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BARCELONA

The home of Gaudí and the Catalan Modernism

Published:

2023-07-11
Reading: 17 minutes

Location Information

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Barcelona, ES
05:55, 5:55 - Friday, 19 July 2024
temperature icon 25°C
light rain
Humidity 68 %
Wind 13 Km/h
Wind Gust: 0 Km/h
Sunrise: 06:34
Sunset: 21:20

Country

Language

Currency

Distance to capital

Inhabitants nickname

Timezone

Spain

Catalan - Spanish

Euro [€]

630 km

Barnas

Winter : UTC + 1

Summer : UTC + 2

Introduction to the home of Gaudí and the Catalan Modernism

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia in the North-East of Spain. When you say Barcelona, you also say the home of Gaudí and the Catalan Modernism. Everywhere in the city, you find wonderful buildings of the hand of Antoni Gaudí. Of course, also Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró are linked to Barcelona. What are all the other reasons why Barcelona attracts so many tourists? This post will inform you about the insides of this wonderful city.

barcelona montjuic miro city view
barcelona gaudi catalan modernism city sagrada familia overview viewpoint
barcelona cuitat park city view water fountain

The architecture of the Catalan Modernism

Do you like architecture? In that case, Barcelona is a must visit city for you. Because it is the playground of the Catalan Modernism. But, what is this building style? It is an Art Nouveau style which is linked to the nature and Catholic Faith. The Catalan Modernism dates from the end of the 19th century. Antoni Gaudí was one of the greatest masters of this beautiful architectural style.

Techniques connected with the nature

The most impressive structures are Park Güell, the 3 houses of Gaudí and of course the famous Sagrada Família. Gaudí was a deep Catholic person and loved the nature. So, all his buildings have a wonderful connection with the faith and the nature. All the used techniques are completely integrated into the architecture in such a way that no motorised and automated equipment were needed. The used techniques bring natural light, colour and fresh air into the building. Everything that has built, also had to be functional and beautiful without pointed corners. Only rounded corners and curves. Because everything has to stay in movement, without begin or end.

We still can learn a lot of Gaudí

In my opinion, these days we still can learn a lot of Gaudí. His connection with the nature and architectural constructions to bring light, colour and fresh air into the building, without the use of any technical equipment is genius. In a time that we want to be more ecological with less emissions and consume less energy, these seem to be great techniques to reach our goals.

Other things to see and do in Barcelona

Artists Picasso ad Miró

Of course, Barcelona is more than the architecture of the Catalan Modernism. Other famous artists like Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró are connected with Barcelona. Both have their own museum in the city and places where they liked to come. You still can visit some of them. In our digital Barcelona Tour Guide, I will share them with you.

barcelona mosaic artist miro la rambla street art
barcelona tibidabo mountain attraction park sacred heart of jesus church
barcelona palace montjuic placa espanha overview

Connection with the sea

Barcelona is located at the Mediterranean. With the mountains around the city looking over the city and the sea. The most famous mountains are Montjuïc and where Tibidabo is located. Both have wonderful viewpoints to discover.

The neighbourhoods of Barcelona

Famous neighbourhoods are Barri Gòtic, El Raval, Eixample, Gràcia and Montjuïc with El Poble-sec. At the seaside, you have Barceloneta and Poblenou.

barcelona el gotic barri gotic theater teatro buildings
barcelona el raval cat barrio barri neighbourhood neighborhood

Popular must do & see

A lot of guides and travel sites tell you about the popular spots and things to do in a city. According Voyageiro, these are the 5 most popular must things to do and see in Barcelona.

  • Sagrada Família
  • Walking over La Rambla
  • Montjuïc Mountain
  • Visit a Mercat
  • Visit Gaudí
Sagrada Família
barcelona gaudi catalan modernism city sagrada familia overview viewpoint

The most famous monument of Barcelona

First of all, we can't ignore the Sagrada Família. The ultimate masterpeace of Antoni Gaudí. A basilica which represents the New Testament, the Bible, in Gaudí's typical way. The top project of a connection of nature with faith.

