Gaudi’s Works in Barcelona | 10 Must-See Creations
Antoni Gaudi, whose name is synonymous with Catalan modernism introduced Barcelona to the intricate, decorated, and distinctive pieces of architecture that dot the city today. Although his works did not catch much attention during his time, today 7 of his wonders are recognized as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Learn more about Gaudi’s life, his architectural style, his creations, and the symbolism in his works as you read through this page.
Who was Antoni Gaudi?
Born in 1852, Antoni Gaudi was a Spanish architect, best known as the greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism. Gaudi’s architectural work was highly unique and featured one-of-a-kind designs. Most of Gaudi’s work is located in Barcelona, including his most famous work, the Sagrada Familia. Across most of Gaudi’s work, three themes became apparent: nature, religion, and architecture.
A meticulous planner, Gaudi worked tirelessly on the plans for buildings he was designing but his plans were rarely hand drawn. Instead, he would create 3D scale models and mold the details on the models as he conceived them. Gaudi also tried to integrate crafts including carpentry, stained glass, wrought iron forging, and ceramics organically into his creations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Gaudi became a part of the Modernista movement, partly after being influenced by neo-Gothic and Oriental techniques. To date, Gaudi’s architectural prowess is lauded by modern architects and the Sagrada Familia is the most visited monument in Spain. By 2005, seven of his works were inducted into the prestigious World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
History of Antoni Gaudi’s Life
Born to a Coppersmith in provincial Catalonia, Gaudi had humble beginnings. Early in his life, his passion for architecture led him to Barcelona to pursue his studies in 1869. His studies were interrupted by military training and other activities, he took 8 years to graduate. Throughout his career, his style of work went through many phases.
Around 1878, inspired by his school projects, he practiced florid Victorianism. But soon he began combining geometric motifs on brick or stone creating a unique mixture of Muslim and Christian designs called the Mujedar style. Later, he experimented with Gothic and Baroque styles. But, after 1902, his architectural designs deviated from mainstream works. During his time, his work was severely criticized and never found the recognition it deserved. It was only after his death that people all over the world found fascination with his unique style of architecture.
During his youth, Gaudi was a spiritual man and devoted most of his works to the Roman Catholic faith. He remained unmarried throughout his life. Although Gaudi was a social person during the early parts of his life, he lived modestly towards the end. In June of 1926, when he was 75, he was struck by a tram and died.
Antoni Gaudi’s Architectural Style
Gaudi’s style does not fit into any of the mainstream styles. Throughout his life, he took inspiration from nature and created unique designs. From Baroque to Victorian, Muslim to Christian, Gaudi’s architectural style has it all.
Modernisme or Art Nouveau, a reaction to Spanish conservative architecture, grew to become the Catalan architectural identity. With an emphasis on industrialization, technology, and scientific investigation, the industrial and cultural projects of Barcelona were exhibited at the Barcelona universal exposition in 1888.
As a well-known supporter of Modernisme, Antoni Gaudi combined Asian and Islamic forms with Art Nouveau to create his own eclectic mix. Gaudi’s fascination for nature inspired him to incorporate elements of nature in his works. Casa Vicens inspired by Marigold flowers, and Casa Batllo from marine life are a few examples. The spirit of Modernisme is alive even today with numerous architects working on the Sagrada Familia to this date.
The use of geometric shapes in Gaudi’s works combined the rich Islamic architecture with its Christian counterpart. Taking inspiration from nature, Gaudi used helicoids to represent tree trunks and conoids for leaves. Apart from two-dimensional motifs, Gaudi included three-dimensional shapes by taking inspiration from tree trunks for columns in Sagrada Familia, human bones in Batllo house columns, and rib cages in inverted canary arches of Casa Mila.
In the ceilings and floors of many buildings, Gaudi used mosaics. This is sometimes referred to as trencadis. Gaudi also made an extensive use of parabolic arches in Palau Guell and Casa Batllo. He also used hyperbolic curves to create the vaults of Sagrada Familia and tree trunks in the main church.
From his youth, Antoni Gaudi was proud of his Catalan heritage. He was a devout Roman Catholic and used his architectural styles to pay tribute to his faith and regional identity. Gaudi’s architecture opened a new chapter in Catalan history by breaking away from conventional techniques.
It is said that Gaudi’s trip to the Cisterian monastery of Poblet when he was 16, led him to embrace his Catalan identity and write a manifesto to restore the building and revive part of Catalonia’s glorious past. Later on in life, he used Catalan modernist architecture to give life to poetry and national myths. Sagrada Familia, among others, became an iconic monument synonymous with Catalan identity.
Gaudi experimented with Gothic styles in the Episcopal Palace, Astorga, and the Casa de los Botines. While designing the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi mixed erstwhile Gothic traditions with curvilinear Art Nouveau. The Sagrada Familia is unique because, from afar, the structure looks very Gothic. But as you go close, the organic motifs and forest-inspired pillars give it a modernist tinge.
The influence of the Gothic style in Gaudi’s architecture showed his appreciation of the past. By entwining the old with the new, Gaudi gave a seamless transition between the different schools of architecture. Through Gaudi’s works you’d notice history moving through the past, present and future in a non-linear fashion.
Symbolisms in Gaudi’s Work
Gaudi’s biomimicking architecture had taken inspiration from trees, snails, leaves, and even the human rib cage.
The Catenary arches at Casa Mila are said to have been inspired by human rib cages, columns at Sagrada Familia from trees, the Batllo house columns inspired from human tibia, the spiral staircases in the tower of Sagrada Familia from Perisphinctes spiral shell and the Parc Guell columns from sweet chestnut tree.
