Surely you know that Barcelona is a city with a lot of personality when it comes to architecture, it even is the only city in the world that has nine places declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
And much of the popularity of the city in this field is thanks to someone who significantly influenced in it, Antoni Gaudí, who’s someone you have to know a little more of:
The Modernist Genius
He was a famous architect, designer and maximum representative of Catalan modernism of the twentieth century.
He was born on June 25, 1852, in Reus, Catalonia. His maximum revolutionary vision led him to change the world of modernism and architecture in general, but especially of Barcelona, where he left traces of his great works.
When you say Barcelona you’re also referring to Gaudí, since when crossing its streets you will see the great influence of its work, where you will be able to observe buildings as much ingenious as beautiful that marvel to all the people who visit the city.
The architect master understood architecture as a global art, that’s why his work shows a complex framework in which light, polychrome, sound, mosaics and multi-colored ceramics merge, highlighting his four great predilections: architecture, religion, nature and a great love for Catalonia.
Many of the works of the architect Antoni Gaudi is in Barcelona, and 7 of its wonderful works have been declared a World Heritage Site, and have become world symbols.
The Holy Family
It needs to be mentioned before he first all of his other works because it is the most notorious and representative one. The project of this temple had already begun but it was not until Gaudi took the reins of this, at age 31, that he took a different direction to the neo-Gothic classic to one of the avant-garde.
This majestic work could not be completed by Gaudí, however his vision is preserved in his plans and today these are used by several artists who work for the culmination of this wonderful modernist work.
Of the 18 projected towers, there are only 8 finished to date. But nevertheless it doesn’t look incomplete as it might be believed, the exterior of the Basilica, consists of three symbolic facades in honor of Jesus Christ, the third and greatest of them is still under construction.
In the interior of the Cathedral the forms of nature predominate, in which Gaudí was inspired to make the columns in the form of a tree, and thus transform the interior into a large stone forest.
It is a public park surrounded by beautiful gardens and architectural elements, and its design makes it clear that it was Gaudí who was present at its construction.
It was also declared a World Heritage Site, and is a unique natural refuge for recreation. The place that most attracts the attention of the park is a large square, where an immense bench of 110 meters in length is located, with the appearance of a snake and covered with small pieces of ceramics.
Inside the park is the Gaudí House Museum, where he lived from 1906 to 1925, currently exhibiting a collection of works by the architect.
It was the first great work that Gaudí made on behalf of his friend and patron Eusebi Güell. When you visit this building you will notice that it was inspired by oriental art, very characteristic of its early work.
This building stands out for its novel idea of space and light, as for its elements with its majestic entrance, its wonderful parabolic arched doors and wrought iron grills, decorated with the shield of Catalonia.
This was the first time that Gaudí used the technique he would not abandon throughout his work and which is characterized by forming a mosaic from fragments of ceramics.
Milá -Pedrera House
This building has the name of house Milá, because, who ordered to build this work was the couple of the same name marriage, to make it his residence.
But it is also known as La Pedrera, due to its resemblance to an open-pit quarry. This is the most representative civil building of the modernist era of Antoni Gaudí, for its constructive and functional innovations, as well as for its decorative results.
The most characteristic part of the house is the roof, where the ventilation towers and the chimneys that evoke the medieval knights are found.
House that already existed in the Paseo de Gracia of Barcelona and that was remodeled by the architect, turning this building into a masterpiece, whose facade takes you to a fantasy world when you see it.
Gaudí brings his personal style to this work, which is reflected in the balconies of cast iron, in the form of mask and sculptural friezes of animal or vegetable forms.
While making this work, Gaudí used his creativity and wit to tell a story that can be seen on the facade, symbolizing the figure of the dragon and the knight fighting to save the princess, and the rose as the final emblem of the outcome of the battle.
Vicens was the first important work of Gaudí, it was created as a single-family house, where construction and decoration were integrated into a whole.
Oriental and Mudejar style, its facade is covered with green and white tiles in the form of mosaics. Gaudí was inspired by the plants that were in the garden of the farm where the construction was made, using nature for the first time as an inspiration for architecture.
It is located in a land surrounded by pine trees, within the Colonia Güell. It was another of the works commissioned by Eusebi Güell who wanted his workers to have cultural and religious spaces that were of excellent conditions.
In 1898 he entrusted Gaudí with the project of building a church in the Colony, unfortunately, following the death of Güell, the development of the Crypt was interrupted. However, although the work was not completed, the Crypt remains a highlight of the work of Gaudí.
Seeing the Crypt is like seeing a magical cave, an area where art and nature speak with absolute freedom. In its interior what catches the attention are the stained glass windows, the piles of holy water made with seashells and the inclined basalt columns.
This beautiful church not only reflects a masterpiece of modernism, but is also a place where religious ceremonies are celebrated, such as masses, marriages and baptisms.
The crypt was completely restored in 2000, becoming part of the great legacy of Gaudí which can be visited in Barcelona. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.
As you can see, the footprint of Gaudí is present in Barcelona, as well as Alexandre Gustave Eiffel in Paris, and that throughout history there have been geniuses in different branches of art and science who have consecrated their works to the cities they loved so much, and Gaudí is no exception.
So, the next time you’re in Barcelona and know the style of this architect’s hero, you can now say, like the expert who recognizes Picasso by his stroke, “this building is a Gaudí”