Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator. –Antonio Gaudi
There is a long list of things the Catalonian region (Barcelona, Spain) has given to the world: amazing paella, an incredible football team, and one of the greatest modernismo architects: Antonio Gaudi.
We are going to take you on a visual day tour of the greatest Gaudi masterpieces in Barcelona. You are going to see futuristic designs, wild abandoned whimsy and holy edifices that rival the best of Rome!
First off a little primer on Gaudi:
The most famous architect of the 20th century was born in Rues (or just outside, depending on what account you believe) in the Tarragona providence of Catalonia, 50 miles south of Barcelona. After enduring a childhood troubled by rheumatism, the son of two coppersmiths travelled to the Catalan capital to enroll as a student at the Escola Technica Superrior d’Arguitectura where he duly studied from 1873 to 1877. Even his professors did not quite know what to make of his work, and when he was awarded the title of architect in 1878, Elies Rogent, the director of the school, declared: “Who knows if we have given this diploma to a nut or to a genius? Time will tell.” http://www.barcelona-life.com
Lets start our tour!
One of Gaudi’s wealthy patrons wanted to build a par for the blue bloods of Barcelona. He wanted to build a gates community before the advent of gated communities. He wanted a park setting with fountains, dramatic vistas and swanky amenities. Gaudi was up for the challenge.
Park Guell sits atop a gentle hill with views of the city, the sea and another piece of Gaudi’s handiwork the Sagrada Famila.
Today you can stroll through the park setting and take in some amazing vistas.
Casa Mila-La Pedrera
At the top of the mighty tough fare Las Ramblas is the Modernismo masterpiece, La Pedrera. La Pedrera means The Quarry. It is the precious gem of Barcelona. The apartment complex was commissioned with money made in America by married couple Roser Segimon and Pere Mila.
The address quickly became the pinnacle of success. The façade of the building reflects the rolling waves of the sea.
Perhaps the most photographed part of the structure with its unique statues and fireplace chimneys.
Gaudi has been nicknamed, “God’s Architect”. While this might be a little presumptuous, one cannot argue his dedication to integrate what he say in Creation with a capital C into his creations with a little c.
The construction of the Sagrada Familia predates Gaudi’s involvement. It began its construction in 1882. Shortly there after, Gaudi was brought in and completely transformed the scope and design of the project. Gaudi employ his skills building the cathedral until his untimely death in 1926. At his passing the building was a little over 25% complete. The Sagrada Familia is still a work in progress. Gaudi’s grand vision outstripped his lifetime’s devotion to building.
When objections were raised as to the extended completion date of the Sagrada Famila, Gaudi said:
“Don’t worry, my client isn’t in a hurry.”
Since then the project has been on again off again. It is projected that the completion date will be around 2026 the centennial of Gaudi’s death.
Gaudi’s work is on full display in beautiful Barcelona. Don’t miss it!