18 Impressive towers

When the Sagrada Família is finished, it will have 18 impressive towers. They represent the 12 Apostles, the 4 Evangelists, Virgin Mary and in the middle the highest one for Jesus Christ. But, this tower will not become higher than the Montjuïc mountain. Because, Gaudí don't wanted to built something that is higher than what the nature has created. Do you see, also here you have a connection with the nature.

barcelona sagrada familia gaudi catalan modernism city capital close image view
barcelona city of gaudi and catalan modernism sagrada familia close up towers

2 Different facades

Aside of these towers, the Sagrada Famíllia also has 2 different facades. The Navity facade and the Passion Facade. Both of them has 4 towers of the Apostles.

Buy your tickets in advance

The Sagrada Família is the most visited monument of Barcelona. So, the best way is to book your tickets in advance. In that way, you have a specific time slot to enter for your visit. And you don't have to wait in the long queue to buy your tickets. To buy your tickets, visit Get Your Guide, Viator or the official site of the Sagrada Família itself.

Walking over La Rambla

Walk from the city to the sea

Also famous in Barcelona is the La Rambla. This is known as a large walking boulevard in the centrum of Barcelona. La Rambla starts at Plaça de Catalunya and is around 1,2 km long to reach the port of Barceloneta. In the middle of the street, it is for pedestrians only. With a pleasant crowd due to shopping stalls, terraces and living sculptures. At the end you arrive at the statue of Columbus and the Mediterranean.

5 Different parts

The Rambla is divided in 5 parts. The Catalan names are Rambla de Caneletes, Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep, Rambla dels Caputxins and Rambla de Santa Mònica.

Bring water to the sea

Now, La Rambla is a nice boulevard to walk. But, in the past it was a long dry river bed. When it rained very hard, this was the way where the water flowed to the sea from the mountains around Barcelona. At the other side of the Plaça de Catalunya, you also have the long Rambla de Catalunya to the Av. Diagonal. Av. Diagonal is the long diagonal line you see on the aerial photos of Barcelona.

Montjuïc Mountain
barcelona olympic stadion 1992 montjuic mountain catalan modernism
barcelona montjuic miro city view
barcelona montjuic castle mountain viewpoint top hill

The highest mountain in the city is the Montjuïc mountain with on the top the castle. Montjuïc also is the home of the Olympic park from the Olympic Games of 1992. You can take a telecabine from the top, at the castle, to the port and visa-versa. There also is a funicular.

barcelona olympic games 1992 statue mast catalan capital

A magic fountain at the entrance

barcelona montjuic mountain fountains city gaudi

At the main entrance of Montjuïc, you find the wonderful building of the National Museum of Art from Catalunya. In front of this building are beautiful fountains. The large central is known as The Magic Fountain with a huge water, light and music show from April till October.

When is it showtime?
barcelona magic fountain montjuic yellow red colour color light music show
barcelona city magic fountain white color show light evening
barcelona montjuic magic fountain show red color colour
  • 1 April - 31 May: Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 21h till 22h. Show start: 21h.
  • 1 June - 30 September: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 21h30 till 22h30. Show start: 21h30.

September has some changes in the hours due to La Mercè Festival and the Day of Catalonia.

Also in sometimes, the fountains are shut down by drought.

Visit a Mercat
barcelona mercat la boqueria mercado market la rambla

Barcelona has a lot of Mercats. A Mercat is a market hall with fresh products. Always full of life, a place to buy your fresh food and taste. Yes taste, take a lunch or enjoy the tapas.

Mercat La Boqueria

The most famous market hall is Mercat de la Boqueria. This one is located at La Rambla. Mercat la Boqueria is the largest and most lively fresh market hall in the city. Give it a try.

Visit Gaudí

Finally, we again are by Gaudí. When you visit Barcelona, you have to visit at least 1 project of Gaudí aside of the Sagrada Família. In the city of Barcelona you discover 3 famous houses of Antoni Gaudí. Also the famous Park Güell is of the hand of Gaudí. They all are UNESCO classified.

