17 May The Best Gaudi sites in Barcelona
Around the world, certain cities stand out for their architecture. Vancouver for its modernity. Buenos Aires for its mix of French and Italian influence. And Barcelona, for the contributions of its favourite son, Antoni Gaudi.
From one end of this stunning city to the other, you can spot his otherworldly, asymmetrical structures. Without them, Barcelona wouldn’t be the same. When you visit this Catalan gem, don’t forget to include Gaudi’s best hits in your itinerary.
La Sagrada Familia
A Roman Catholic church like no other, La Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudi’s magnum opus. He pushed all other projects aside in the final 30 years of his life to focus on his masterpiece. As he fussed over every brick laid, he knew he would never pray in its pews.
Gaudi died in 1926. As of this writing, construction is slated to be complete in 2026, to commemorate the centenary of its creator’s passing.
Despite the presence of tradespeople feverishly working on finishing touches, you can still check out its innumerable completed features. These include the Nativity and Passion facades, the interior (which boasts immense pillars and colourful stained glass) and two steeples.
Originally planned as a luxury housing development, Parc Guell eventually became another of Gaudi’s gifts to Barcelona. Only two homes were ever built – one of them was Anton Gaudi’s home until his death in 1926.
Throughout the park, you’ll find features meant to blend in with their natural surroundings. Terrace walls come with alcoves designed to encourage bird nests. Viaduct support columns are shaped like pine tree trunks.
You’ll also find numerous pieces that reflect Gaudi’s artistic flair. These include countless mosaic art pieces, including a salamander sculpture called ‘El Drac’ (the dragon).
In 1904, Gaudi was allowed to remodel a nearly 30-year-old house. What he came up with was nothing short of breathtaking. Named Casa Batlló after the family that owned the property, it takes its inspiration from nature.
Using colours/shapes not commonly found in Art Nouveau designs, it is unlike any structure you’ve ever seen before. Of the projects he took on, it is considered to be one of Anton’s Gaudi’s best works.
We’ve all got to start somewhere. For Gaudi, Casa Vicens was his first project. Completed in 1888, it was the building that launched the era of Art Nouveau design.
Built for Manuel Vicens to serve as his summer residence, it blended neoclassical, Moorish, and oriental design elements. Its design is more conservative than Gaudi’s later projects, but its colourful ceramic tiles make it stand out from surrounding buildings.
Fans of early 20th-century modernist architecture will not want to miss Casa Milá. Finished in 1912, it was the last residential project Gaudi worked on before devoting himself to the Sagrada Familia.
Nicknamed ‘The Stone Quarry’ due to its rough exterior, UNESCO made it into a World Heritage Site in 1984. With curvy support beams, eye-pleasing arches, and an awe-inspiring courtyard, it is the perfect place to end a Gaudi architecture tour in Barcelona.