Gaudi was a devout man. His masterpiece- the Sagrada Familia was meant to be his tribute to God and Roman Catholicism. The Nativity facade of the church that was built during his time had numerous biblical stories. He had intended to write the history of the entire Catholic faith in one building. Gaudi firmly believed that nature is where man is closest to God. And so, he included symbols of nature in most of his works.
Gaudi’s rise as an architect coincided with the Catalan Modernisme movement. He took this reactionary movement ahead and gave his own touch. He combined the old Gothic styles with the modernist styles and created a unique style of architecture, today synonymous with Gaudi’s works. The political symbolism of a unique Catalan identity, separated from the central Spanish architecture was evident.
Gaudi’s Masterpiece | Sagrada Familia
The iconic Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s masterpiece. Started construction in 1882, the cathedral remains unfinished even to this day. The monument is a combination of the erstwhile Gothic styles and Catalan Modernisme- giving it a neo-Gothic outlook.
Antoni Gaudi was immensely devout. The Basilica was his way of showing respect to God. He envisioned writing the history of the Catholic faith in one building. The nativity facade built when Gaudi was alive, symbolizes stories from the Bible.
Plan Your Visit to Sagrada Familia
Book Tickets to Sagrada Familia
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Gaudi’s Barcelona | Prominent Creations by Antoni Gaudi
A public park featuring gardens and architectural elements, Park Guell is located on Carmel Hill in Barcelona. Work on the park began in 1900 and it was officially opened to the public in 1926. Park Guell was designed by Gaudi during his naturalist phase and showcased his personal style through inspiration from organic shapes. In fact, this strangely enchanting place is one of the few places in the world where the artificial seems more natural than the natural.
Inside the main entrance on Carrer d’Olot is the park’s Centre d’Interpretation, a curvaceous former porter’s house which houses a display of Gaudi’s building methods and also the history of the park. The steps from the entrance are guided by a mosaic dragon and lead to the Doric Temple. This is a forest featuring 86 stone columns.
Park Guell Tickets
Located on Passeig de Gracia, Casa Batlló, along with La Pedrera, is one of the two iconic buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi. The exterior facade of Casa Batlló resembles skulls and bones, giving the building a strikingly unique look. The skull portion of Casa Batllo is the balconies while the bones make up the supporting pillars underneath. For Casa Batllo, Gaudi drew inspiration from the colors and shapes of marine life. For instance, the colors used in the facade resemble those found in natural corals.
Casa Batllo is another beautiful showcase of the unique artistic sensibilities and attention to detail Gaudi lent to each of his creations. Visit Casa Batllo to admire this stunningly original, one-of-a-kind building where the size of the windows varies depending on how high the window is from the top of the building.
Tickets to Casa Batlló
Constructed between 1906 and 1912, Casa Mila is another gem of a building designed by Antoni Gaudi. Casa Mila was commissioned by Pere Milà and Roser Segimon and derived its name from the fact that the building was supposed to be the new home of the Mila family. Post completion of construction, the Mila family occupied the first floor of the building and put the other apartments on rent. Considered by many modern architects as one of Antoni Gaudi’s most iconic works of civil architecture, Casa Mila is a must visit for anyone who wants to admire the creative genius of an artist at the height of his power.
The building not only features functional and constructional innovations which were unheard of at the time but also its decorative and ornamental prowess. Casa Mila is also known as La Pedrera due to its resemblance with an open quarry, the fact that the building features forms drawn from nature. Officially, Gaudi’s last work of civil architecture, Casa Mila is even more special for it represents a break from the more complex creations that he was otherwise known for.
Casa Mila Tickets
Opened to the public only in 2017, Casa Vicens Gaudi is a UNESCO-listed masterpiece created by Antoni Gaudi. Completed in 1885, this angular, turreted private home was built for Manuel Vicens i Montaner, a prolific stock and currency broker. Casa Vicens was Gaudí’s first commission when the architect was aged just 30 and was one of the reasons he was noticed. The residential quarter features an opulently detailed facade with ceramic colors and shapes and is located away from Garcia’s main drag.
For Casa Vicens, Gaudi drew inspiration from the rich heritage of building in the Mudejar-style brick, which was quite common in parts of Spain reconquered from the Moors. The Mudejar style of architecture was credited to Arabs and Berbers who were allowed to remain in Spain following the Christian reconquests. There are 30 minutes guided tours available to enlighten you about Casa Vicens or you can explore the beautiful masterpiece at your own pace.
Tickets to Casa Vicens
The Palau Guell was designed by Gaudi for Eusebi Guell and his family. Located in the Gothic quarter of the city, Palau Guell has a parabolic arch facade and mosaic figures on the roof. The interior has a parabolic dome in the central hall and a lounge ceiling perforated by circles to let light in. At night, lanterns were hung from the ceiling to give the appearance of a night sky. On top, there are colorful tree-like chimneys.
The residence which once entertained the crème de la crème of Barcelona society, is today a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Casa Calvet was designed by Gaudi for Martir Calvet- a well-known textile manufacturer. Out of his other works, Casa Calvet was one of Gaudi’s most conservative projects. Having won the award for the best building of the year in 1900, the building sports a baroque facade, overall symmetry, and balance. Although conventional on the surface, the details possess Gaudi’s unique style.
Gaudi extended his decorative sense and subtlety to the interiors, the furniture, the famous office chairs, desks and even the coat racks, umbrella stands and handles.
The Colonia Guell is an unfinished building by Antoni Gaudi, commissioned by the Guell family. The building was intended to be a place of worship in suburban Barcelona, made of basaltic stone bricks and mosaic. While the building began construction in 1898, it had to halt all works in 1914 when the Guell family went bankrupt.
The unique geometric columns often used by Gaudi are found on both the interior and the exterior. The church appears to be a rough precursor to the Sagrada Familia with rich interiors and geometric columns.