3 Famous houses of Antoni Gaudí

Casa Vicens

Built: between 1883 and 1889

Built for: Manuel Vicens

Residents till: 2007

Visit since: 2017

barcelona catalan modernism gaudi casa vicens art nouveau architecture

In Gràcia, you find the first house of Gaudí. This is Casa Vicens, built in commission by Manuel Vicens i Montaner, a rich tile manufacturer. Casa Vicens is known as Gaudí's first masterpeace in Barcelona and an anticipation of Gaudí's next work.

barcelona city gaudi catalan modernism casa vicens rooftop chimney first house
Genius wonderful characteristics
  • The wonderful tiles at the walls of the room
  • Creating a different vibe in a room by playing with natural light, architecture, materials and colours at the wall.
  • A rooftop to efficiently drain the water to reuse it when it rains and chimneys that also has to be. Functional and beautiful.
Casa Batlló

Built: 1877 - Renovated by Gaudí: between 1904 and 1906

Built for: Josep Batlló i Casanovas

Residents till: early 1950s

Visit since: 2002

barcelona gaudi catalan modernism architecture nature casa batló unesco

Casa Batlló is located in Eixample, at the Paseig de Gràcia. The whole house has no corners, only wave lines. From the facade, the rooftop as well as inside the building. Everything is curved, like the waves of the sea.

barcelona gaudi catalan modernism facade nature casa batlo
barcelona gaudi catalan modernism close up casa batlo facade blue mosaic tiles

Connection with St Joris

The facade has mosaic tiles, like the scales of a dragon while the way roof is his backbone. Balconies look like the jaws of sea animals. Inside you find columns as the legs of the dragon. While at the rooftop a chimney is constructed as the cross of St Joris. St Joris who fought with and killed a dragon, according the legend.

barcelona gaudi catalan modernism city casa batlo rooftop dragon saint joris cross

Connection with the nature

It wouldn't be Gaudí, if the house had also no deep connection with the nature. The stairwell is designed as a true light shaft with blue tiles and to bring fresh air into the building. No windows, doors and frames are straight. All curved like the waves of the sea. You feel like you are standing in a Disney movie in the sea. At the back side, you find impressive mirror glass to bring light and colour inside the building, but from the cellar it is an ordinary window.

In a lot of hands

After the latest occupants left the building, Casa Batlló was in the hands of different businesses. At this moment, the family Bernat is still the owner of Casa Batlló. Since 2003, the family had to mortgage the building due to business losses. Casa Batlló is estimated at around 70 million euros.

Genius wonderful characteristics
  • When you walk through the house, it feels like you are walking in a dream. But people have still lived in this house.
  • High-quality architectural construction techniques to bring fresh air and oxygen into the house.
  • The connection with the nature and Saint Joris.
Casa Milà

Built: between 1906 and 1912

Built for: a family Milà

Residents till: people still live there

Visit since: 1987

barcelona gaudi city catalan modernism casa mila la pedrera

Also in Eixample at the Passeig de Gràcia, you find third famous house of Gaudí. This building is not a single house, but an apartment building. When you stand in front of this building, you also see it immediately that everything is curved. Casa Milà was built for the noble family Milà who lived there. All the other apartments were rented to those who could afford it.

Casa Milà is characterised by 2 impressive rounded patios where all the apartments are connected. Again to bring fresh air and light in the apartments. It also was the first building in Barcelona with a parking garage for carriages and cars. The residents were able to drive their own apartment.

barcelona casa mila gaudi modernism catalan art nouveau nocturne light evening

La Pedrera

The other name of Casa Milà is La Pedrera. La Pedrera is a Catalan word for "stone quarry" and given as a nickname. The Barnas didn't liked the building, because it followed none of the architectural norms of that time.

Today, some apartments still are rented by people who live there or have a business. You are able to visit the income hall, some apartments and the impressive rooftop of Casa Milà. They also have a nocturne with a huge light show on the roof where you have a great view of the Sagrada Família.

