Am I in Barcelona or the land of the Smurfs?

By December 21, 2017Europe, Spain
Spain - Barcelona - Gaudi - Parc Güell - Entrance

If you ever visit Barcelona there is one name you will hear above all others, Antoni Gaudi. This architect lived at the turn of the 20th century (1852-1926) and was the leader of the modernist movement in the Barcelona area. His works are considered so influential seven of them have been added to the list of World Heritage Sites. He clearly was a gifted man and he designed all aspects of his works including the furniture.

His works consist of very curving and bubbly lines. To me it looked a lot like the natural formations of Cappadocia in Turkey……or the Smurf village. ???? The buildings I visited were:

Spain - Barcelona - Gaudi - Sagrada Família 1

The still undone Sagrada Família

– Sagrada Família – This basilica is Gaudi’s last and most celebrated work. He took over the design and construction a year after it was started (1883) and added his own flair and design. The interesting thing is that it is still not completed. That means they have been working on it for 130 or so years. If you have trouble understanding all those churches in the Renaissance taking 100-200 years to complete, then here is an example of how and why. Even with it uncompleted it is still Spain’s top tourist attraction.

Casa Mila

The Cappadocia looking Casa Mila.

-Casa Milà – This was the last private residence Gaudi designed and it was for Pere Milà thus the name (Mila House). The appearance is unconventional and resembles a cliff with the many balconies and rough stone façade. This has led to the nickname of La Pedrera meaning “open quarry”.

-Casa Batlló – This building was a plain looking building built in 1883. Gaudi redesigned it for Josep Batlló in 1904 and today it looks like it is from the game Candyland. If you visit make sure you see it at night when it is all lit up! (Check it out tomorrow as the photo of the day)

Spain - Barcelona - Gaudi - Palau Güell

The boring Palau Güell

-Palau Güell – This is a private residence built in 1884 for Eusebi Güell. This is one of Gaudi’s earlier works and before he went creative crazy. It has straight lines and seems normal. It is also the only build of his that is in the old part of Barcelona.

Spain - Barcelona - Gaudi - Parc Güell - Lizard

The lizard at Parc Guell

-Parc Güell – This is my favorite Gaudi building. It was designed as a high end residential development project. There were supposed to be 60 homes built, but only two were completed. In 1926, it became a public park and it so cool walking among the support and recreational buildings Gaudi designed. Of all his works, this is the one that looks like the Smurf’s village. As of 2013 there is an entrance fee to the Gaudi work’s. The tickets are for a set time, so go buy yours and then come back when it is your time. There is a separate museum in the park that is in the house he lived in for 20 years or so, but I did not think it was really worth it.

All of Gaudi’s works, except for Palau Guell, were built in the newer parts of Barcelona (Eixample and Casa Vicens) and are north of the old town (Ciutat Vella), which I want to tell you about in the next blog.

Spain - Barcelona - Gaudi - Parc Güell - Stairs

The main stairs at Parc Güell. The cover photo is from the top of the stairs looking back.

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