Architectural Styles in Barcelona

by Alaskan Dude

There are few European cities that can display such a wonderful blend of styles and architectural masterpieces like Barcelona. Unlike the rest of big European capitals who are particularly appreciated for their historic centers and Gothic or Baroque buildings, Barcelona prides on its Art Noveau and Modernist heritage. However, Barcelona’s abundance of modern, state of the art buildings should surprise no one, considering that Barcelona’s symbol , the Sagrada Familia cathedral is itself a unique piece of innovative art. Or those willing to stroll the streets of Barcelona in a quest to discover its priceless masterpieces, here are the principal architectural styles in Barcelona:


Barcelona was the center of a strong Modernist movement, and many of them have put their ideals into practice by designing houses and palaces in the city. Antonio Gaudi and Lluis Domenech are the best known outside the borders, the works of Joseph Puig i Cadafalch or Enric Sagnier are also worthy of attention. While I will present Antonio Gaudi’s work in the next paragraph, right now I would like to enumerate some well-known buildings designed by Domenech, which are casa Lleo Morera , Palau de la Musica Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau. Due to its particularities, the style developed by these architects and their fellow-artists is known as Catalan Modernism.


Inspired by the elegance of Art Nouveau but also the sumptuosity of the Gothic, Antonio Gaudi created some of the most remarkable constructions in Barcelona, like Park Guell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Battlo or La Pedrera. With his elaborate decors, unusual shapes and beautiful mosaics, Gaudi managed to give Barcelona its distinctive air.

Barri Gotic

While Gaudi is held responsible for the modern face of Barcelona, the heritage of the city cannot be ignored. The historic center of Barcelona, known as the Barri Gotic, has preserved numerous mediaeval buildings, many of which show Gothic and Roman style characteristics. Don’t miss the Placa Reial, Placa Sant Jaume, Portal de L’Angel or Barcelona Cathedral. (Here in the historic district you can also play a visit to the Els Quatre Gats, an old bar known as the hangout place of Modernists and said to have been frequented by Pablo Picasso).

Functional buildings

There are lots of functional and contemporary buildings in Barcelona which don’t lack beauty and grace. So is the St. Jordi Sports pavilion, The Hotel Omm, The Bac de Roda Felipe II Bridge, gas natural Company Tower or the Peix Hotel d’Arts with the Fish Sculpture by Frank Gehry.

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