Palau Nacional is one of the most spectacular buildings in Plaça Espanya and was built for the 1929 Universal Exposition, as were a lot of buildings in Montjuïc. The brainchild of architects Eugenio Cendoya and Enric Catà, the aim was to build a monumental, grandiose structure but the duo managed to surpass expectations. The Palace was restored by Italian architect Gae Aulenti and now houses the Museu Nacional de Arte de Catalunya (MNAC).
An unfinished religious icon that is steeped in profound cultural value and features an incomparable aesthetic, the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is an astounding marvel. Gaudí began working on this utterly surreal temple, now a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, in 1882. Originally intended to be a modest, neo-Gothic church, the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia has since become arguably the most iconic building in all of Barcelona. Gaudí broke away from the reigning neo-Gothic style in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, imbuing his architecture with symbolic meaning and pioneering the Catalan Modernism movement. Intricate details like palm-tree pillars whose bases take the shapes of turtles, eye-catching colors, Baroque-style influences, and materials ranging from mosaic tiles to an array of stones converge to create an absolute masterpiece.
Gaudi's masterpiece, the Casa Batlló is one of the most unique residential buildings ever constructed in the Modernista style. Its facade bedecked with a rainbow of colored tiles gives way to the entrance hall that evokes an underwater sojourn complete with wave-like walls, turtle-shaped skylights, and a staircase that resembles the spine of a mythical creature. The upper level Noble Floor features windows that open out onto Passeig de Gràcia and are flooded with natural light and the connected outdoor patio is a kaleidoscope of hues wrought in glass and tile. From the terrace, it's easy to understand why the house is called casa del drac locally, as the roof tiles resemble Sant Jordi's dragon. A marvelous expression of both creativity and architectural acumen, the Casa Batlló stands as a testament to Gaudi's psychedelic genius.
Antoni Gaudí, the architect who built this jewel of Catalan modernism, wanted the facade to reflect his romantic and anti-classical ideas about design. It was built for the Milà family between 1906 and 1910. Neither the family nor the public were much impressed, and it was dubbed La Pedrera (stone quarry) as an insult. Only later in 1984 did it win great acclaim when the UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. Now internationally celebrated, Casa Milà is a prime example of Gaudí's civil architecture; it is aesthetically interesting and unique as well as outstandingly practical. Call +34 90 220 2138 for more details.
An eye-catching fixture of downtown Barcelona, the Palau de la Música Catalana boasts a striking modernist design. It was built in the early-20th century by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who designed the now-iconic exterior to feature intricate carvings, red brick arches, and exquisite Spanish and Arabic architectural details. Inside, the concert hall is even more breathtaking with its gold accents, floral patterns, and exceptional stained-glass elements. Visitors to the Palau de la Música Catalana will be awed by the kaleidoscopic skylight whether they take in a show or simply tour this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the past, the Palau de la Música Catalana has hosted such quality performers as Ella Fitzgerald, Paco de Lucía, Woody Allen, Ángel Corella, and Duke Ellington.
Barcelona's oldest residential district is a maze of narrow streets housing some fantastic examples of Gothic architecture. Lots of trendy young designers have opened up outlets here over the last few years, along with some classy but not too flashy restaurants, including tapas bars that fill up with the city's youth most nights. Alongside Gothic buildings like the imposing Cathedral of Barcelona, you can see the most concentrated remains of the Roman period here, between Plaça de la Catedral and Plaça Sant Jaume. The old Roman walls still demarcate the boundary between this and its adjacent districts. This spirited neighborhood, known locally as Barri Gòtic, is one of the city's most atmospheric and enchanting explorations serving up style in spades.
Located in the heart of Barcelona is the striking Casa Rocamora, one of the largest buildings in the area and a beautiful example of Spanish architecture in the early 20th-Century. This building has numerous Neo-Gothic features including its stone facade, great domed towers, turrets, semicircular windows, and balconies. This monolithic building is reminiscent of medieval castles and should not be missed when in the city.
Parròquia de Santa Anna is a parish affiliated to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. Founded in 1141, this former convent illustrates the Romanesque school of architecture, while its later refurbishments display the Gothic style. Renowned for this very architectural blend, it is replete with splendid archways, bare bricks, Renaissance accents, chandeliers and a rustic chapel. It is a recognized National Heritage Monument and popular tourist attraction. It hosts regular mass, as well as special Holy Sacraments.
The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city of many facets, each more tantalizing than the last. Shaped by time, with a history that spans over 2000 years, Barcelona is a dreamscape of architectural wonder, from the subterranean ruins of the Roman empire and the exquisite cathedrals of the Gothic Quarter to the masterpieces of Modernisme and Gaudi's ingenious creations. The city's contemporary marvels are no less inspiring with iconic structures like the sleek Agbar Tower and the gravity-defying Mare Nostrum Tower at the top of the list. The rich Catalan culture has long been revered for its sumptuous culinary innovations, with local chefs at the helm of molecular gastronomy. There's the whole host of cuisines to choose from, reflecting the city's cosmopolitan flair, from avant-garde Japanese to tapas bars and seafood taverns. Those who enjoy a good night out won't be disappointed either. There are plenty of options to suit every taste including underground bars, live music of every genre, beachfront chiringuitos and all-night clubs. Nestled between the azure Mediterranean Sea and the verdant Collserola mountains, Barcelona's outdoor offer runs the gamut from hiking and biking, to water sports and simply lounging on the golden beach. A city that has inspired the likes of Dali, Miró, and Picasso, it is no wonder it's museums and galleries are lovingly adorned with the work of these masters and many besides. Barcelona is a city of culture, where the party never has to end and there is always something exciting to discover.
A landmark district in Barcelona, the Portal de l'Àngel is always filled with people looking for a bargain inside one of the cool boutiques. Located in the Ciutat Vella (old city), the Portal de l'Àngel has a wide variety of stores and it is the second most popular area to shop in the city. The district extends from the Plaça Catalunya and runs along the Avinguda Diagonal all the way to the Barri Gòtic.
The Palau Moja is a historic building located on Barcelona's famous La Rambla. The building has a long and interesting history. Built in 1774, the building once housed the Marquis of Moja and since has passed through several other Marquis' and noble families, including the city's famous patrons, the Güell family. The building was bought by the Generalitat of Catalunya in 1981 and houses the offices of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage Department of Culture. It is also the base of the Tourist Information Office. Explore Catalan heritage through touch screens and tablets displayed at the center. You can even buy books and souvenirs from the Catalan Gothic era. Get a taste of the regional cuisine at their on-site restaurant.