Eusebi Guell had become a long-term patron and friend towards the end of Gaudi’s life. The Finca Guell was one of his first projects that set the road for a productive professional relationship. The wall with its Mudejar-style Gates is the main attraction here. The gates are in the shape of a dragon, representing the mythical dragon from the garden of Hesperides, commemorating Hercules’ daring feat.
The interior of the estate, although built by other architects, was remodeled by Gaudi.
Cascada fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella
This Baroque-style fountain was designed when Gaudi was still a student. Gaudi assisted the principal architect Josep Fontsere in 1881, for an exhibition in 1888. The fountain is said to be loosely inspired by the Trevi fountain in Italy. The four riding horses, stone-carved clams, and dragons make the fountain similar to Gaudi’s work.
The Torre Bellesguard is a mix of the old Gothic styles and the Art Nouveau forms. The history of the site of Bellesguard house stretches to the 15th century, long before Gaudi. It served as the home to King Martin I, the last monarch of the house of Barcelona.
Inspired by the rich history of the site, Gaudi constructed a semi- Gothic, modernist masterpiece. The building’s symbolism is a reminder of the past.
Explore Barcelona through Gaudi’s Creations
Frequently Asked Questions About Gaudi’s Barcelona
Q. Who was Antoni Gaudi?
A. Antoni Gaudi was a Modernist Catalan architect whose works dot the Barcelona cityscape today. He has 7 UNESCO world heritage sites under his name.
Q. What are some of Gaudi’s most prominent works in Barcelona?
A. The Sagrada Família, Palau Guell, Casa Calvet, Colonia Guell, Finca Guell and so on are Gaudi’s most prominent works.
Q. What is the most famous work of Antoni Gaudi?
A. Sagrada Familia is Gaudi’s most famous work. It remains unfinished to this day.
Q. What are the works of Gaudi that I should visit while in Barcelona?
A. The Sagrada Familia is a must visit. The Casa Vicens, Casa Calvet, Casa Batllo and others will be worth your time.
Q. What was Antoni Gaudi’s architectural style?
A. Gaudi did not have one particular style. He however experimented with Art Nouveau, Gothic revival, organic and modernisme.
Q. What was Antoni Gaudi’s first commissioned work?
A. Casa Vicens was Gaudi’s first major work, designed in 1878.
Q. What was the last project that Gaudi worked on?
A. Sagrada Familia was Gaudi’s last work. Unfortunately he never lived to see it finish. He died in 1926 after being struck by a tram. The Sagrada Familia however remains unfinished to this day, becoming the longest running construction project.
Sagrada Familia Timings
Getting to Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia History
Best Gaudi Buildings In Barcelona
There are so many wonderful examples of Spanish architecture in Barcelona, it can be hard to know which are the best Gaudi buildings to see. With this guide to Gaudi’s best 11 buildings in Barcelona, you’ll be able to plan an itinerary that will leave you amazed and inspired by the works of the man called “God’s Architect.”
- 11 of the Best Gaudi Buildings
- Gaudi World Heritage Barcelona Sites
- 1. Casa Vicens (Viens)
- 2. Park Güell
- 3. Sagrada Família
- 4. Güell Pavilions
- 5. Palau Güell
- 6. Casa Calvet
- 7. Casa Milà – La Pedrera
- 8. Casa Batlló
- 9. Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella
- 10. Church of Colònia Güell
- 11. Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)
- The Best Tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona
- Keep Planning Your Trip to Spain
11 of the Best Gaudi Buildings
Is Barcelona on your bucket list? The lure of the fantastical architecture of Antoni Gaudí is a major drawcard, with over 3 million visitors each year to the Sagrada Familia and over a million to each of his other Barcelona buildings!
Seven of these buildings have been declared World Heritage Sites. He has been described as God’s Architect – read on and you’ll see why!
And no matter whether you want to see each of these yourself (and get express admission and skip the queues) or take a tour and maximize your time – this article has all of your options covered.
Gaudi World Heritage Barcelona Sites
Q. So which of Gaudi’s many buildings are UNESCO World Heritage Sites?
A. These seven:
- Park Güell
- Palacio Güell
- Casa Vicens
- Casa Mila
- Casa Batlló
- Colonia Güell
- La Sagrada Familia
1. Casa Vicens (Viens)
The first building designed by Gaudi in Barcelona was Casa Viens (Vicens) in 2005. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Purchased by a bank in 2014, it was immaculately restored and opened to the public in 2017.
Casa Vicens, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Viens is a combination of Hispanic and Arabic traditions called Neo-Mudéjar and oriental style architecture. A striking building, Casa Viens is one of the first Art Nouveau buildings in the world.
Gaudi broke away from traditional architectural conventions and used a wide range of material in the building including concrete, glass, and iron. These materials were set beside coarse red bricks and patterned ceramic tiles.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Vicens
2. Park Güell
Park Güell was built as Gaudi’s personal estate and is now a public park system of stunning beauty. Park Güell sits on Carmel Hill and is a UNESCO Heritage Site that dazzles you with its natural beauty and views of the sea.
Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
The park though was never finished but it remains today as one of Gaudi’s most familiar works. The site features mosaics, sculptures, and various structures perfectly designed to fit within the natural environment.
Best Tickets and Tours of Park Güell
3. Sagrada Família
Sagrada Familia is probably the most iconic Gaudi building in Barcelona this unique UNESCO site, still under construction, attracts over 3,000,000 visitors a year.
La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
The astounding interior demonstrates the sheer genius of Antoni Gaudi with its minute attention to detail from stained glass to the decorations on the columns and altar.
Sagrada Familia is the epitome of Art Nouveau, Gothic, and Gaudi’s uniquely personal style. Sadly, he was killed in a traffic accident in 1926 before the building could be finished. He is buried in the Crypt of the Basilica.
