Sagrada familia and Antoni Gaudi’s Barcelona
Barcelona is known for the Sagrada Familia, the beaches, the delicious food and FC Barcelona, but also for being home to the works of Antoni Gaudi. In our previous article, we told you all about the bars in Málaga for a wonderful night out. On this occasion, we would like to tell you more about another beautiful Mediterranean city, Barcelona. It is simply inevitable to visit Barcelona and not admire the artwork that this great artist has created. We dare say that Barcelona is what it is today thanks to Gaudí’s work.
Who would have imagined that this sickly child from a poor family of boilermakers, from a small town in Reus, would become one of the most recognized and famous architects in the world?
The origin of Antoni Gaudí Cornet is controversial, as there is no official record of his birthplace. However, the vast majority of documents find the artist’s place of origin in Reus. Gaudí was very appreciative of his homeland, and his Mediterranean heritage therefore had a great impact on his architecture. Gaudí said that Mediterranean people have an innate sense of art and design. They are creative and original, while the Nordic people are more technical and repetitive.
On June 7, 1926, a tramway ran over Gaudí at the intersection of Gran Vía de las Cortes and Bailén streets in Barcelona. This accident left him lying on the ground and seriously injured. Passers-by, however, did not come to his aid as they mistook him for a beggar. His body was buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia.
After this tragic event, Barcelona became the city most influenced by Gaudí’s work. It was his particular way of conceiving architecture as a reflection of nature that led him to become a leading figure in the development of modernist styles. Together, in this article, we will explore Gaudi’s Barcelona and why it is a must-see attraction during your stay.
The Sagrada Familia
The most sacred of all, although it is a work in progress. This church has been under construction for more than 100 years and more than 8 architects have continued Gaudi’s masterpiece over time.
The endless work that Gaudí started (1882), is a construction that will be finished in 2030, at least that is the plan. In addition, it is a construction that has defied the passage of time.
Did you know that the Sagrada Familia will be the tallest building in Barcelona and the tallest church in the world at 172 meters high? This church combines the elements of humanity, religion and nature that have made it a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also the most visited place in Spain.
It is considered to be Antoni Gaudi’s most complete and accomplished work. This jewel of modernism is located in the heart of the Paseo de Gracia, the golden mile of Barcelona. The story of this amazing building started when Josep Batlló asked Antoni Gaudí to remodel an old building in complete freedom in the early 1900s. Gaudi’s work on this structure shows a clear example of the Art Nouveau style. Gaudi’s influence in Barcelona has reached such a point, that this structure represents the legend of San Jordi, which is one of the most important festivals in Catalonia. It is Valentine’s Day in the region, based on a legend. The facade, roof, and interior are clear examples of the modernist style that Gaudi implemented in Barcelona.
La Pedrera – Casa Milà
This marvelous work was commissioned by the textile industrialist Pere Milà, who met Gaudí after visiting Casa Batlló. Like many members of Barcelona’s bourgeois class during the early 1900s, Mr. Milà decided to live in Passeig de Gràcia, in a building constructed by the architect in vogue at the time: Antoni Gaudí. Unlike all his previous works, Gaudí decided to demolish the previous building and build it from scratch. It is a building full of detail and symbolism. The most striking area is the rooftop where an army of chimneys in the shape of warriors appears. Another interesting detail about La Pedrera is that the Sagrada Familia can be seen through one of the arches. This shows the obvious obsession Gaudi had with this sacred church.
La Casa Vicens was Antoni Gaudí’s first major commission, the starting point of all his later architectural work. At the age of 26, Antoni Gaudí had just graduated and, although he had no experience, he built this house as a summer residence for Manuel Vicens (a brick and tile manufacturer) It was his first masterpiece and one of the first buildings that introduced modernism in Catalonia and Europe. Casa Vicens has undergone many renovations over the years. The most recent took place in 2017 when it was reopened to the public.
The initial project was not to build a park but a luxury residential area. However, this project was a failure from the initial phase of construction. It ended up being an original public park in which there is not a single straight line. Eusebi Güell was fascinated by British residential parks, and Gaudí took this into account by naming it “Park Güell” in English. The main entrance to the parc shows what the Garden of Eden would be like if it still existed. Nowadays, Park Güell is the place in Barcelona where people take the most selfies according to the social media “Instagram”. It is easily accessible on foot from the Sagrada Familia or Casa Batlló.
At the end of the 19th century, the right side of the Eixample was becoming a growing neighborhood. Pere Mártir Calvet asked Antoni Gaudí to build his house, in which he requested that his business be placed in the basement and on the ground floor. Therefore, he asked for his residence to be built on the first floor. This is probably the most conservative work Gaudi ever did, as the base structure is located between two old buildings. This has considerably limited the work of our famous architect. Nevertheless, we can still admire some of the characteristics of Gaudi’s work in this structure.
The symmetry of the façade and the shape of the balconies are quite similar to those of Casa Batlló. Although Casa Calvet does not appear on the list of Gaudi’s most famous works, in 1900 it was awarded the prize for the best building of the year by the Barcelona City Council.
What is the best way to visit Gaudí’s Barcelona?
Some of Gaudi’s attractions and works can be expensive to visit if you only go to one place at a time. To clarify, it’s best to try and access as many attractions as possible for as little money as possible. Below you will find the most recommended Passes that you can purchase depending on the amount of time and Gaudi works you wish to visit in Barcelona.
From € 83 per person – This includes
- Audio-guided and fast-track entry to the Sagrada Familia (our staff will contact you to inform you of the date and time of the visit). It does not include the ascent to the towers.
- Skip-the-line audio-guided entrance to La Pedrera (audio guides in 10 languages)
- Barcelona Tourist Bus 1 day adult ticket + Tourist Bus information guide in 3 languages with details of the stops on the different routes + audio guide on board the Tourist Bus in 16 languages + discount brochure for tourist visits + free WiFi on the Tourist Bus, with direct connection.
- Wine tasting and climb to the Mirador de Colón.
Price € 35 per person- Includes
You can visit the following museums:
- The National Art Museum of Catalonia.
- Joan Miró Foundation
- Picasso museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
- Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture (CCCB)
- Antoni Tàpies Foundation
From € 80 per person – Includes
- Sagrada familia (skip-the-line ticket)
- Park Guëll (skip-the-line ticket)
- Aerobus (Transfer from airport)
- Tourist bus (option of 1 or 2 days)
- 10% discount (on other main attractions)
- Audio guide (the highlights of AppAll Barcelona)
For each of the activities included in the City Pass, it is necessary to enter a date and time to visit. Once you have made your choice and that the email came with the attached E-Pass, make sure you have this e-ticket with you, as it will serve as your entrance to all included activities..
The price depends on the 2, 3 or 5 day passes – from € 85 to € 145 for adults.
The child tickets (4 – 12 years old) range from € 61 to € 99.
All-Inclusive access to more than 30 different attractions in Barcelona. Below you will find the list of attractions and activities included in the All-inclusive Go Barcelona Pass.
- Casa Batlló
- Barcelona Aquarium
- Casa Milá (La Pedrera)
- The Museum of Modernism (MMBcn)
- Futbol Club Barcelona Stadium Tour & Museum (Camp Nou Experience)
- Barcelona Walking Tour
- Las Golondrinas Barcelona Boat Tour
- Poble Espanyol
- Colònia Güell & Gaudí Crypt
- Recinte Modernista Sant Pau
- Barcelona Zoo
- Gaudí Exhibition Centre
- Casa Vicens
- Cathedral of the Sea Tour
- Casa Museu Amatller
- Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA)
- European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM)
- Museo d’historia de Catalunya