“Nada es arte si no proviene de la naturaleza”
Nothing is art if it does not come from nature
– Antoni Gaudí
Antonio Gaudi (25th of June 1852 – 10th of June 1926) was a Catalan architect who carried his particular signature style of work. His work went through a naturalist phase while introducing a new technique called Trencadis using broken ceramic pieces. Gaudi’s organic shape architectural works formed the peak of the Catalan Modernism movement and are still beloved worldwide as architectural masterpieces.
So far seven of his works have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Parque Güell; Palacio Güell; Casa Mila; Casa Vicens; Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia; Casa Batlló; Crypt in Colonia Güell. Let’s explore four of these works which you cannot afford to miss during your trip to Barcelona:
CASA VICENS (1878-1880)
Casa Vicens is Gaudi’s first masterpiece built between 1883 and 1885 for the Vicens family and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. As it was his first project, it is very interesting to see how the elements in Casa Vicens are different from his later works so that you can learn about the evolution of Gaudi’s architectural style.
Casa Vicens’s rooms have oriental influence with Mudejar style. Although Casa Vicens was his groundbreaking work, Gaudi felt the straight vertical building did not fit well with the surrounding nature and hence his later works began to focus on more organic styles using curves.
Currently, as it is a privately owned mansion, the viewing times are limited but you can enjoy the exclusive earlier opening time here:
Address : Carrer de les Carolines, 20, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
Opening Hours : Everyday 10:00 – 20:00
CASA BATLLO (1904-1906)
Casa Batllo is a refurbished building by Gaudi created between 1904 and 1906. In 2005, Casa Batlló became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mr. Josep Batlló’s initial request was to tear down the building to build the most spectacular family house on Passeig de Gracia where there was a collection of contemporary architects’ works in the early 20th Century.
Gaudi completely renovated the building allowing light to spread throughout the whole interior, while also adding new floors and rearranging the internal structures.
Casa Batllo is regarded as one of Gaudi’s exquisite masterworks showing his creativity based on his personal philosophical outlook.
Similar to his other works, Casa Batllo also embodies nature and Gaudi’s religious and political beliefs: the walls and columns resemble animal bones and the ceramic tile roof is inspired by a dragon’s back.
Address : Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Opening Hours : 10:00 -18:00 from Wednesday to Sunday (last entry: 5.00 pm)
CASA MILLA (1905-1910)
Casa Mila was the last building designed by Gaudi between 1905 and 1910. This building has been praised as one of the most innovative of his works not only in terms of its design but also in a practical sense due to the fact that the building is supported by stones without frames and is equipped with an underground parking lot and elevator, which was not common at the time.
The design of the building also clearly demonstrates Gaudi’s organic style. Under the ‘mountain’ theme, white stones were used as the main material with flowing smooth curves and an uneven building surface. On the rooftop of the building, there is a chimney that looks like the face of a knight wearing a helmet, which also inspired the movie Star Wars.
Address : Passeig de Gràcia, 92, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Opening Hours :
28 February 2020 – 1 November 2020
From Monday to Sunday: 9:00 – 20:30
Night tour: 21:00 – 23:00
SAGRADA FAMILIA (1883-1926)
This large church is still under construction after over 130 years with the attention of people around the world.
Since Gaudí took over this project in 1883, Gaudí devoted the whole of the rest of his life to it until he passed away due to car accident. At the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete so his pupils kept continuing the project and now there are plans to complete it by 2026.
When Gaudi built Sagrada Familia, he took an engineering based approach while considering the forces of gravity acting on the structure. Gaudí studied the effect of gravity on chains hanging in the shape of an upside down arch and based on those studies, he designed the Sagrida Familia.
On the other hand, the interior of the cathedral gives the feeling of being in a mysterious forest. The pillars extending straight toward the ceiling look as if large trees have grown toward the sky. The harmony of blue and red light that occurs when natural light passes through the stained glass symbolizes spring, summer, autumn, and winter, creating a mystical atmosphere.
The outer wall of the cathedral is also spectacular. The stories of the Bible are exquisitely depicted in accordance with Gaudi’s beliefs. Gaudi, who dedicated his life to this phenomenal church, was ultimately buried in the catacombs of the Sagrada Familia.
Address : C. de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Opening Hours : Saturday & Sunday 09:00 – 17:30
Bundle ticket options are available here: