- Palace Guell
- House Calvet
- House Batllo
- Mila's house
- Temple of the Sagrada Familia (Sagrada Familia)
- House Vicens
- Park Guell
- Bellesguard Palace
- Saint Teresa's College
- Guell Pavilions
The great Antonio Gaudi changed the architectural appearance of Barcelona forever. His name is associated with the development in Spain of the Art Nouveau style, which was popular at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. He designed more than a dozen buildings and structures, but his most famous buildings are directly related to the Catalan capital.
A little about the architect himself: all his long life - he died two weeks before his 74th birthday - Gaudi suffered from rheumatism, which doomed him to loneliness: he was never married and had practically no friends. However, Gaudi was lucky to enlist the patronage of the industrialist and philanthropist Eusebio Güell, who became his closest friend. Subsequently, the architect designed many buildings for his patron, including the famous park with fantastic figures, which still bears his name.
The main monument created by Gaudí is, of course, the world-famous temple of the Sagrada Familia (Sagrada Familia), which is very popular due to its unusual appearance. The gigantic, artsy towers of the church serve as a landmark in Barcelona, and the sumptuous facades are amazing. The construction of the temple began in 1882 and continues to this day.
By the way, many other wealthy entrepreneurs in Barcelona, in addition to Guell, ordered the construction of their houses from Gaudí. His services could have gone up to a fortune, but the end result proved to be worth the money. The mansions Casa Mila and Casa Batlló, famous for their unusual facades, are deservedly considered masterpieces of Catalan Art Nouveau. Gaudí also liked to experiment with the technique of "broken" mosaic, consisting of glass and ceramic tiles.
Barcelona is often called the city of Gaudí, and this is not without the truth. If you have some free time, you can enjoy a quiet stroll through the Catalan capital, following the shadow of the great architect. In addition to the magnificent buildings themselves, you should also pay attention to the artsy street decorations: carved benches, graceful lanterns and much more.
Palau Guell is one of the earliest creations of Antoni Gaudi, built back in 1885-1890. This monumental mansion was intended for the patron saint of the great architect, industrialist and patron of the arts, Eusebio Güell. He and his family have lived in this stunning building for a long time.
On the facade, the loggias located on different tiers stand out especially. The longest covered balcony is located directly above the parabolic arcade of the gates for the passage of carriages and chariots.
The palace consists of several floors, while the rise from the basements and stables is carried out either along a spacious ramp or along a steep spiral staircase. The heart of the building is its central hall with a huge ceiling. Nowadays, concerts are taking place in this room, with the orchestra and organ located one level above the audience, which creates stunning acoustics. The upper floors house the bedrooms that belonged to the Güell family, while the attic, where the servants used to live, hosts temporary exhibitions.
The numerous rooms of the Güell Palace are luxuriously decorated. It features graceful arcaded galleries supporting vaults and sumptuous stained glass windows depicting scenes from Shakespeare's plays. Especially noteworthy are the doors and ceilings, made in an oriental style and decorated with carved wood panels with inlays, wrought iron and many other decorative elements. By the way, the palace has preserved many pieces of furniture designed by Gaudí himself, for example, luxurious fireplaces and tables.
Palais Güell ends with a roof with a 15-meter spire, typical of Gaudí architecture. Another striking detail is the numerous chimneys and chimneys, decorated with glass and ceramic mosaics and possessing a unique appearance.
Now the Güell Palace, located on the famous pedestrian Ramblas, is open to tourists.
Compared to other works by Gaudí, the house (casa) Calvet may seem too "ordinary". The architect practically does not experiment with style and decor elements. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the building was built in an elite area of old buildings, and it would not be entirely appropriate to stand out from the general style.
In the exterior of the house, you can see decorative elements typical of the Baroque era - amazing small windows, each of which is additionally decorated with a tiny semicircular or rectangular balcony with an elegant wrought iron grill.
Unusual in appearance of the Calvet house is its double pediment, from the semicircular end of which elaborate sculptures of saints grow. It is also worth paying attention to the funny columns of unusual shape located on the first floor.
Like Mila's house, built a couple of years later, this mansion was used as a tenement building with retail space on the first floor, the owner's personal apartment on the second, and rentals on the next tiers of the building.
The interior of the Calvet house is not very different from other Gaudí buildings. It features twisted thin columns, stunning murals, vibrant ceramic tiles, wrought iron ornaments and antique furniture. Now an elite restaurant is open in this building. By the way, it was this building of Gaudi that received the title of the best building of the year in 1900.
House (Casa) Batlló is considered one of the masterpieces of Art Nouveau architecture. It is curious that he also marked a transitional period in the creative path of Antoni Gaudí. It is while working with this mansion that he finally creates his own, unique style.
