June 24, 2008

Barcelona, Spain - ANTONI GAUDI

The city of Barcelona has been cleaned up and personal safety is no longer as big of an issue as the tour books would have you believe. I loved the city and mainly came to it in search of all things GAUDI - and it delivered!

La Sagrada Familia is one of Gaudi's most famous works in Barcelona. It's a giant temple that has been under construction since 1882 and still won't be finished for another 50 or so years! From the outside that looks like dripping icing, to the inside that resembles looking up into the canopy of a rainforest - it is a site that HAS to be visited.

Park Guell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell (one of Antoni Gaudi's main patron's) who wanted to create one of the first gated communities for Barcelona aristocracy. Built high above the port of Barcelona with stunning views, the park contains amazing stone structures and stunning tile work.

Casa Batlló is one of the two great buildings on Passeig de Gracia, the other being La Pedrera. I love this description by Rainer Zervst:

"Mighty pillars that appear to resemble the feet of some giant elephant are the first thing to meet the eye of the passerby from street level. The roof reminds him of a completely different animal: it is bordered by a jagged line similar to the backbone of a gigantic dinosaur. A facade extends between the two, including a number of small, elegantly curved balconies that seem to stick to the front of the house like birds' nests on the face of the cliff. The facade itself glitters in numerous colours, and small round plates that look like fish scales are let into it. There are no edges or corners here; even the walls are rounded in undulations and have in essence the feel of the smooth skin of a sea serpent about them."

Casa Mila or, as it was known to the locals, "La Pedrera" meaning 'the quarry', confounded the populous of Barcelona. With its wavy exterior lines it resembles sand along the water's edge formed by the coming and going of the tides. From the interiors designed by Gaudi, through to the chimney pots on the rooftop and the tiles on the sidewalks outside - this is just another masterpiece designed to showcase the age of Art Nouveau, or as it was known in Spain, Modernista.

At the height of his career he was synthesizing the basic shapes of nature while applying them to architecture. A quote from the great man himself explains his passion for organic designs using metal workmanship and ceramics where most architects would use concrete:


I encourage you to look up his works and discover the world that is Gaudi...

1 comment:

bart said...

A fantastic city. Nice pics.

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