Must-See Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona

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Must-See Gaudi Buildings in Barcelona

Have you ever heard of Antoni Gaudi? If you’re staying with us in Barcelona, you soon will. Sometimes referred to as ‘God’s Architect’, several of his buildings have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Sagrada Familia – still incomplete after over a century’s worth of work! Unique, often imitated and yet utterly unmatched, Gaudi’s style helped to shape an entire generation’s way of thinking about architecture (and it continues to have a profound impact today!). Our guide compiles some of the most beautiful Gaudi buildings in Barcelona, which you simply must visit during your stay with Generator.

 

Cascada Fountain at Parc de la Ciutadella

Parc de la Ciutadella, Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

Though strictly speaking not a building, the fountain at Ciutadella Park is one of Gaudi’s very first projects. Designed by Josep Fontseré in 1881, specifically for the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition, a young Gaudi was his assistant during the construction phase. Drawing inspiration from Rome’s famous Trevi Fountain, it features several sculptures of horses as well as mythical creatures and beings; among these figures is a statue of Venus standing on an open clam, contributed by Venanci Vallmitjana. Having been exposed to a wide variety of talent even as he was just beginning to design under his own name, the Cascada Fountain is where you’ll see Gaudi start showing signs of true promise.

 

Casa Milá (La Pedrera)

Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain

Popularly known as La Pedrera or ‘The Stone Quarry’ (a reference to its unconventional rough-hewn appearance), Casa Milá is the last private residence Gaudi ever designed. Built between 1906 and 1912, this is not only one of his pain projects but also one of the most imaginative houses in the entire history of architecture. It’s definitely more of a sculpture than a building. The varied façade is one harmonious mass of undulating stone and forged-iron balconies (based on kelp and coral incrustation) that explores the irregularities of the natural world. And if you look closely enough inside its spectacular roof terrace, you’ll see a series of sculpted and decorated skylights, staircase exits, chimneys, and vents that only enhance the building’s outstanding technical and aesthetic attributes. From the basement to the roof, Casa Milá is a true work of art.

 

Casa Batlló

Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

The remodel of a previously built house, Casa Batlló is one of Gaudi’s prettiest creations. Using the typical constructive elements of the Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau), which include ceramics, stone, and forged iron, he synthesises animal shapes, vine-like curves, hints of bone and skeleton, and lustrous coloured bits of glazed ceramic and glass to create a masterpiece that will forever astonish its observers. The roof is even said to resemble a dragon! Despite being highly criticised during construction, Barcelona City Council awarded Casa Batlló the recognition of being one of the three best buildings of the year in 1906. It’s a powerful testament not only to Gaudi’s skill, but also his self-belief.

 

Parc Güell

08024 Barcelona, Spain

One of the most stunning green spaces in all of Barcelona, Gaudi never intended the Parc Güell to be an actual park! Instead, it was designed as a modern housing estate modelled on British garden cities, in collaboration with his patron at the time: Eusebi Güell. Here Gaudi perfected his personal style, which was greatly inspired by organic shapes (the architect’s naturalist phase). Housing a series of dynamically aesthetic buildings – including Gaudi’s own home! – perhaps the most famous structures in the park are its collonaded hall and serpentine-styled terrace. Check out the famous Parc Güell when you stay in Barcelona with Generator.





 

El Drac de Gaudí at Finca Güell

Av. de Pedralbes, 7, 08034 Barcelona, Spain

A significant property of Eusebi Güell, Gaudi’s patron, what’s interesting about Finca Güell is not so much the complex itself; it’s the iron gate at its entrance. Representing the mythical dragon from the Garden of the Hesperides – the location of one of Hercules’ toils – its wrought-iron grille spreads menacing bat-like wings while at the same time displaying a forked tongue. This stunning piece was manufactured by locksmith Ramon Vallet i Piquer, to Gaudi’s express instructions. It’s a remarkable sight to behold, whether you’re an architecture aficionado or not.

 

Casa Calvet

Carrer Sant Marc, 57, 08253 El Calvet, Barcelona, Spain

Built during the final two years of the twentieth century for a family of textile industrialists, architects and scholars agree that Casa Calvet is the most conventional of all Gaudi’s works. There’s no doubt that Gaudi had to play it cool with this one; squeezed between several older structures and located in one of Barcelona’s most elegant neighbourhoods, he couldn’t afford to take too many risks. Still, that doesn’t make it any less impressive! The stone façade reflects Baroque influences, along with its bay windows, sculptural decoration, and interior decorations. And while balance, symmetry, and orderly rhythm are unusual for Gaudi’s style, they certainly all do a fine job here.

 

Colonia Güell

Carrer Claudi Güell, 6, 08690 Santa Coloma de Cervelló, Barcelona, Spain

During your stay in Barcelona with Generator, make sure you pay homage to the great man himself at his beautifully designed crypt at Colonia Güell. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, Gaudi’s crypt perfectly represents his iconic modernist style, featuring vibrant colours, leaning pillars, and catenary arches. And as one of the most pioneering purpose-built industrial villages of the 19th century, Colonia Güell is nothing short of exquisite. Unfortunately, after Güell lost profits from his business, construction was halted in 1914, with only the crypt completed. In a way, it is a rough precursor of the iconic Sagrada Familia. And a fitting resting place for both Gaudi and his legend.

 

Sagrada Familia

Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain

And now, the piece-de-resistance: Sagrada Familia. If architecture’s your thing, head to this magnificent building as soon as you can. It is, unquestionably, the most famous of Gaudi’s works – his masterpiece. Under construction since 1892, and not expected to be finished until 2026 – to commemorate the centenary of Gaudi’s death – he transformed the project from a typical cathedral to the pride and joy we know today. It doesn’t matter where you start; the space is expansive, dynamic, and yes, more than enough to keep you enthralled during your stay in Barcelona with Generator.


For travellers who wish to have a good mix of fun and culture in a modern setting, there’s nowhere better than Barcelona. But knitted within this unmistakably urban fabric, you don’t need to look very far to find and enjoy a plethora of gorgeous Gaudi buildings whilst you’re here.