Anton Gaudì is synonymous with Barcelona. Aside from the name, I never knew much about this famous architect. In fact, the first time I went to Barcelona, I grazed over his ties to the city and went straight for the beach … mostly because I was in Crappy Traveler mode. When visiting this gorgeous Mediterranean city, don’t make the same mistake I did.
Gaudì, a Spanish Catalan architect, is considered to be one of the best in the region’s Modernism movement. Influenced by nature, religion and, of course, architecture, his intricate creations can be found throughout the city.
His creations, first built as small-scale models, today are some of the world’s most renowned works. In fact, UNESCO has declared seven of his creations as World Heritage Sites.
Throughout Barcelona, visitors can find some of his most impressive — and famous works. Where to go to find the best of Gaudì in Barcelona?
La Sagrada Familia
The most well-known work from Gaudì is also one which remains incomplete. Construction began in 1892 and is still being worked on today. La Sagrada Familia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a Roman Catholic church which Gaudì worked on until his death in 1926. Today, visitors can tour many parts of it and learn about the amazing history, symbolism and more.
A residential building, this work of art is known for its waving facade and magnificent ironwork balconies. Also known as Casa Milà, tho was Gaudì’s last project. It’s construction is considered to be incredibly innovative; the front is made of self-supporting stone and columns, along with floors sans load-bearing walls. If you’re ticking off UNESCO sites, this one was added to the World Heritage collection in 1984.
Personally, I think this building is perhaps Gaudì’s most stunning. Located near the center of Barcelona and nearby plenty of Barcelona hotels, this is a magnificent example of the artist’s sheer talent and vision. With odd-shaped windows, sculpted stone and a mosaic of broken ceramic tiles, the story of this building is said to reflect the lance of Saint George with the roof representing the dragon it was plunged in to. From the outside, it has almost a spooky element, and is often compared to a skeletal form.
One of Gaudì’s earliest works, the Güell Pavilions tie in mythology with art. Its main gate features an iron grille fashioned to be a dragon, which then corresponds to the story of Hesperides and the Serpens constellation. He also created two fountains and a pergola. One of the largest architectural pieces on southern Europe (and also a World Heritage site), this colorful park combines gorgeous plant life with pops of color, thanks to Gaudì’s intricate designs and mosaic work.
If you want to learn more about Gaudì, this area is also home to the Gaudì House Museum. Originally his home, today it preserves the story of the artist and displays some of his personal belongings and furniture which influenced his creativity. It also highlights the craft production system during the Art Nouveau period. In addition, there are plenty of walking tours which focus solely on Gaudì and his contribution to the Art Nouveanu moment in Barcelona.