“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners” – Antoni Gaudi.
Genius architect, Antoni Gaudi considered as one of the main driving force in the Catalan Modernisme movement believed in getting architectural inspirations from the organic nature like plants and animals. His unique architectural style is evident in the tiny details on the facades, chimneys and staircases of various buildings he designed.
UNESCO declared seven of his masterpieces as World Heritage Site in the year 1984 based on distinctiveness of his work and contribution to the Modern architecture. As we had committed just one day to explore them we managed to visit five among them during our stay in Barcelona and each one was remarkable piece of work.
Originally a plot allotted by Eusebi Guell in the 1900s with the intention of recreating the British estates, Park Guell is now a public park. The monumental zone in the park is a must visit attraction of Barcelona where you can see the stunning pieces of mosaic art, walls of unworked stone and many more. The park was Gaudi’s idea of an artistic forest with mesmerising colours in the dragon/salamander fountain, pillars depicting tree trunks and the Hansel and Gretel inspired pavilion.
The ticket to the monumental zone costs 8 Euros and it is advisable to purchase them in advance, as the entry to the zone is limited.
Also known as the “La Pedrera”, Casa Mila is considered as Gaudi’s most imaginative buildings in the world of creative architecture. Built in 1912, Casa Mila was the residence of a businessman Pere Milà i Camps and is now the headquarters of Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, which houses special exhibitions and events in the building.
The house is combination of two buildings designed around two courtyards thus resulting in natural light in abundance to all the nine floors. We loved the 100-year-old Pedrera apartment located in the fourth floor of the building, which displayed the elegant history of the place. Another place not to be missed is the roof terrace of the building where you can see the snail shaped water tanks and the innovatively designed 28 chimneys that are designed like warriors. Entry ticket to the building costs 20.50 Euros.
Not far from the Casa Mila is another stunning building the Casa Battlo, a building redesigned by Gaudi for Joseph Battlo in 1904. It is also called as the “House of bones” because of the design of the outer façade, which resembles skulls and bones. Gaudi used his vivid imagination to design Casa Battlo resulting in the building exteriors demonstrating the rippling effects of the marine world.
The interiors of the house is just as extraordinary as the exteriors decorated with mushroom-shaped fireplace, banisters that look like Animal spine and wavy ceiling and windows. The expressionist architecture is significant in the roof terrace of the building where you will find four chimneys made from tiny mosaic shards alongside a turret that has monograms of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Tickets to the house cost 21.50 Euros per person.
The Palau Güell was the residence of industrialist and good friend of Antoni Gaudi, Count Eusebi Güell. Located close to the La Ramblas Street, the exterior of the palace might not interest you as it does not hold the signature Gaudi design, but it is the interiors that will definitely leave you speechless.
The main feature of the building is the small holes in the ceiling of the main floor, which at night gives the sparkly sky illusion with the use of lamps on the outside. Entry to the palace costs 12 euros per person.
La Sagrada Familia
The La Sagrada Familia (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) was one of the most passionate works of Antoni Gaudi. It is under construction since 1883 and is said to be completed in the year 2028. One of the highest visited tourist spot (2.5 million visitors a year) in the city is a vision to behold, although the ongoing construction work caused slight hindrance the awe-inspiring architecture makes it worth the visit.
The church has three distinct facades: Nativity façade, Passion façade and the Glory façade each dedicated to different aspects of the life of Jesus Christ. As you enter the church you will find Gaudi’s unique work in the tall columns that represents trees and branches, play of natural light through the stained glass windows and the gothic-styled apse. Once the construction is complete, La Sagrada Familia will the tallest church in the world. Entry to the church along with the tower costs 19.30 Euros per person.
After completing our tour of these five places, we were in awe of creative genius Antoni Gaudi and his contribution to the world. Moments spent exploring these places are definitely the best ones during our time in the Barcelona.
For more information visit:http://www.barcelonaturisme.com