Of the three great façades, the Nativity Façade on the eastern side of the monument and the Crypt are UNESCO World Heritage-listed.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2026 when there will be a monumental celebration to honor Gaudi and his work.
Next to the Sagrada (located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló), Gaudi built a school for the worker’s children and the children from the surrounding neighborhood.
The school has a wavy form with a brick front and it contains three classrooms, a chapel, and a hall. There are three outside classrooms with iron pergolas.
Best Tickets and Tours of Sagrada Familia
4. Güell Pavilions
After his first commission, Casa Vicens, Gaudi began designing and building the Güell Pavilions which the Count commissioned.
Güell Pavilions, Barcelona, Spain
Güell wanted Gaudi to redesign his estate and enclose it within a walled and gated area in the town of Sarrià, which is now a suburb of Barcelona. Gaudi again used a design that was a combination of Mudéjar and Oriental.
The buildings at Güell include a stable, gatehouses, and a lunge ring. The stables have a Catalan vaulted ceiling and the buildings within the estate are of brick in various shades of yellow to red and covered in colored glass.
Gaudi used a wrought iron dragon with glass eyes in the main gate and the Fountain of Hercules in the gardens has a spout in the shape of a Chinese dragon.
The estate was left to the Spanish Royal Family in Güell’s will and converted into a royal palace in 1918.
In 1950, the University of Barcelona purchased the Estate. In 1969 the Pavillions were declared a Monument of National Historic and Artistic Interest.
5. Palau Güell
Güell Palace commissioned by Eusebi Güell in 1886, is considered one of the best Gaudi buildings in Barcelona and is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is located on Carrer Nou de la Rambla.
Front facade of Palau Güell, Barcelona, Spain
The front of Palau Güell is reminiscent of a Venetian palace, with two large oval gates at the parabolic arch entrance.
A magnificent staircase leads to the family home the centerpiece of which is a salon decorated with murals and a 17m high parabolic dome ceiling. This was a room for entertaining and impressing guests.
The northern parts of the Palace were reserved for special events and social occasions whereas the southern part was specifically for the family including the dining room and the billiards saloon.
Best Tickets and Tours of Palau Güell
6. Casa Calvet
One of Gaudi’s earliest buildings, Casa Calvet is considered the most conservative. It was created to be both a commercial building and a home for a textile maker.
Casa Calvet, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Calvet begins to incorporate Gaudi’s love of Art Nouveau with its curving facade and attic balconies taken straight out of gothic fairy tales. In 1900 Casa Calvet received the award of ‘best building of the year,’ from the Barcelona City Council.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Calvet
7. Casa Milà – La Pedrera
Pere Milà commissioned Casa Mila and it was to be a family home. The Mila family would live on the main floor and rent out the apartments.
Casa Mila, Barcelona, Spain
Casa Mila is one of Barcelona’s most interesting buildings (It is located on the Passeig de Gràci).
It is called La Pedrera because the building features forms drawn from nature with curved iron balconies and a finish of rough plaster that resembles a stone quarry.
Undoubtedly my favorite rooftop in the world! On the roof terrace, you can see how Gaudi used the architectural details of chimneys, skylights, and beautifully decorated vents to mimic a city skyline.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Mila
8. Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain
A plain house when Josep Batlló bought it, in 1904 he commissioned Gaudi to redesign it completely. Breaking every conceivable architectural convention, by 1906 this stunning building received an award for “One of the best three buildings of the year”.
The pillars on the facade look like bones and the roof appears to be the scales on a dragon’s back. This mesmerizing building has become known as the House of Bones and the House of the Dragon.
The facade incorporates found objects, stones, stained glass, and ceramics creating a sparkling building that makes you smile in appreciation. This building is a celebration of Gaudi’s work bringing together art, life, movement, and joy.
Best Tickets and Tours of Casa Batlló
9. Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella
Cascada Fountain is within one of Barcelona’s prettiest parks – Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park).
Cascada Fountain, Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park), Barcelona, Spain
Many Catalan artists contributed to the fountain and Gaudi was one of them at the beginning of his career. He was given a task as a student to correct and design the grand fountain’s hydraulics and water tank.
With its faint resemblance to the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the design incorporates dragons, stone-carved clams and a gold statue of Aurora riding four horses.
10. Church of Colònia Güell
Cripta de la Colònia Güell is the Catalan name for this Church and it is also known as Gaudi’s Crypt.
Cripta de la Colònia Güell (Gaudi’s Crypt), Barcelona, Spain
Unfinished to this day, the Church is widely considered Gaudi’s best building – and what a fantastical building it is!
In the original plan, the building was to have two naves, two towers, and a central dome. However, construction was halted on the death of Count Güell.
The only portion of the Church fully completed is that of the Crypt which appears to melt into the surroundings. Within the Church are 22 stained glass windows that allow light to infiltrate into the darkness of the Church.
Best Tickets and Tours of Cripta de la Colònia Güell
11. Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)
Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres), Barcelona, Spain
Torre Bellesguard, also known as Casa Figueres, is built from stones and bricks and the interior features colored glass, white walls, and iron details.
The Catalan style arch built from overlaid bricks is stunning when seen against all the myriad details incorporated by Gaudi.
Gaudi also restored the medieval palace ruins that are now an intricate part of the grounds of the mansion.
Gaudi’s experiments with new materials and shapes gave him the inspiration to develop what would have been considered inconceivable in the past.
His attention to detail, his desire to incorporate the natural world, and his ability to skillfully decorate the exterior of his buildings leave a legacy of beauty for the world.
Have you picked a favorite from these 11 Gaudi buildings in Barcelona?
Best Tours and Tickets for Torre Bellesguard (Casa Figueres)
The Best Tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona
Above you will have seen the best ways to purchase tickets to see the individual architectural masterpieces of Gaudi’s Barcelona. But what if time is short?
