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.
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.
Antoni Gaudí, l'architecte qui a construit ce joyau du modernisme catalan, a voulu que la façade reflète ses idées romantiques et anti-classiques sur le design. Elle a été construite pour la famille Milà entre 1906 et 1910. Ni la famille ni le public ont été très impressionné, et a été surnommé La Pedrera (carrière de pierre) comme une insulte. C'est seulement plus tard, en 1984 qu'elle a remporté un grand succès lorsque l'UNESCO l'a déclaré Site du Patrimoine Mondial. Maintenant de renommée internationale, La Pedrera ou la Casa Milà est un excellent exemple de l'architecture civile de Gaudi, elle est esthétiquement intéressante et unique, ainsi que remarquablement pratique.
Featuring an air of striking regality that can be attributed to its historic dull rose facade, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is a longstanding symbol of Barcelona's prized culture. Perhaps the most important theater in Barcelona, the Gran Teatre del Liceu was built in 1847 as a venue for opera performances. The original building showcased a modern aesthetic designed by architects Miquel Garriga i Roca and Josep Oriol Mestres, and while the theater was rebuilt after a fire in 1994, a handful of cherished artifacts from the first structure remain. The main façade, the Hall of Mirrors, and staircase notably represent the historic Gran Teatre del Liceu as it was originally conceived. As important as ever, the new theater stays true to its roots by staging an exciting program of operas, concerts, and ballets performed by some of the most reputable companies in the world. It even houses a symphony orchestra and choir that perform throughout the year. With 2,292 seats, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is certainly grand, and it has one of the largest opera auditoriums in Europe.
Construit entre 1910 et 1914, maintenant Site du Patrimoine Mondial de l'UNESCO, l'objectif initial de Gaudi dans ce parc de 20 hectares était de créer une combinaison harmonieuse des paysages urbains et naturels en construisant des maisons, des jardins, et des institutions publiques. Le projet n'a jamais été terminé, mais vous pouvez y voir un grand mélange de styles architecturaux. Par exemple, les colonnes de la Sala de las Cien Columas (Salle des cent colonnes) sont purement classiques, tendis que le balcon, recouvert de carreaux de mosaïque, est un exemple de style romantique.
Barcelona's Tourist Office organizes excellent 90-minute walking tours through the old town (Ciutat Vella) led by an official guide. The tours take you on a trip through history as you retrace the steps of one of the world's most iconic painters, Pablo Picasso. The English-language tour starts at 10 am and the Spanish/Catalan tour at noon from the main office in Plaça Catalunya. You will start your tour at the Portal de l'Àngel followed by a visit to the Plaça Nova, Casa de l'Ardiaca, the cloister of the cathedral, Plaça del Rei, Llibreteria, Plaça Sant Jaume (including the Casa de la Ciutat (Ajuntament)), Sant Honorat, Plaça Sant Felip Neri and end up back at the cathedral. View the city through the eyes of Picasso and experience it in a new light on this well-organized tour of Barcelona.
Hopping on one of these buses is a great way to see Barcelona quickly while on a budget. There are two routes, South and North, and both focus on the most important sights. The North Route ends up at Tibidabo and the South Route at Port Olímpic. Buy a day-ticket on the bus and you can get on and off as often as you like. You also get an information leaflet about the sights on the tour, which takes two hours. Contact the TMB (Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona) for more details.
Established in 2008, Cultruta offers to give you a glimpse of the city through their guided walks. Discover this vibrant metropolitan through specially designed routes that will take you through to unknown streets, nooks and crannies which have been a part of Barcelona's history. Unravel interesting places that are not on any tourist map and get acquainted with the culture of the land you are visiting. You can choose either the private or weekend tours but ensure that you wear comfortable footwear for this unique tour.
Part of the Illa de la Discòrdia, or 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, the landmark 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 though tickets must be purchased online as they do not sell tickets at the house.
Casa Felip is an early 20th-Century decorative-art building that is a striking example of modernist art. This building was the home of Manel Felip and features beautiful stained-glass windows, elegant mosaics, ornamental sculptures, and most of the original furniture. Guided tours of the building lend an insightful look into the life and times of the rich and influential in the early 1900's.