Genius wonderful characteristics
  • The 2 central shafts where all the apartments are connected.
  • A rooftop with impressive chimneys that are designed as heads. It is said that the Star Wars helmets would be based on these chimneys.
  • Free of load-bearing walls and supporting pillars. This is made possible due to the use of a self-supporting stone facade and arches in the roof like the skeleton of a whale.
barcelona city of gaudí catalan modernism gaudi la pedrera shaft monument monumental nocturne

Park Güell

barcelona park guell entrance gaudi catalan modernism masterpiece

Park Güell is an impressive park built for Gaudí's friend Eusebi Güell. The park is located in the neighbourhood Gràcia and hold a house where Gaudí lived.

A huge landscape garden

Gaudí designed a huge park with a lot of architecture, stairs, and patios inspired on the nature. Güell was inspired by his many journeys. He was fascinated by the English landscape gardens and romantic garden architecture. This is why the English word "Park" is used.

barcelona gaudi catalan modernism bench park guell mosaic tiles color
Famous mosaic tiles

One of the most wonderful location in the park is the Greek Theatre with the colourful tiles of the bench and the view to the fairytale main entrance. You need a special ticket to enter this part of the park. At this entrance you find the famous Salamander with a lot of mosaic tiles. It is known as "El Drac", The Dragon.

Visit tips

As told, all these monuments are UNESCO classified. So, they are very popular to visit. To plan a visit to a house of Gaudí or Park Güell, buy your tickets in advance. So, you are sure you can visit the monument. Sometimes, on the day itself, you cant buy a ticket anymore. Select a button below to already buy your entrance tickets in advance.

My personal favorite

Park Güell is an absolutely must do. Of the 3 houses, my personal favorite is Casa Milà, La Pedrera. This is because the used architectural techniques and yes maybe I could live there if I have the money for it. According the wonderful designs, colours and vibes, I would go for Casa Batló.

Discover other buildings

When you visited these masterpieces of Antoni Gaudí, you'll discover also the signature at some other buildings designed by Gaudí in the city.

Hidden Gems

Like in any city, Barcelona also has some hidden gems to discover:

barcelona tibidabo mountain attraction park sacred heart of jesus church
  • In the Parc del Guinardó, you find the Búnquers del Turó de la Rovira, also known as the Bunkers del Carmel. Here you have a nice view over Barcelona.
  • Another viewpoint can be found in the mountains where the attraction park of Tibidabo is situated. There also stands the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Here you have one of the most impressive views over Barcelona and the Mediterranean.
  • Aside of La Rambla, you find Palau Güell. This is a manor house of the early architectural work of Gaudí.
  • In Barri Gótic, you find The Kiss Wall. A wall made of small photos, which all together creates one large image.
  • The Montjuïc mountain holds a the nice open air Teatre Grec. It is the place to be for the Festival Grec.

Save the dates

Yearly events to mark in your agenda

What are the famous events? Are there regional festivities? What are the huge city festivals to join every year? Are there festivities you don't may miss in this city? Below, you find some of the famous yearly activities to do in Barcelona.

Santa Eulalia

When?

second weekend of February

Santa Eulalia is the patron of the city. Around 12 February, in Barcelona are the festivities of Santa Eulalia. The Barnas celebrate their patron with parades, traditional dances and the Castellers of Barcelona. For the Castellers Santa Eulalia is the start of their season.

Llum BCN

When?

February

Llum BCN is a light festival. Every year, in February you have to be in Poblenou for a light art of internation artists. It is a combination of art, science and technology. Llum BCN takes place since 2012.

Barcelona Marathon

When?

Half of March

Ready to run? Nice, half of March you have to go for the marathon of Barcelona. It is the 5th biggest marathon of Europe. This marathon attracts runners from all over the world. The previous name of this marathon was Marathon Catalunya.

Easter

When?

March or April

Easter is one of the most important holidays in Spain. Barcelona is known for the impressive parades for Easter Day. So, if you want to enjoy your visit in Barcelona, maybe this is not the ideal day to make a city trip.

Museum Night

When?

half of May

Half of May is the ideal moment to visit a museum in Barcelona. On the day of the Museum Night, a lot of museums are free to visit. This is a wonderful project. Also in many other European cities, they participate at Museum Night.