Casa Batlló was built by another architect back in 1875, but in 1904-1906 underwent a complete rebuild under the leadership of Gaudí. The house itself consists of 8 floors, excluding the basement, and its total height reaches 32 meters.
Now this building stands out for its stunning façade, in which there is not a single straight line. The first floor is presented in the form of parabolic arcades - a typical element of Gaudi architecture. Further there are graceful wavy balconies with thin columns.
Another Gaudí discovery is the illuminated patio. The architect plays with chiaroscuro, changing the color of the ceramic cladding of the building from snow-white to azure blue. The size of the windows is also reduced - from the huge ones on the ground floor to the tiny attic.
There is a theory that the house of Batlló depicts the legendary dragon, defeated by Saint George, the patron saint of Barcelona. His sword, thrust into the body of the monster, is presented in the form of a graceful turret in the shape of a cross, and chimneys on the roof, bright ceramic decorations and thin columns of balconies on the facade recall the scales and bones of a serpent.
Now the lobby of the mansion, decorated with oval stained glass windows, and an interesting attic are open for tourists. Its distinctive feature is 60 arcade spans, symbolizing the skeleton of a dragon.
Two other curious Art Nouveau mansions are located on either side of the Batlló house, with the appearance of all three buildings in sharp contrast to each other. This architectural ensemble was named the "Quarter of the Dissenters".
Dom (Casa) Mila is considered the apotheosis of the late work of Antoni Gaudi. This is the last secular structure, on which he worked, he dedicated the remaining almost 15 years of his life to the Sagrada Familia.
The Mila house combined all the innovations of the Art Nouveau style: instead of load-bearing walls, iron load-bearing columns were used here. Moreover, interior partitions in apartments could be removed or added by the tenants themselves.
It is worth noting the mansion's monumental façade, for which it was disapprovingly nicknamed the quarry. It has no straight lines, and all irregularly shaped windows are bordered by powerful wrought iron balcony gratings.
The house consists of 9 floors, including an underground garage specially redesigned by Gaudí to accommodate a luxury Rolls-Royce. Of particular note are the three small patios - the patio and the rooftop terrace.
The roof of this house deserves a separate story: Gaudí liked to experiment with the appearance of chimneys and chimneys, turning them into separate decorative elements. In the case of Mila's house, the architect goes even further - the roof of this mansion is decorated with a real army, since all pipes, staircase exits, chimneys and even specially built turrets are sculptural depicting a fabulous army.
These sculptures are made of broken ceramics, marble, pebbles and even glass. There is a legend that Gaudí added one of these sculptures to the house after its grand opening, and the fragments of numerous champagne bottles served as the material for it.
Initially, Casa Mila was used as a tenement building: the lower floor housed retail premises and offices, a little higher - the apartment of its owner, and the upper tiers were rented out. Now the mansion is partially open for tourists. It is worth visiting the first floor with its luxurious paintings and powerful columns, as well as familiarizing yourself with the layout of a typical apartment from the beginning of the 20th century. Some rooms contain exquisite furniture from that era, possibly even designed by Gaudí himself. The patio is accessed by a staircase lined with flowers and houseplants. An inimitable impression is made by the attic of the house, the ceiling of which is supported by 270 parabolic vaulted arcades. An exhibition dedicated to the work of the great architect is being held here.
Casa Mila is the first Gaudí house to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The same "fate" befell two other famous mansions - the Guell Palace and the Batlló House, located on the opposite side of the street.
Temple of the Sagrada Familia (Sagrada Familia)
The Sagrada Familia, also known as the Sagrada Familia, is considered the crowning achievement of Antoni Gaudi and the symbol of Barcelona. The architect gave this grandiose building more than forty years of his life, but the building remained unfinished. It is worth noting that the construction takes place exclusively with funds donated by parishioners, which also complicates the work.
A bit of history: the beginning of the construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882, but soon the customers had to change the architect, and Antonio Gaudi started to work. Having finished the crypt, begun by his predecessor, Gaudí completely redesigned the construction plan. As a devout Catholic, he set out to transform this church into a visual image of the triumph of Jesus Christ and the Church.
During Gaudí's lifetime, the monumental facade of the Nativity and the portal of the Virgin Mary of the Rosary were built. The architect adhered to the neo-Gothic style, but added completely unusual decorative elements. For example, he gave great importance to drainpipes, turning them into images of local flora and fauna. And the facade of the Nativity, which tells about the selected Gospel events, is decorated with huge figures of saints, made in full growth.
The exterior of the Passion façade, built in the middle of the 20th century, is fundamentally different from the pretentious Nativity façade so typical of Gaudí's architecture. It is dominated by elements of the Constructivist and even Cubist style that had spread at that time. The facade is represented by sharp geometric transitions and powerful columns resembling a skeleton. Gaudi himself did not want to start work from this part of the temple, so as not to scare away the townspeople.
