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Modernist Barcelona

Modernist Barcelona

Pedestrian, Public Transport, 15 km, 2 days

Explore a Barcelona in which odd, undulating forms of vegetation creep across building façades, invade terraces and seemingly enter the buildings themselves to create a surprising and unique environment.

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Passeig de Gràcia   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Passeig de Gràcia 08008 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Although it used to link the old town to the village of Gràcia, it is now, along with Eixample the residential area of the upper class. It links beautiful buildings epitomising early 20C architecture, such as those by Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafalch, in particular. The oil lamps adorning this main street are one of the symbols of the city's modern identity. Designed by Pere Faqués in 1900, they indeed demonstrate the modernist trend for materials such as iron and ceramics.

The first stage of the route takes us as to the Sagrada Familia and offers an excuse for a very pleasant walk. If you're heading to other tourist sites that are further afield, it's a good idea to get a travel pass so you can get some relaxation en route.

Casa Lleó i Morera   Interesting

passeig de Gràcia 35 08007 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This beautiful house by Domènech i Montaner dates from 1905 and is part of the famous "Apple of Discord". This renowned architect introduced a certain sobriety into his Modernist designs here.

The "Manzana of the Discordia" (Apple of Discord) neighbourhood owes its curious name to the mythological judgement of Pâris, who was tasked with choosing the most beautiful goddess from Héra, Athena or Aphrodite, by the granting a golden apple. The term "manzana" means both "apple" and "block of buildings".

Casa Amatller   Interesting

passeig de Gràcia 41 08007 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This building by Puig i Cadafalch (1900) is part of the famous "Illa de la Discòrdia". It has a beautiful façade with frescoes bearing floral motifs and large Gothic windows. Note, in particular, the exquisite finesse of the balconies and doorways.


Casa Batlló   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

passeig de Gràcia 43 08007 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This masterful work by Gaudí is part of the famous "Illa de la Discòrdia" and was built between 1904 and 1906 in pure Modernist style, with ceramic coloured glass disks and a fishscale roof. At the time, the unique enlarged windows on the first floor gave rise to the nickname "House of the Yawns". While the exterior is overpowering in its dynamism and profusion of images and colours, the inside continues in the same theme, creating an aesthetic coherence and unparalleled beauty throughout.

A little further along Carrer d'Aragó, you'll find Fundació Antoni Tàpies, installed in the building of the former Montaner i Simón publishing house, designed by Domènech i Montaner. A large sculpture by the artist, Núvol y cadira (cloud and chair), crowns the façade.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera)   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

passeig de Gràcia 92 08036 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

More commonly known as "La Pedrera", this building, with its façade evoking the movement of the sea and its fantasy decor, is one of Gaudí's finest achievements. A tour of the roof provides wonderful views of the entire Eixample district, as well as the building's chimneys and air vents with their unique and somewhat unsettling fairytale shapes. Inside, El Pis provides an insight into life in a noble house in the early 20C.


Casa Terrades (Casa de les Punxes)   Interesting

Av. Diagonal 08028 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This building is best known as the «Casa de les Punxes» because of its pointed roof, and is yet another testiment to the ingenuity of Puig i Cadafalch's architecture. It is in this work that the Neo-gothic style is the most noticeable


Sagrada Familia   Worth a journey Worth a journey Worth a journey

Carrer de Provença 08029 Barcelona
Religious buildings

Gaudí dedicated 40 years of his life to his best-known work, which remains unfinished. He gave it great symbolic power by claiming that it was an atonement for the world's materialism and an expression of human solidarity and fraternity. When he died only the crypt (which houses his tomb), the apse and theNativity façade, had been finished, the latter's three doorways topped by four towers, 115m high. Despite huge political wranglings, a decision was taken to complete this revolutionary project.


Parc Güell   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Carrer Albert Llamas 08024 Barcelona
Nature and gardens

This magic place half-way between reality and fantasy, looks onto two quite unique mushroom-shaped buildings straight out of the fairy tale book. A stairway headed by a dragon made up of ingenious mosaics leads to the Hall of a hundred columns On top of the hall there is a circular square which offers an extraordinary view over the town, surrounded by the famous and never-ending undulating bank where Gaudí's fantasy for colour knows no bounds.

You can complete your visit to the park that accommodates the Gaudi house-museum, situated in the park itself. This house was home to the architect from 1906 to 1926, offers a beautiful collection of furnishings designed by Gaudí.

Palace of Catalan Music   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Carrer de Sant Pere Mes Alt 08003 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

Built by Domènech i Montaner between 1905 and 1908, it is undoubtedly the most striking symbol of the Catalan middle classes in the 1900s and one of the masterpieces of Modernism. Headquarters of the Orfeó Català (Catalan Choir), it is the largest concert hall in Barcelona. The exterior is spectacular and inside you can admire the impressive reversed cupola, a real ornamental marvel. A wealth of unusual details is scattered throughout this surprising space. An absolute 'must'.


Palau Güell   Worth a detour Worth a detour

Carrer Nou de la Rambla 08001 Barcelona
Architecture, castles and historic districts

This stunning residence, built between 1886 and 1890 to extend the home of the Güell family (with ten children), is a fine example of Gaudí's architectural style. The great innovation is in the parabolic arches in the entrance, enhanced by typically extravagant Modernist grilles. Inside, the grand hall is without doubt the most remarkable room of the house, with its parabolic cupola pierced with small openings that allow light to filter through, giving the impression of the night sky.

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