The colorful mosaics, winding paths, and showy sculptures and structures in the middle of nature represent the Catalan modernism. The house where Antoni Gaudí, the most famous architect of the movement and the man responsible for the mosaics, lived during the final years of his life is located here. A tip: the easiest way to get to the park is to take the bus 24, which goes to the top and helps you avoid the crowded subway.
Also known as La Pedrera, this house doesn’t have a single right angle. A big junction of curves, Casa Milà has chimneys on the terrace that attract visitors’ attention due to their unusual forms. It’s home to a fantastic museum that presents Gaudí’s thoughts and how he worked.
Designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this is one of the most spectacular concert halls in Spain, with almost perfect acoustics and an impressive richness of details. One of its highlights is the colorful glass mosaic on the ceiling.
This house designed by Puig i Cadafalch has a façade decorated with colorful glass tiles and fantastic creatures sculpted on the walls. Its interior was recently renovated and reopened for visitation in 2015. A perk: the hundred-year-old chocolate shop of the same name is located inside Casa Amatller. In addition to buying chocolate, you can participate in tasting sessions.
The hospital occupies an entire block and looks like a small town, with a fortress, buildings, promenades and gardens. Unlike Gaudí and other modern architects, Domènech i Montaner developed a more discreet style with time. It’s possible to explore the pavilions on a regular tour or on a tour designed for architects. Visits are free on the first Sunday of each month.
Next door to Casa Amatller, on Passeig de Gràcia, the cavernous forms and the structure that resembles a skeleton could give Casa Batlló, designed by Gaudí, a dark and gloomy aspect, if it weren’t for the vibrant colors. To this day, people live and work there.
Josep Puig i Cadalfalch, a contemporary of Gaudí with a very different style, designed this building where the restaurant La Taverna dels Quatre Gats – a meeting point for artists and intellectuals like Pablo Picasso in the late 19th century – is installed.
The fact that it isn’t finished yet – it’s estimated that construction will be completed by 2028 – doesn’t make the cathedral less extraordinary. Gaudí’s last project, La Sagrada Família features impressive towers (there will be 18 in total) and details. It’s possible to buy tickets online for a set date and time, but pay attention: admittance to the temple doesn’t include the towers, which you can visit for an additional charge.
Text Camila Lafratta
Photos: Fernanda Frazão, CCommons Barbara Eckstein, CCommons Yearofthedragon