The famous huge towers of the temple, consecrated in honor of the apostles, were completed already in 1977. They are made in the shape of a spindle, and holes are made along their entire perimeter, revealing a steep spiral staircase. The tops of the towers are decorated with the famous ceramic platbands - a favorite element of Gaudí's decor, depicting bunches of grapes, which recalls the sacrament of the Sacrament.
In the future, it is planned to erect the last facade of the temple dedicated to the Glory of the Lord, as well as add 10 more towers. The largest of them should be the central 170-meter tower of Jesus Christ, surrounded by "turrets" symbolizing the evangelists and complemented by the bell tower of the Virgin Mary. When completed, the Sagrada Familia will be the tallest building in the world.
Antonio Gaudi knew that he would never have time to finish his epoch-making creation. However, he thought of everything, and all current work is being carried out directly according to his plans and drawings. The same applies to the interior of the church, subject to the strict laws of geometry.
Inside, the Sagrada Familia is presented in the form of the so-called "forest of tree-like columns", which acts as a load-bearing support for the entire huge building. In addition to this unique design, the stunningly decorated hyperbolic ceilings and domes of the temple, as well as the exquisite stained glass windows, are worth noting. The interior decoration was completed only in the XXI century, and in 2010 the solemn consecration of the temple took place.
Now the Sagrada Familia church is open for tourists. The ticket is quite expensive, but all the proceeds go towards the completion of the construction. In the summer, it is worth buying a ticket in advance, there is the possibility of buying it online. Tourists are invited inside the temple itself, it is also allowed to go down to the crypt, where the great architect is buried. Several towers are equipped with a special elevator, and to climb independently, you will have to climb 300 steep steps. The museum of the church deserves special attention, housed in a pretty building of a former school for children of builders, which has a unique design. The hand of Gaudi himself is still attached to it.
According to the latest data, the completion of the construction of the Sagrada Familia will be timed to coincide with the centenary of the death of Antonio Gaudi - that is, in 2026.
House (Casa) Vicens is the first serious independent project by Antoni Gaudí, which at the time of completion of construction was just over thirty years old.
The building is built of red brick and brightly decorated in neo-Mudejar style. The original Mudejar style appeared in the Middle Ages and was a fusion of European Gothic with Arab architecture. Gaudí, as a typical representative of the Art Nouveau era, was not afraid to experiment with different styles, and later developed his own, unique style.
Casa Vicens consists of four floors, while the attic is made in the form of an amazing arcade gallery with thin columns. The roof gutters and chimneys are elaborately decorated, which will become a distinctive feature of Gaudí's architecture. Charming carved windows are also made in oriental style. They are complemented by vibrant, floral ceramic tiles and graceful wrought iron grilles.
House Vicens opened its doors to tourists relatively recently - only in 2017. Inside, an interesting layout of the rooms has been preserved, as well as antique furniture. It is worth noting that the mansion was rebuilt several times, and some decor elements were added by subsequent architects and restorers.
An important milestone in the work of Antoni Gaudí is a stunning park, laid out in the northern, hilly part of Barcelona. At the beginning of the 20th century, the architect and his patron, the industrialist and entrepreneur Eusebio Güell, decided to implement the concept of creating a “garden city”, which was popular at that time.
The idea was not crowned with success, but a luxurious park appeared in Barcelona, on the territory of which you can see both residential buildings and mysterious decorative buildings, as if descended from the pages of fairy tales. Such magic pavilions are located at the entrance to the park. Their appearance resembles the famous gingerbread houses from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel". These buildings housed the park's gatekeepers and administration.
One of the houses is crowned with a huge snow-white cross, another favorite element of Gaudí's architecture. From here begins the grand staircase with fountains leading to the Hall of a Hundred Columns, where concerts are often held thanks to the stunning acoustics. Its ceiling is adorned with exquisite ceramic cladding. By the way, there are only 86 Doric columns in this room, not a hundred, as the name suggests.
Even higher is the famous long bench depicting a sea serpent. Its back is made of ceramic tiles and even broken glass. In the park, you can often see images of snakes and especially salamanders - a favorite mythical creature of Gaudi himself. It is worth, for example, to pay attention to the huge medallion in the middle of the main staircase. It is also made of ceramics and depicts the head of a snake growing out of the Catalan flag.
On the territory of the park, houses have been preserved that were part of the projected residential quarter. One of them is still inhabited, the other housed the district school, and the third, where Gaudi lived until 1925, turned into a museum of the great architect. The mansion, with its appearance reminiscent of a church, has preserved the furniture that previously adorned the state rooms of the House of Batllo and the House of Mila. By the way, many interior details and pieces of furniture were made by Gaudi himself.
