Getting to know Gaudi’s Barcelona

Walking around in Barcelona was a magical experience. The alleyways made for interesting walks with lots of pretty balconies, and streets flanked with whimsical Gaudi houses and buildings – a fantasy world of colorful organic shapes!

Embarrassed to admit, but at first, I was not impressed with the modernisme architecture style…it felt different, very foreign compared to the traditional historical european form in Italy and France that displayed opulence and invoked grandeur. THIS on the other hand was more inviting, playful – and over the next three days – captivating!

We stayed in the Eixample at Hotel Cram, and started our walk with the Block of Discord – Casa Batllo and Casa Amatller 

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(A cloudy day with a forecast of torrential rain does not make for a perfect viewing of Casa Batllo)

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close-up of the window
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Casa Amatller – Built in the Moorish and Gothic style, it stands tall and distinctly different from the green-blue dragon crested facade of Casa Batllo
Close-up of the window
Close-up of the window

While the pictures may fail to impress in the daytime (cloudy day)…the night offered a completely different view!

Travel Tip: Be careful while taking pictures of the facade, the house is on the edge of a busy street with oncoming traffic, and we nearly got hit twice! Definitely make a trip at night-time as well since the lights really highlight the play of texture and form in the shadows.

Moving onto our next stop as we battled the rain – Casa Mila (aka. La Pedrera)

If we had any doubts earlier about the architecture failing to impress, THIS HOUSE most definitely changed our opinion! The level of detail and the structural complexity had us more than intrigued…

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Casa Mila – model to scale
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View of the lovely terrace – closed due to rain 😦
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The exit has a mixture of colors and textures

Travel tip: This is a definite must see, and try to go either later in the day (thin crowds). The terrace and some parts of the house are closed in the rain, so wait for a clear day if you can! The gift shop is also worth a stop as it has very cute souvenirs and books. 

And of course, saving the very best for the last – how can one not speak of the exemplary Sagrada Familia! As a continuous work of art, the Sagrada Familia is partially complete but it still takes your breath away – no matter how much you have read about it, or seen countless images in books!

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spiraling staircases that blend with the tree-like columns
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The setting sun creates a riot of colors!
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light rays streaming through the colored windows dance against the white interior

And finally a magical sight against the dark night…

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 Travel Tip: The Sagrada Familia is a definite must-see both in the day and at night – the two make for a different viewing. Time the day visit with the sunset, as the play of color against the stained windows should not be missed. 

Hope you enjoyed reading! 🙂

A&A

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