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You cannot visit Barcelona without seeing the whimsical architectural feats from Antoni Gaudi, the pioneer of Catalan Modernism. His architecture has had such an important impact on the 19th and 20th century that many of his structures have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While in this part of Spain, you need to make it a goal to see as many of these Gaudi landmarks in Barcelona as you can.
We do suggest that if you are planning to visit the various Gaudi sites in Barcelona that you consider the Barcelona Card. It will save you significantly and allows you to bypass the lines.
Gaudi Landmarks in Barcelona You Should See
Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera is built of stone with twisting wrought iron balconies. The design of Casa Milà combines elements of nature into his building with bright courtyards and natural light. Casa Milà has nine levels with three areas are open to tour: the attic with his trademark arches; the rooftop of chimneys towering from the floor; and an apartment.
Just a bit down the street is the Casa Batlló, another Gaudi architectural masterpiece. The Casa Amatller, designed by Josep Puig, the Casa Lleó Morera, by Domènech i Montaner, together with the adjacent Casa Batlló, designed by Gaudí are part of a larger set of buildings known as the block of discord. It is so-named because the buildings sitting side by side are each very different with sharply contrasting styles.
The exterior of Casa Batlló was inspired by the Mediterranean sea. This dragon-like building was a rebuild of a previous building. Gaudi added the new facade, added levels and transformed the living space.
Sagrada Família is the symbol of Barcelona and probably the most important of the Gaudi Landmarks in Barcelona. Under construction since 1882, Gaudi was unable to see it come to full completion (it won’t be finished until 2026). Lucky for us, the architects and builders have remained consistent to his vision and his work and have kept true to his design.
Both the interior and exterior of this Cathedral are a work of symbolic art. The basilica has three monumental façades that represent the life of Christ: his birth (Carrer Marina), the passion(Carrer Sardenya), and his resurrection (Carrer Mallorca). You will also notice four towers on each façade which represent the 12 Apostles.
The interior is spectacular. You will be mesmerized by the stained glass and natural lighting that bounce from each wall. Gaudí’s columns seem to rise from the ground and then branch outward like trees above you.
The apse is built directly over the crypt and crowned by a huge dome. The natural light that directly streams down from above makes it appear like Jesus is ascending to heaven.
Palau Güell, rests just off the Rambla. This mansion designed by Gaudí was built for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell. Available for tour, the interior design features wooden coffered ceilings with parabolic arches (which you see in his later architectural designs). On the roof, you will find 20 sculptural chimneys decorated with broken pieces of ceramic tile, stone, marble and stained glass.
Parc Güell was commissioned by Güell. He wanted Gaudi to create an outdoor sanctuary for the elite of Barcelona. This park is one of the most important Gaudi landmarks in Barcelona. As you climb the stairs up the hill to the terrace, you will find whimsical mosaic creatures, twisting rock pillars, cave-like rooms and the most beautiful view of the city below. On the terrace, you will find plenty of places to sit and take in the view as the entire wall is wrapped with bench-style seating.
A popular attractions found within Parc Güell is Casa Museu Gaudí (Gaudí House Museum). In 1906, Gaudí moved into this home designed by Francesc d’Assís Berenguer i Mestres, Gaudi’s friend. Inside, you will find various furniture built by Gaudi.
Casa Vicens is Gaudi’s first work (1883). This four-story building’s brickwork and colorful Moorish tiles are quintessential Gaudi. For many years it was a private residence and in 2005 it was declared a Unesco World Heritage site. In 2017, it opened to the public after being restored to its original state based on archival research.
Torre Bellesguard. Inspired by the medieval castle of Martin I, Gaudí built this manor house as a blend of Art Nouveau and Gothic style atop the ruins of the 15th century medieval palace. Again, you will find this stately estate filled with color and imagery that Gaudi is known for. You may tour both the home and the estate. Tours are both self guided and full guided depending on your desire.
Cripta de la Colonia Güell was built as a place for the locals of the village of Santa Coloma de Cervello to worship. This crypt has twisted columns that seem to defy the laws of physics and served as a way for Gaudi to test designs he would later use in Sagrada Familia. While this site is just outside of Barcelona, I feel like it is close enough to add to the list if you are a real Gaudi fan. Self guided tours are available.
If you are a fan of Gaudi architecture ( I can’t imagine anyone who isn’t) then you are going to love exploring all the Gaudi landmarks in Barcelona. Many are within walking distance to each other, so be sure to download this Gaudi Landmark map!
Have you seen any of these Gaudi Landmarks in Barcelona? Do you have a favorite?