Do not forget that although amazing monuments of decorative art by Gaudí have survived here, Park Guell is primarily a place for relaxation and walking. For this, Bird's Nests are ideal - special stone galleries, as if carved from the slopes of a hill. From them sprout luxurious palms hanging over cozy walking paths. Of course, the famous Bird's Nests is another creation of the great architect Antoni Gaudi.
Park Guell is open until 6pm in winter and 9pm in summer. However, the entrance to the territory is carried out for money.
Bellesguard Palace is located in a remote part of Barcelona. Previously, this place was dominated by a huge medieval castle that belonged to the King of Aragon Martin I and his second wife, the local aristocrat Margarita de Prades.
Built back in 1409, after 500 years the palace was almost completely destroyed. At the same time, the owner of the old building, Jaime Figueiras, hired the famous architect Antoni Gaudi to build a modern residence for his family on this site.
Gaudí's new work is done in a neo-Gothic style to honor the cultural and historical value of the previous building. The exterior of the mansion - also known as Dom (Casa) Figueiras, named after its first owner - truly resembles a medieval castle. The dominant feature of the building is a splendid tower crowned with the famous four-pointed cross, which is constantly found in Gaudí's architecture. Its spire is also covered with the red and yellow tiles that make up the Catalan flag.
Since 2013, Bellesguard Palace has been open to tourists. The interiors of the mansion are made in accordance with the Art Nouveau era and the unique taste of Gaudí himself. Stunning lighting is maintained inside with varying window shapes, colored glass inserts and shiny metal decorations. It is also worth paying attention to Gaudi's unusual geometric solutions - many corridors are presented in the form of a series of parabolic arcades, and the supporting structures of the main tower are made in such an elaborate way that they resemble a spider-forged net.
Another funny detail, also common in Gaudí's architecture, is the unusual structure of the roof. From the side of the terrace, you can see the low slopes of the roof with protruding attic windows, similar to the eyes of a dragon, one of the favorite mythological creatures of the great architect.
It is also worth visiting the cozy garden near the Bellesguard Palace, where the picturesque ruins of a medieval fortress have been preserved.
Saint Teresa's College
Saint Teresa's College
The College of Saint Teresa is one of the earliest works by Antoni Gaudi, completed in 1889. Due to the fact that this building was intended for religious needs - a monastery school was located here - the architect had to abandon the use of his favorite techniques and the rich external decor of the building.
However, this monumental four-story brick building is still amazing. Its scalloped roof as well as the main entrance stands out in particular. Here you can see traces of Arab influence on Spanish culture, a similar architectural style called "Mudejar".
The entrance itself is made in the form of a parabolic arch - Gaudi's favorite geometric solution, and the portal is separated from the entire college building. It is additionally decorated with picturesque ceramic mosaics depicting symbols of Jesus Christ and St. Teresa of Avila, the patroness of the college. It is also worth paying attention to the luxurious forged lattice, without which it is impossible to imagine any building by Gaudí.
The building itself is a bit like an ancient impregnable fortress. This is quite understandable - the main theme of St. Teresa's teaching was the idea of an “inner castle,” according to which the human soul is a castle with numerous rooms, in the center of which is the Lord.
Royal Palace of Pedralbes
In the suburbs of Barcelona, there is a luxurious estate that belonged to the patron saint of Gaudí, the wealthy industrialist Eusebio Güell. The exterior of the main mansion resembles a typical tropical hut - bungalow, and the pretty outbuildings on the territory are already made in the well-recognized style of Gaudi architecture.
Especially notable are the luxurious houses of the gatekeeper and the pavilions located at the gates. They are crowned with pretty bumps covered with bright tiles. Also worth noting is the huge stables building, over which rises a powerful dome, all covered with ceramic tiles. In many buildings, features of oriental architecture can be traced.
The estate is surrounded by an elegant wrought-iron lattice, the weaving of which resembles dragons - a favorite motif in Gaudí's architecture. Around the house grew powerful Mediterranean trees, planted during the life of Gaudí - cypresses, magnolias, palms and eucalyptus. The great architect also designed the construction of figured flower beds and the picturesque fountain of Hercules.
The further history of the estate itself, now bearing the name of the Royal Palace of Pedralbes, is curious. In 1919, the family of the reigning king of Spain, Alfonso XIII, stayed here, and the generous philanthropist Guell presented them with his country residence. Now there is a museum of decorative arts and ceramics. The exposition includes antique furniture, the throne of King Alphonse with golden lions, Moorish dishes and even masterpieces of the great Pablo Picasso.