There are so many wonderful things to see, do, and eat in Barcelona. Seeing a few of Gaudi’s most iconic buildings on a tour can save you time, allow you to fit the most into your Barcelona itinerary, and can minimize your exposure to the traffic, hassles, heat, and the throng of tourists that is peak season in Barcelona!
My pick of the best quality, best value for money, and most highly reviewed tours of Gaudi’s Barcelona are below.
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Masterpieces by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona
Antonio Gaudí is an outstanding Spanish and Catalan architect of the 19th century. Its whimsical Art Nouveau and Gothic buildings are world famous. Many of Gaudí’s masterpieces have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, such as Parc Güell, Sagrada Familia , House of Vicença, Mila, Batllo.
Antonio, who has a subtle introvert nature, has always loved nature, the sea and birds. As a child, he spent all his free time contemplating the world around him. He was called a genius and crazy, he was credited with the ability to catch flies on the fly, he was admired and surprised. Having hardly completed his studies, the young Gaudi met the philanthropist Güell, who agreed to be the sponsor of all his crazy and fantastic ideas. He was able to build waves with stone, create unsupported buildings, design 3D models, and this was at a time when wounds were cauterized with red-hot iron. Spain and Barcelona took on a completely new look after the great architectural genius Gaudí began to work and create his masterpieces.
There were no women in Gaudí’s life history. One well-known romantic moment is about a girl who chooses someone else over him.
The great Gaudi never married, had no children, and devoted his whole life to architecture. In public, he liked to appear in chic costumes and in unexpected guises. The most outstanding masterpieces of Gaudí in Barcelona are Casa Mila, Casa Batlló and the grandiose Expiatory Sagrada Familia.
Guided tour of the best points of Gaudí in Barcelona
Interesting facts about Gaudí’s masterpieces:
- The famous Batllo house is the first house in Barcelona without any straight lines, because of this the Catalans nicknamed it “House of Bones”. Onlookers always crowded near the fabulous building, dreaming of stealthily seeing an unusual structure, and therefore another nickname for the miracle house is “The House of Gamblers”.
- All apartments in this strange house are numbered in an unusual order. They are signed in a unique font designed by Gaudí specifically for this project.
- It seems that instead of exterior decoration, the building just has a multi-colored scaly dragon. Critics say that window frames, balconies and window sills seem to be strewn with animal skeletons, and the roof is just the back of a fabulous monster.
Official tickets to the House of Batlo
House of Mila (Casa Mila)
- House of Mila added to the list of masterpieces of Antonio Gaudí in 1910 and was the last completed project of the great architect. An ordinary residential building under the guidance of a master has become a work of art.
- Each creation of Antonio Gaudí was unique and unusual. The layout of this building was a real breakthrough of that time: an unusual natural ventilation system that still does without air conditioners, moving interior partitions that allow you to change the space of the apartment, an underground garage, and even a complete elevator design, which did not exist at that time.
- The main idea of the building is a mountain in motion. River flows, frozen in stone, seem to flow from the top – the roof. Initially, the people of Barcelona disliked the lunatic asylum – a rock and mockingly called it a “stone quarry” (cat. – La Pedrera), filled with cave apartments.
Official tickets to Casa Mila
- The temple was originally led by another architect, Del Villar, a little old fashioned, he did not know how to develop the project and transferred the right to continue construction Gaudi. For twenty-five years, the architect Antonio Gaudi combined the work on the Cathedral with his other projects. But since 1914, during the last 12 years of his life, he refused new orders and devoted himself without a trace to the construction of the Temple. A year before his death, he completely moved to the cathedral, lived in it, completely controlling the entire process of building his offspring.
- Many asked Antonio when the construction of the Sagrada Familia would be completed, he cunningly replied: “My customer is in no hurry”, alluding to the Almighty. There are rumors that the Sagrada Familia will never be completed and that the secret plan of the architect was to build it forever. The people of Barcelona do not agree with this great plan, so the municipality promises to complete the construction by 2026
Official tickets to the Sagrada Familia
- Antonio Gaudi and his masterpiece building have a lot of fans from the Land of the Rising Sun. A few months after the death of Gaudí, a worldwide pilgrimage of connoisseurs of his work began. A young Japanese sculptor Kenji Imai arrived in Barcelona. He was incredibly delighted with the great Temple, and decided to build something no less ingenious in Nagasaki. Cathedral based on the study of all the works of the great architect. Since then, the Japanese pilgrimage to Barcelona began.
- Sagrada – The surname is also the name of a village in Chile and a municipality in Brazil.
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Antonio Gaudí and Barcelona – freedom in stone
Catalonia. Barcelona. June 7, 1926
Barcelona’s sunny Gran Vía was bustling with life. Passers-by ran about their business, cars rushed along the road. And no one cared about the old man in the tattered suit lying unconscious on the side of the road. He had just been hit by tram number 30. The man was mistaken for a tramp, they did not approach him for a long time, but after a while the police nevertheless took the victim to the Santa Cruz hospital for the poor. Having not received proper treatment, never regaining consciousness, the poor fellow died on the third day. It was the great architect Antonio Gaudí…
Catalonia. Barcelona. Our days
Time flies inexorably. Spring replaces winter, Barcelona city life is still in full swing. Millions of tourists from all over the world travel to Catalonia to see the unique architecture of Gaudi, the same old man who died alone and in poverty.
The great architect Antonio Gaudí is a genius of the past and present, he devoted himself to work, did not recognize wealth, but designed luxurious buildings for the powerful. His unconventional artist’s mind, with an exceptional vision of the world, went beyond the known architectural styles. A man who hates right angles and builds unique buildings without ceilings, Antoni Gaudí forever changed Barcelona, in many ways shaping its unique look and unique atmosphere.
