When handing Antoni Gaudí his degree, Elies Rogent, director of Barcelona Architecture School, said: “We have given this academic title either to a fool or a genius. Time will show”. And time has shown that the master Gaudí has been able to produce, throughout his career, a body of crazy and absolutely splendid works of genius. Let’s talk here to the basic ones, the most important Gaudi buildings in Barcelona.
Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Continuing your walk up towards the Gracia neighborhood and Park Güell, on the other side of the luxurious sidewalks of Passeig de Gràcia you will find the mighty Casa Milá, called Pedrera (the quarry) by the Barcelonians because of its resemblance to a stone quarry. Like many other works of genius, la Pedrera was not very much appreciated by its contemporaries, being considered too bold and too daring and too “weird”. Many landowners in the neighborhood got very angry at Mr. Milá, the owner and commissioner of the work, because they feared that such a “monster” would have a negative impact on the real estate price of the area.
Nowadays, La Pedrera is a private residential building, but all the most important sections of it are completely open to the public. One of the best experiences to have in Barcelona is without a doubt a visit to the rooftop, a very special place with a unique and surreal ambiance. The famous Gaudi’s “warrior chimneys” and the curving stairs that go up and down the winding, elastic shape of the Pedrera house will amaze you.
And if you plan to come to Barcelona during the summer, enhance the Pedrera visit with the fantastic video mapping show that uses the rooftop and the Pedrera itself as a canvas for spectacular projections under the Barcelona summer stars!
The Casa Batlló is one of the most famous Gaudi houses of Barcelona, and together with La Pedrera, it’s one of the most visited and appreciated monuments in the city. It represents the pinnacle of Catalan modernist style in the peculiar fashion that only a genius like Gaudi could forge from an established style like Art Nouveau. Walking up from Catalunya Square along the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, the Batlló house will definitely catch your eye, already probably delighted by the classy beauty of the adjacent houses, masterpieces of the Modernist era themselves. You’ll feel obligated to linger outside on the sidewalk, just observing Gaudi’s architectural inventions that make this house so great and original. House of Bones, a nickname given to the house by the locals, because the rooftop is reminiscent the spine bone of a dragon, a very special and recurrent animal in the city imagery. The roof itself is completely adorned with trencadís, the spectacular mosaic-style decoration technique widely used by Gaudi to obtain his signature effect of decoration. One of the most exciting experiences is to visit the Casa Batlló from the inside and also the open rooftop. Not only will you be able to enjoy a splendid view over the roofs of central Barcelona, you’ll also be able to observe from up close all those beautiful details this house is famous for. And of course the interior, with its noble floor and the attic, will allow you to dive into the imagination and feel how it might have been to be the owner of this incredible house. An augmented reality experience, included in the Casa Batlló ticket, will help you in this task!
Palau Güell (Güell Palace)
Designed to be the main residence of Catalan tycoon Eusebi Güell, this wonderful palazzo is located just a few meters off La Rambla, a short walk from the Liceu Theatre and the famous port with the Columbus statue towering over it. It was built between 1886 and 1888 and displays a stunning double entrance in wrought iron and magnificent interior design and furniture.
Palau Güell is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful residential buildings in central Barcelona. An interesting fact: right across the street, on the other side of Las Ramblas, you will find the famous Plaça Reial calling you with its vibrating ambiance, its cafès, terraces and restaurants. But, pay attention to the highly decorative lamp posts! Yes, those humble servants of public street illumination were Gaudí’s very first assignment as a young architect!