of people are allowed into the park at a given time. So book your time slot and make sure you are on time (or risk not being allowed in)! Get there early, since you will have a 5 minute walk from the entrance of the unpaid part of the park to the infamous tourist attraction (and paid part). This should cost you about 7 Euros. You can buy them here.

How to get here

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You get a pretty sweet view of Barcelona

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Sources:

(1) “Plaça Reial – Visit Barcelona,” ©Turisme de Barcelona, , accessed September 26, 2017, http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/page/1248/placa-reial.html.
(2) Fattore, Raul. The Gaudi Tour.
(3) “Antoni Gaudí Biography,” Casa Batlló, , accessed September 26, 2017, https://www.casabatllo.es/en/antoni-gaudi/.

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