The history of Gaudí
A true patriot of Catalonia
The private life of the architect Gaudí
90 002 Friend, philanthropist and patron… Güell
Gaudí and Barcelona: the main masterpieces of the architect
Quarry, or Casa Mila
10 interesting facts about the life and architecture of Antonio Gaudi
The history of Gaudi
Antonio Gaudi. 1878
The provincial Catalan town of Reus, a poor large family, a deep religious upbringing… Since childhood, young Gaudi, who miraculously survived in infancy, suffered from rheumatic pains in his legs. His illiterate mother taught him to write, and his father taught him to draw. Peers did not understand Antonio, teachers did not like him for his impudent character, considering him “not of this world.”
During his studies, Gaudí surprised his classmates. Those did not understand who was in front of them – a genius or a crazy person. Even then, a talented student and future brilliant architect of Catalonia amazed his classmates and teachers with an exceptional vision that went beyond the known architectural styles. He sincerely protested against patterns in any projects, defiantly, causing others to heated discussions. Once, while working on the architecture of the city cemetery, he drew a hearse in the center with all the details. When asked why, he said that he wanted to convey the atmosphere of the cemetery and add air to the drawing.
Later, when Gaudi had already become a recognized master, this rebelliousness literally pissed off his customers. They said about him: “If Gaudi gets along with someone, then this is the Lord God himself!” – so contradictory and extraordinary were many of his actions, and so contradictory and extraordinary he treated even himself.
Antonio Gaudí – a true patriot of Catalonia
Antonio Gaudí in 1910, at the age of 58
Gaudí was a Catalan devoted to his country, glorified his homeland and rarely left its borders. He spoke only his native Catalan, although, of course, he knew Spanish, as well as French and German. And even King Alfonso XIII of Spain, who once visited the construction site of the Basilica Sagrada Familia , could not “talk” the Catalan genius. They communicated through translators: Antonio – in Catalan, and the king – in Spanish. Although Gaudi perfectly understood the interlocutor.
The personal life of the architect Gaudi
It would seem that such an intelligent, talented, prominent young man as Gaudi should have bathed in the love and attention of a female. But alas, his timid attempts to find family happiness ended in failure. He never created a family, after him there were no heirs. At some point, the genius Antonio Gaudi refused to let women into his life and into his heart. Perhaps the reason for this was Pepeta … Teacher Joseph Moreu (Josefa Moreu) broke into the life of Gaudí when he was twenty-two. Tall, with golden hair and refined manners, she played the piano beautifully, was interested in politics and was even associated with socialists, anarchists and freemasons. And behind such a past … Escape from home with a lover, wandering penniless in one of the ports of North Africa, communicating with prostitutes and smugglers. Needless to say, by that time Pepeta, as she was called at home, already had a rich life experience …. This eccentric person even dared to look at the beach, which at that time was considered the height of indecency. Gaudí, then still a novice young artist, fell in love with her without memory, for a long time not daring to confess his feelings. In addition, he was never a courtship master, and his manners sometimes betrayed Gaudí, reminding him that he was the grandson of a simple Catalan peasant. Despite all efforts, Josepha refused him.
Gaudí biography researchers say that he had other women. But … He left one himself because of wild jealousy, and the other left him for a monastery. For Gaudi, this was a sign from above. He decided that he had had enough of the temptations. From now on, all his unspent love was intended only for God (he went headlong into Catholicism and remained very devout until the end of his life) and, of course, architecture.
Friend, philanthropist and patron… Güell
Gaudí didn’t have close friends either. Eusebi Güell, the first and most important customer of Gaudi, who helped the talent of the great master to become the property of many generations, can be considered an exception.
No one doubts the greatness of the architect Antoni Gaudí today. And for his contemporaries, he was just a talented, slightly eccentric and very wasteful architect in his building fantasies. The master could easily reject an already finished house, demolish it and start all over again. But the esthete and philanthropist Eusebio Guell was so fascinated by the style of the young architect that, without hesitation, he started the most extravagant and expensive projects with him.
One such ambitious undertaking was the garden city, now known to tourists as Park Güell. In fact, Count Güell was not going to invest in another platform for the promenade of the townspeople. He had much more ambitious commercial plans – to create an amazing city on a hill in the style of ancient Greek Delphi, to connect nature and urban space, to create a new habitat for the rich and famous.
It seemed to be an excellent undertaking, especially considering that, of course, the magnificent Gaudí was entrusted to bring the idea to life. But, alas, Guell was wrong in his predictions. The philanthropist managed to sell only three mansions, one of which he himself acquired, the second was bought by Guell’s friend, the well-known lawyer of Trias, and the third went to Gaudi himself – the artist lived in it with his father and niece for 20 years. Unfortunately, the rich did not appreciate the original idea. In their creative impulse, the creators did not pay due attention to the transport links between the garden city and the center of Barcelona. And, they say, the conditions of sale and operation were not the most attractive. But what about today?
And today, Park Güell is a landmark of Barcelona
Park Güell in Barcelona
A delightful place to relax and walk, during which you sincerely wonder how you could refuse to live in such a luxurious place. In the very center of the monumental zone of the park there is a platform (esplanade), from which, by the way, a wonderful view of Barcelona opens. This Esplanade was originally intended for grandiose open-air theatrical performances that noble citizens could watch directly from their terraces. It is on the square that the famous ornate mosaic bench is located, which has its own interesting, one might say, funny story. The fact is that in the “section” the bench follows the contours of a seated person. To achieve this form, Gaudi forced the builder to sit naked on soft clay and forbade him to get up until the material hardened.
Parc Güell is the first stop of our audio tour “Masterpieces of Modernism and the Secrets of Barcelona”.
