Created by Joan Miró as an institute for the study of contemporary art, Fundación Joan Miró was built by his close friend and architect Josep Lluís Sert. Its outstanding octagonal tower houses a concert hall that is used as an auditorium for classical music performances. The permanent collection includes Miró's art in all formats: large canvases, tapestries, everyday objects, engravings, photographs and more. Fundació Joan Miró also organizes temporary exhibitions and has a café-restaurant and souvenir shop.
The modernist design of the Palau de la Música Catalana is truly stunning. From the elegantly decorated interior, focusing on curved rather than straight lines, to the exterior that's recognized far and wide with its statues and red brick arches. Gold accents and floral patterns wow visitors who enter the hall. Even more impressive are the concerts held here, which feature amazing performers from around the world.
Gaudí began this utterly surreal temple in 1882, and it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally intended to be a modest, neo-Gothic church, but it has become the most famous building in Barcelona. Gaudí broke away from the reigning neo-Gothic style of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and imbued every element of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia with symbolic meaning. Turtles form the base of columns (the Chinese symbol of order within chaos) and the pillars are palm trees. The most outstanding feature of this building is its Baroque style, plus the mixture of colors and the diversity of materials used (plaster, ceramics, mosaic, iron and many types of stone).
The National Art Museum of Catalonia (Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya), built in 1990, houses the best collection of Romanesque murals in the world, including some real gems from the Pyrenean region. The museum's collection includes other works of art as well, such as altarpieces, carvings, sculpture, gold and silver ornaments, and paintings on wood and glazed objects. You can see a selection of Gothic period paintings by 14th and 15th-century Catalan School artists along with those of their counterparts from the rest of Spain and Europe.
Built between 1910 and 1914 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gaudí's original aim in this 20-hectare (50-acre) park was to create a harmonious combination of urban and natural landscapes by building houses, gardens and public institutions. The project was never completed; however, you do still get to see a great mixture of architectural styles. For instance, the columns of the Sala de las Cien Columnas (Hall of the Hundred Columns) are purely classical, while the balcony they support is an example of the Romantic style; plus it's covered in colored mosaic tiles.
The Fira de Barcelona is one of the largest exhibition spaces in Europe, divided over two locations: Montjuïc and Gran Via. The Gran Via location was designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito, and is a fine example of conceptual architecture. The six pavilions of this massive venue together comprise an area of 2,00,000 square meters (2,152,782 square feet). The convention center alone can accommodate about 5,600 visitors, and boasts a flexible, dynamic area of 14,000 square meters (150,694.7 square feet). The bigger of the two venues, the Fira de Barcelona – Gran Via is buzzing with prominent events throughout the year. See the website for further information.