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The Casa Amatller is one of Barcelona's most famous and recognizable landmarks. The house is one of the buildings included in the so called Manzana de la Discordia (block of discord), the area down the Passeig de Gràcia features some of the most famous works from the city's fathers of modernista architecture, Gaudí, Domènech i Muntaner and the designer of the Casa Amatller, Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Upon visiting the house, visitors will get to enjoy the preserved modernist interior, complete with original furniture. Visitors must make reservations in order to enter and tour the house.
Casa Vicens or Vicens House, built for Señor Manuel Vicens i Montaner, is another example of Gaudi's marvelous handiwork. Although visitors are not permitted inside, one can take a look at the interesting exterior facade. Built in 1883, the casa is covered with a multitude of brightly-colored tiles and is adorned with exotic designs reminiscent of Middle Eastern, Indian and African architecture. The opulent and whimsical interiors are still inhabited by descendants of the original owner.
The Manzana de Discordia, which means "block of discord" comes from Greek mythology and it's located in Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood. This block contains perhaps Barcelona's most recognizable group of buildings. It is home to Gaudì's Casa Batlló, Domènich i Montaner's Casa Lleo Morera and Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller, three of the most famous works of Modernista architecture. No trip to Barcelona is complete without a personal visit to the Manzana de Discordia.
Part of the Illa de la Discòrdia (Block of Discord), Lluís Domènech i Muntaner's design displays a spectacular use of mosaic as well as stained-glass windows by Lluís Rigalt and sculptures by Eusebi Arnau. These decorative elements reflect Hellenistic, Gothic and Renaissance influences, especially the stained-glass windows. Built between 1902 and 1906, it stands in the same residential block as two other outstanding modernist buildings created by different architects in hugely different styles, hence the collective name - Block of Discord. Guided tours are available, but tickets must be puchased online as they do not sell tickets at the house.
One of the most popular roads of the city, the Rambla Catalunya has many international fashion brands and shops located on either side. It is a frequent destination of the glamorous and offers something for everyone. The green trees shade the passers-by who go their way shopping at the various stores here. It is calm and quiet, ideal for a walk. Check out the various outlets on this street and grab some fashionable materials to take back home.
Aside from being one of the best places to view Catalan Modernist architecture, this is also the city's elegant shopping area par excellence. Foreign brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna, MaxMara, Escada and Armand Bassi stand beside Spanish labels such as Purificación García, Camper and Loewe. The exclusivity of Vogue, Bally and Yanko are offset by more accessible shops like Mango, Globe, Benetton and Laura Ashley. This street also boasts the Bulevard dels Antiquaris (for antiques), many restaurants and outdoor cafés, bookshops and jewelers, as well as boundless energy and style. At number 55, Boulevard Rosa also offers more than 50 small, elegant shops under one roof.
The Torre de les Aigüesis only one of the courtyards left in the Eixample district that is still open to visitors - it was a water tower that has now been transformed into a swimming pool where children and adults alike can swim to their heart's content on a sunny day. There are even complimentary changing rooms, toilets and a bar available for the purchasing of drinks.
Basilica de la Purísima Concepcion is located in the lively L'Eixample district, making this a popular tourist destination. Set amid a sea of shopping activity, Basilica de la Purísima Concepcion is somewhat of an anachronism, enveloping visitors in a serene setting and much needed respite from the flurry of movement just outside its historic walls. Beyond mere visitor curiosity, this basilica holds aesthetic, social and deep religious significance.