The Gaudi Heritage in Spain

by sylmac

It’s hard to imagine today’s Barcelona without its most prominent and monumental church, the Sagrada Familia. The famous cathedral always brings up the name of its brilliant creator, Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. The originality of his work has puzzled entire generations of architects, and continues to do so. Gaudi’s highly decorative style, his imitation of natural shapes, his attention to details and use of unusual materials have gained him international fame. With his unique vision and Barcelona as his playground, Gaudi was able to transform an apartment building into a work of art. I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but most of Gaudi’s work in concentrated in and around Barcelona – which means that today’s post, the ‘Gaudi Heritage in Spain’, could as well have been called the ‘Gaudi Heritage in Barcelona’.

Sagrada Familia

A very young and promising Antoni Gaudi was trusted with the cathedral’s design in 1884, when he was only 31. He then dedicated the rest of his life (about 40 years) to the conception and construction of this prodigious work of art. A work of such proportions and detail can only be achieved by several generations, which is also the reason why Sagrada Familia is still an unfinished project. Nevertheless, Sagrada Familia is an absolute must for anyone visiting Barcelona: you don’t have to know why, visit it and you will see for yourself.

The Güell Works

by styf22

Throughout his career, Gaudi was commissioned several works by Catalan businessman Eusebi Güell. These were manly residences, like Palau Güell and Güell Pavilions. The most visited today is Parc Güell,  a beautiful garden and public square decorated with columns and mosaics. The park represents one of the main attractions in Barcelona and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Those willing to visit Barcelona’s suburbs can also visit Church of Colonia Güell, which is actually just a cript, as Gaudi never had the funds to finish it.

Residential Buildings

by ninci

Living in a house designed by a famous architect seems the privilege of the riches, and it’s been so till today. There are several such residential buildings spread around Barcelona, all commissioned by wealthy contemporaries of Gaudi. To see the more sober side of Gaudi, visit Casa Calvet. Due to its location in central Barcelona and the controversy preceding its completion, Casa Mila is probably the most popular. For colorful mosaics and Art Nouveau decorations, Casa Botallo is definitely worth a visit (this building was only restored by Gaudi, not built).

In case you are especially interested in Gaudi’s heritage in Spain, you can also make some small excursions around Barcelona and visit his other creations like Artigas Gardens (La pobla de Lillet), Casa Botines (Leon), El Capricho (Comillas) or the Episcopal Palace in Astorga.

 

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