How to get to Park Güell in Barcelona
Park Güell is located on Calle D’Olot and has three main entrances. By bus (regular city routes in Barcelona) you need to get to the Travessera de Dalt stop (No. H6, 32). Buses 24 and 92 go to the Carretera del Carmel-Park Güell stop at the second entrance.
Park Güell opening hours
The park is open all year round.
from October 29 to December 31 – 8:30-17:30;
from January 1 to March 25 – 8:30-17:30;
from March 26 to April 30 – 8. 00-20.30
from May 1 to August 27 – 8:00-21:30;
from August 28 to October 28 – from 8:00 to 20:30.
The cost of a ticket to Park Güell depends on how complete your tour will be. Prices start from 10 euros. Children under 6 years old are admitted free of charge.
Tickets for Parc Güell can be booked on the official website. Booking in Russian is available here.
Late 19th century. New architects strive to stand out from the ranks of artisans by all means and create something that has not yet been seen. Still would! Is it possible to get into the ranks of the elect otherwise? The clients, who mostly made their fortunes in distant lands, want to perpetuate their triumph in life and are looking for architects with original ideas. The smartest thing is to build a house that doesn’t look like the neighbor’s house (doesn’t that remind you of anything?)
Vegetarian, ascetic genius Gaudi literally gushes with unusual ideas and creates bizarre images, breaking all established architectural norms. And it becomes very popular among the wealthy bourgeoisie. This is how the world will know Gaudi.
Casa Battlo Casa Battlo Battlo
This masterpiece of Gaudí – is a vivid example of how you can turn an ordinary residential building into a bright landmark of Barcelona for all time. But the history of one of the most famous Barcelona buildings began very prosaically. A rich man, an industrialist named Josep Batllo, in 1904 decided to change the appearance of one of his houses, considering it not very presentable for the level of his own person. The reconstruction was entrusted to Antonio Gaudi, already known at that time on the project of Park Güell. Only 4 years have passed, and a house filled with symbols and architectural allegories has appeared in Barcelona. Balconies of bones and skulls are dragon sacrifices. The scales on the roof are the dragon itself. And the cross pierced into the defeated monster is the sword of St. George. In all this, first of all, the eternal biblical theme of the victory of God over the devil, good over evil, is embodied. And for many Catalans, it is also an allegory for the victory of Catalonia over Castile. For the master work on Casa Batlló turned out to be, in a sense, an architectural debut, where for the first time he demonstrated that very exceptional “a la Gaudí” style, distinguished by the plasticity of forms and the absence of right angles, which the maestro did not like so much.
The house itself, for all its quirkiness and gothic, is filled with home comfort. Rooms, corridors, balconies, ladders – the whole atmosphere of the house gently envelops visitors and carefully accompanies them higher and higher, with each new turn, with each room conquering the charm of this place. Climbing the staircase, curved like the back of a dragon, you find yourself in an underwater kingdom five floors deep – the effect is achieved thanks to the special blue mosaic that lined the walls and smooth curves. The elevator is not fake. And when, finally, there is an opportunity to think about where you are now, you understand that you are lost in time and do not want to leave here. Even crowds of tourists cannot interfere with feeling and “hearing” this ingenious creation.
How to get to Casa Batlló
The attraction is located almost in the center of Barcelona at the address: Passeig de Gracia, 43. The nearest metro station is Passeig de Gracia (lines L2, L3, L4).
Opening hours – 365 days a year, from 9:00 to 21:00 (last admission at 20:00).
On June 6 and September 30, Casa Batlló closes at 20:00 and on June 8 at 19:30.
Tickets for Casa Batllo can be purchased on the official website of the Museum .
Recently Casa Batllo in Barcelona offers tourists a unique tour – Magic Nights. For €39 you can enjoy a musical evening on the rooftop of a unique Barcelona landmark. Beautiful live music, bright lights of Barcelona at night, the house that Gaudí built is a fairy tale!
“Stone Cave” or House Mila Gaudí
Not having finished his masterpiece for Batllo, Gaudi receives an order for the construction of an apartment building from another Catalan businessman, Pere Mila. Seeing the magnificence Gaudí created for Batllo, the successful businessman also wanted visual confirmation of his own importance and wealth. The task that the customer set for Gaudi was very trivial for that time: Pere and his wife planned to live on one floor, and the rest of the floors were given for rent. But Gaudí would not be Gaudí if everything he created was within an architectural framework. The great Catalan was ahead of his time by several decades, abandoning load-bearing walls to make it possible to change the configuration of rooms. In modern construction, this is called free planning. And in the days of Gaudí, such experiments seemed like a real architectural challenge.
The facade of Mila’s house did not leave anyone indifferent either. Bewilderment, indignation, rejection of the appearance of the building – such was the “gratitude” of Gaudi’s contemporaries. They did not appreciate the unique technique of processing stones and metal from which the facade was made, they did not perceive it as an object of art. They saw a quarry or a gloomy cave.
The construction of this house was accompanied by loud scandals and even litigation. The owner, like most of his contemporaries, did not understand the creative experiments of Gaudi. In addition, the authorities ordered the customer to pay a fine for violating the then building codes. The last of the quarrels between the owners and the architect occurred when Gaudí presented a bill for overtime work. Mila’s spouses flatly refused to pay the final amount, it seemed to them too high. Gaudi went to court, and the decision was made in his favor. The owners were forced to take out a mortgage on the newly built house in order to pay the architect. And Gaudi, extremely pleased with his victory, gave the money to one of the women’s monasteries.
Dom Mila, like Dom Batlló, is the subject of some interesting stories in our audio tour Masterpieces of Modernism and Secrets of Barcelona.
How to get to Casa Mila in Barcelona
The attraction is located on Paseo de Gracia, 92. Casa Mila can be reached by public transport.
Buses : V15, V17, h20, H8, 7, 22, 24, 6, 33, 34 to the stop “ Passeig de Gràcia – La Pedrera “.
