It is hard to believe that one of the most iconic landmarks of Barcelona, Pueblo Español, was designed and constructed as a one-time thing. It was meant to decorate the World Exposition back in 1929, symbolizing the achievements of Spanish architecture and culture.
Pueblo Español resembled a traditional Spanish town of Iberia, recreating a replica of its streets and buildings. Once presented at the exhibition, it proved too monumental and popular to be disassembled afterwards, so the historic decision was made to keep it for the posterity.
The architectural complex presents the traditions, gastronomy, culture and folklore of many Spanish regions, appealing to all human senses and sending the visitors back to medieval times.
Pueblo Español is highly praised for its private collections of contemporary art (Dali, Miro, Picasso) at the Fran Daurel Museum. Various works of art created by artisans and craftsmen can be bought at the local souvenir shops, and numerous festivals and concerts are to be enjoyed all year round in this comfortable and relaxing space.
Sagrada Família by Antonio Gaudí is known all over the world as a fine example of human triumph and ingenuity. Impressive, stunning, and jaw-dropping, this sacred place is more than a mere Basilica. It has been under construction for almost 140 years and is not going to be finished soon! It has outlived its creator and will remain an architectural miracle for many centuries to come.
Even though Gaudi had directed every move at the construction site until his death in 1926, he could not complete the work – so titanic and consuming the original plan was. Yet the main project of his lifetime was picked up by his successors, modified and redesigned.
One can clearly see the difference in architectural styles, the color and arrangement of stones. Being able to compare the old and the new parts of the building is what makes Sagrada Família even more interesting to interpret. Controversial and magnificent, Sagrada Familia is surely a must-see in Barcelona.
Casa Batlló is an architectural masterpiece by Antonio Gaudi, erected in the heart of Barcelona, on Passeig de Gràcia, as a family estate of a wealthy aristocrat Josep Batlló.
Enjoying a favorable location in the business and economic area, on one of Barcelona’s busiest avenues, Casa Batlló cannot be overlooked by tourists. The building looks queer and fascinating: its balconies resemble skulls, and their supports look like bone structures.
According to a different opinion, Casa Batlló illustrates the scenes of marine life and depicts corals in their typical environment. The house eloquently demonstrates Gaudi’s style and talent. It is especially stunning at night, when the lights are on, adding weird shapes and shades to all the elements of its elaborate design.
Inside, the house looks no less exquisite. One can clearly see the attention Gaudi paid to details, such as lighting and the size of rooms, all open to tourists now.
Museo Nacional de Arte da Catalunha
The National Museum of Catalan visual art is not only one of Barcelona’s main museums, but also a symbol of Catalan authenticity and pride. It is housed in the picturesque Montjuïc Castle and boasts having rich collections of Romanesque clerical paintings.
Apart from church art, the museum also features artworks representing various epochs – from the early Middle Ages to Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque art, and the 20th century avant-garde.
Just like the famous Pueblo Español, Museo Nacional de Arte da Catalunha was created to commemorate the 1929 World Exposition in Barcelona. Lavishly adorned with murals and intricate architectural elements, the Museum belongs to the Classical style with traces of Renaissance to be clearly seen over the area of 30,000+ square meters.
The most impressive parts of the building include the Dome, the Throne Hall, and the Oval Hall. Museo Nacional de Arte da Catalunha is also home to the largest coin collection in Catalonia, thousands of drawings, posters, and engravings.
There is hardly a place in Barcelona that is left untouched or unnoticed by Antonio Gaudi. Parque Guell is just another example of his remarkable architectural talent. The magical green park was named after count Eusebi Güell, a prolific entrepreneur and Gaudi’s ardent fan.
Stunning Parque Guell originally served as a backdrop of a huge residential complex, but the idea was reconsidered by either Guell or Gaudi himself. Eventually, it was transformed into a fantasy park with dragon fountains, animal figures, and unbelievable geometric landscapes. Interestingly enough, Gaudi and his family lived here, and the Gaudi House is now a museum.
Perhaps the most distinct feature of Parque Guell is its architectural design with multi-colored ceramic mosaics. The park seems to be an ode to nature, but it is also marked by political and religious symbolism. Open to public since the 1920s, Parque Guell has become one of Barcelona’s landmarks, which was also added to the UNESCO World Heritage list. As a bonus, the highest parts of the park offer wonderful panoramas of Barcelona.
Catedral de Barcelona
Barcelona’s iconic Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia has always been a sacred place for the Catalan people. The Cathedral seems to be greater than time for it has survived many periods and epochs while the city was changing and developing incessantly.
A lot of generations have been congregating here to pay tribute to god and rejoice in the superb architectural surroundings of the lofty Gothic edifice.
It took more than six centuries for Catedral de Barcelona to be built, the first foundation stones being laid in the late 13th century on the site of an early Christian basilica. Today, the Cathedral is a mixture of styles, which are most clearly seen from the inside. The whole religious complex includes 25 chapels and a medieval cloister.
The most splendid elements of the Cathedral are the crypt, the pulpit, the choir stalls, the stained-glass windows and the vault, which are better to be seen than described.
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