For those who love to take in beautiful architecture and design on their travels, Barcelona is an unmissable destination. The Catalan Art Nouveau movement was largely ignored until the 1990’s, when the city experienced a major revival, along with a surge in tourist interest. Now, a visit to Spain wouldn’t be complete without a trip to this beautiful city, and to its most interesting landmarks.
Spain’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, had one of the most distinctive and fascinating architectural styles to date. His imprint is all over Barcelona, with many of the city’s best attractions designed by Gaudi. Having been greatly influenced by nature in his work, Gaudi’s structures are organic and imaginative, and dazzle tourists year-round.
The most visited attraction in Barcelona is La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s great, unfinished project and a truly stunning architectural construction. Begun in 1883 and interrupted by war in 1935 and then by fires in the crypt and in Gaudi’s studio, the project was recommenced in 1952 and continues to this day, with no real end in sight. Despite its unfinished nature, this is a remarkable shrine to see and should be top on the list of any visitor’s itinerary. La Sagrada Familia also houses a museum that tells the story of the building’s construction and of Gaudi’s work.
Gaudi’s mark on Barcelona is widespread; the Park Güell features buildings, sculpture and other examples of his work along with a museum in the place of his old home. The Casa Batlló at Passeig de Gracia 43 is another great visit; a gothic, psychedelic creation and a fine example of the Modernista movement, with interiors that are also worth exploring.
To view all of these architectural gems, it may be worth booking yourself onto a guided tour of the city, as there’s so much to see and learn that it can be hard to organise without help. Walking tours are a great way to explore Barcelona, and will offer a thorough explanation of the architecture, plenty of good stories and some discounted entrances to help keep you within your budget.