Metro : green line L3 and blue line L5 to Diagonal metro station.
Train : FGC, Provença station.
Opening hours Casa Mila
March 1st to November 3rd, Monday to Sunday: 9:00 to 20:30.
Night visit: from 9:00 to 11:00.
From November 4 to February 28, from Monday to Sunday: from 9:00 to 18:30.
Night visit: from 7:00 to 21:00.
Casa Mila Christmas timetable: from December 26 to January 3, from Monday to Sunday: from 9:00 to 20:30.
Night visit: from 9:00 to 11:00.
The cost of visiting is from 22 euros and more.
Tickets for Casa Mila
Tickets can be bought on the official website. Booking in Russian (visit with Russian audio guide) is available here. And lovers of unusual excursions can take the tour “House Mila at night”
Sagrada Familia is a great creation of Gaudi
Gaudi knew from the very beginning that he would not finish his temple. Because when the architect was asked about the timing of the completion of the project, Gaudí answered in his characteristic philosophical manner: “My Customer is in no hurry.” And indeed, the Sagrada Familia temple became the life work of the master – he gave almost 50 years to its construction.
What was conceived by the genius and what was realized
The architect decided to depict on the facade of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral the key moments of the earthly life of Christ. And all this should be expressed in stone – stucco molding and sculptures.
The Sagrada Familia, as we see it today, is a magnificent architectural sculpture striking in its forms. But, unfortunately, Gaudi did not have time to realize all his ideas, they were so grandiose and difficult to implement. Of the three facades – “Nativity”, “Passion of Christ” and “Resurrection”, which were supposed to personify the life of Christ, Gaudí managed to work on only one – the “Christmas” facade. This is the east side of the cathedral. But even this is enough to, approaching the Temple of Sagrada Familia, lose the power of speech from what you see.
Read more about the Sagrada Familia in this article.
Getting to the Sagrada in Barcelona
Oh, this piece of Gaudí architecture is impossible to miss. Tourists see it through the window of the plane when it is landing, from any observation deck in Barcelona and even in the city, the towers of the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia now and then come across in the frame.
The easiest way to get to Sagrada Familia is by metro – the nearest station is called Sagrada Familia (line L2 or L5, station). Bus routes: 19, 3, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51, B20, B24 – get off at the Sagrada Familia stop.
Tickets for visiting the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia can be purchased on the same day that the visit is scheduled. It is easier to buy tickets online on the official website of the Sagrada Familia.
Sagrada Familia is open to visitors all year round:
from October to March – from 9:00 to 18:00;
from April to September – from 9:00 to 20:00;
December 25 and 26, January 1 and 6 – from 9:00 to 14:00.
Mass in the chapel is held from Monday to Friday at 9:00 and 20:15, Saturday at 9:00 and 19:30, and on Sundays and public holidays at 9:00, 11:45 and 20:15 and 10:30, 13:00 and 18:30.
10 interesting facts about the life and architecture of Antonio Gaudí
- The genius of Gaudí could not be limited to simple reproduction “from memory”. To penetrate into the true essence, to feel involvement in what is happening – such was the style of the master. Antonio made casts of real “objects” of people or animals. And for the scene of the Massacre of the Innocents, having received special permission, he visited the Santa Cruz Hospital, where he personally attended autopsies and subsequently reproduced what he saw with chilling accuracy. Plaster casts of babies suspended from the ceiling of the drawing studio shocked and awed everyone who saw them.
- In our time, much of what the master created continues to live its own life and even now surprises with mythical coincidences. So, on the statue of one of the heralds, the face of the saint appeared. “Spots”, which at first no one attached importance to, after some time began to take shape and take the form of the face of a saint, which can be seen with the naked eye.
- It is interesting that the history of the Cathedral of the Holy Smeitstva does not begin with the name of Gaudí. The architect Francisco de Villaru was the first to design and build a temple commissioned by the city authorities. And, most likely, it would have been another beautiful church in the neo-Gothic style, if at 91 year the project was not handed over to Gaudí.
- Antonio suffered from rheumatoid arthritis since childhood, sometimes he was so twisted that he could only move on a donkey. This and numerous other ailments led him to become a vegetarian.
- When you look at the creations of Gaudí, it takes your breath away, and you are desperately afraid to go crazy, either from delight, or from the feeling of falling into some unknown universe. But it is not known who the obstinate Catalan architect , would have become if it were not for his friendship with the industrialist Eusebi Güell, thanks to whom the brilliant architect received orders from very rich people.
- In 1914, Gaudí moved to live in his studio in the Sagrada Familia building under construction and did not take on any other project. For such devotion to the construction of the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi was called “God’s architect.” And in the summer of 1998, the Bishop of Barcelona began the process of canonizing Antoni Gaudí.
- Throughout his life, Gaudí was thrown from one extreme to another. In his youth, he made friends with the socialists, loved fun, a good joke. And since he started making decent money, he wore well-tailored suits, smoked only expensive cigars, ate gourmet meals and came to his project sites in a fashionable horse-drawn carriage. But in adulthood, the architect Gaudi was distinguished by the deepest religiosity, isolation, gloom and absolute indifference to worldly goods. Moreover, in his declining years, Antonio lost all interest in external gloss. By the end of his life, the great Catalan Gaudi began to look like a poor, sloppy old man. This refusal to groom himself may have cost him his life. After all, after Gaudi was hit by a tram, he was still alive and had a chance to survive if he received immediate qualified medical assistance. But because of the old, sloppy clothes, they took him for a tramp, they didn’t come up for a long time and didn’t pay any attention.
- Gaudí died on June 10, 1926 at the age of 73. Fortunately, the famous Catalan was eventually recognized – first a nurse in the hospital, and then the priest of the Sagrada Familia recognized the famous architect as deceased.