Grand Prix of Spain

When?

begin of June

Again sport! At the begin of June, Barcelona is the home of the Formule 1 Grand Prix. The biggest autopilots and teams arrive in Barcelona to see who is the fastest rider on the racing circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya.

Sant Joan

When?

23 June

24 June is the name day of Sant Joan, Saint John and a public holiday in Spain. So, 23 June is the ideal day to celebrate, have parties and festivities. It also is known as the begin of the summer. With the shortest night and the longest day of the year. They believe that the summer point has a lot of vibe in the air. When you are in the city, you will feel these vibes, with a lot of festivities, fireworks and fire in the streets of Barcelona.

Festival Grec

When?

July

The whole month of July, you have to be in Montjuïc for the Festival Grec. The Teatre Grec is the home of a nice festival with international artists, dance, music and circus acts. This is major summer attraction in Barcelona.

Festa Mayor de Gràcia

When?

August

While in July, you have to be in Montjuïc, in August you have to visit Gràcia. Gràcia is the stage of a huge street festival, the Festa Mayor. During 1 week in August, the neighbourhood transforms with a lot of colours and parades. It is not only a festival, but for the people of the neighbourhood itself, also a competition. All streets participate to win the price for the best decorated street. Every year, whole Barcelona looks forward to this event.

Diada Nacional de Catalunya

When?

11 September

The Naional day of Catalonia is on 11 September, also known as "La Diada". The history of this day goes back to 1714. Because 11 September 1714 was the day of the fall of Barcelona and Catalonia. From that moment on it became part of Spain. Already many years, there again is an increasingly loud call of independence for Catalonia. So, this is an important and sensitive day in Catalonia.

La Mercè Festival

When?

end of Setpember

For the biggest street festival in Barcelona, you have to be there at the end of September. Than it is time for La Mercè, a 5 day street festival with parades, events and fire runs to say Adéu! at the summer. La Mercè already takes place since 1902 and has hundreds of street events. Due to the many street events, it is not recommended to use a car in the city.

Castellers

Castellers are traditional events in Catalonia. Every event is good enough to make human towers. Because, that is what the Castellers do. Making human towers without the help of any tools. At this moment, the highest tower is made by the Castellers de Vilafranca. In 2015, they built a human castel of 10 levels in Tarragona. Tarragona, which is every 2 years the place to be for the "Concurs de Castells", the Castellers competition.

When to see Castellers?

In Barcelona, the first moment to built castells, human castles, are Santa Eulalia. From that moment on the new season of the Castellers of Barcelona starts. While in Catalonia, the official start of the Casteller season starts in June and lasts untill November. Every festival, Festa Mayor, is good enough to built castells. So, at every huge summer festival you have the opportunity to see the Castellers. If you are in Barcelona on such a day, don't miss them.

Guides

A guide gives you another dimension when you travel

It is always good to be informed when you visit a city, location, region or plan to make a road trip. So, you are on the right way by reading my posts. Aside, of this, it can help you to have a personal guide in your pocket. Why not put a short guide document in your hand luggage, backpack or on your mobile device? To do this, we have some personalized tour guides for you. More information is available on our Guides page.

Our digital personalised guides about Barcelona

Below you find some of our personalised guides about Barcelona created especially for travel lovers like you. These will give you another dimension to your trip. It allows you to better understand the location where you are. To travel with more passion.

A digital brochure

We created a digital brochure, especially for travel lovers like you. This travel book is available as a digital download from the Etsy shop of Galeria Sámuel, the online shop of our travel content.

Digital or print out
barcelona home of gaudi and catalan modernism digital pocket travel guide book download etsy

You can use this Travel Guide Book as a digital file on your personal device or print out on A4 or A5 paper. The digital download also has a foldable print-ready pocket version.

Good points of our travel guides are:

  • You don't need any internet connection to get your information.


  • No need to save all your site links with the tourist information. With our digital download you have all the travel information bundled together on your own device.


  • No heavy travel book, only a single PDF file.

  • Also a pocket version with all the essentials to print out.

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