Spain is an exciting country, with its fresh air, orange and yellow landscape, and many green dense forests. But besides fascinating nature, this monarchy is proud of its cities, perfectly blending Christian and Islamic architecture. On the country's east coast lies Catalonia, a land with many stories to share. The buzzy city of Barcelona is its capital, and one architect made a mark on its urban landscape. His name is Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), and here are the top ten buildings that marked his career.
10. Torre Bellesguard
This house, also known as the "Beautiful View," has stood proud since the beginning of the 20th century. Furthermore, here we can still see the development of Gaudi's unique style. Antoni got this assignment from a wealthy family, the owners of the ruins of the castle that belonged to the King of Aragon.
Knowing the importance of this heritage, Antoni tried his best to blend 15th-century architectural elements into this house. Of course, the property has Neo-gothic and Modernism details, typical of Antoni Gaudi style. The house served as a hospital for some time, but since 2013 it's open for tourist groups.
9. Casa Calvet
Architecture historians agree that this is one of Gaudi's most straightforward and conventional buildings. That's simply because the property lot is in Barcelona's already packed luxurious neighborhood. Andreu Calvet, the wealthy textile businessman, assigned Gaudi to make him a house blending a facility and a home.
However, even with the symmetrical parts, some details reveal Antoni Gaudi art style. Those are, for example, columns next to the entrance looking like stacked bobbins (which alludes to the owner's business). You can see three sculptured heads on the facade, one of the owner's father and two of the protection saints. This building isn't on the UNESCO heritage list, but it's still worth visiting and exploring!
8. El Capricho
Here we have a house built for another wealthy client, but outside Catalonia. Antoni Gaudi perfectly displays his architectural possibilities as the neo-avant-garde villa instantly became a place to visit. It has oriental elements, present in Spain since Medieval times.
Today, this villa welcomes many tourists and VIP guests in its hilly and peaceful surroundings. We always ask ourselves if those are LEGO boxes instead of bricks because it looks unrealistic! Indeed, it isn't, but the broad spectrum of colors and its unusual tower reminds us of a children's playground!
7. Casa Vicens
The 7th house on our list is Gaudi's first building in Barcelona! Antoni showed extraordinary talents on this house constructed for a wealthy Vincens family as their summer home. With a basement, two floors, and a rooftop, the villa got several adjustments over the years. Still, Antoni Gaudi works are recognized as one of the first projects kicking Modernism in Europe and Catalonia!
House had bright red, pastel blue, and white details and just the right amount of earth color elements to make it pleasurable to watch. It's the perfect combination of shapes and shades, setting a young architect into a great career. The villa has been on the UNESCO heritage list since 2005!
6. Casa Milà - La Pedrera
Also known as "The Quarry," this building is the last private structure designed by Gaudi. It has typical wavy balconies and heavy iron elements looking like they're flying. With the constant flow come the naturalistic elements, which a spectator can notice from the street.
Structurally it has several innovations, such as a self-supporting facade. Of course, if you ever get the chance to visit the house, take a walk through it and climb up to the top terrace from which you will see the rooftops of Barcelona! Since 1984 it's been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Casa Batllo
Next on our list is probably the most recognizable house by this astonishing architect, often called the House of Bones. This residential villa belongs to Modernism and Art Nouveau because of its skeletal look. The decoration of the facade gives its wow factor thanks to its curved lines and mosaics made of broken ceramic tiles!
On the inside, people can admire the genius way Antoni played with the mirror and the light. The light comes from above and is spread over many mirrors and shiny mosaics on the walls. Also, the roof is arched, which reminds many people of some dragon. This is another house put on the UNESCO heritage list in 2005.
4. Crypt of the Colonia Guell
Antoni Gaudi made a plan for a church and a crypt at the end of the 19th century. Workers never finished the chapel, but the crypt remains an important legacy of the innovative style of this Catalan architect. This client was Eusebi Guell, a wealthy Catalan entrepreneur who became a close friend and Antoni's patron. The church and the crypt are built partly on the hillside and perfectly fit the surrounding nature.
The crypt, built chiefly of bricks, reminds us of a spider with its long curved legs, yet it's fascinating and welcoming. In 2000, several architects made the place more inviting after renovation. Once again, this is part of the "Works of Antoni Gaudi," which is on the UNESCO heritage list.
3. Park Guell
Our list continues with the collaboration of Eusebi and Antoni. Their vision was all about high-quality homes, including maximum comfort provided by technological advancements. Furthermore, their artistic touch makes them even more attractive. All of it is in a natural park in the heart of Barcelona.
The park's focal point is the terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. Gaudi incorporated many motifs of local nationalism, religious elements, and ancient poetry into the project. It's a perfect getaway for many tourists who enjoy some fresh air and colorful surroundings.
2. Palau Guell
We have another structure from the collaboration of Gaudi and Guell—built during the 80s of the 19th century in the El Raval neighborhood in Barcelona. The whole house is concentrated around the main room where the important guests of Eusebi Guell would come and be entertained.
This mansion has many vivid and unique details typical of Gaudi's style, from the ground floor to the roof. For the architect, the basement represents dark and filthy Hell, where the stables for the horses were. On the other end, the roof symbolizes Heaven, as every chimney is covered in a different mosaic. It went under renovation at the beginning of the 21st century, and since then, it's completely open to the public.
1. The Nativity Facade and the Crypt of the Sagrada Familia
We finish our list with the most prominent symbol of Barcelona and Catalonia (maybe even the whole of Spain!). In 1882 the construction started under a different architect, but once he resigned, Antoni took over and made it his life's work. The most prominent part of the church are the towers ruling over the Barcelona skyline.
When Gaudi died, only a quarter of the project was finished. Not even today, the church is complete because of its very complex Art Nouveau details. People hoped to finalize Antoni Gaudi Sagrada Familia vision by 2026 (the centenary of Gaudi's death), but the date has been postponed. However, this doesn't stop a river of tourists from visiting it and climbing up the towers to see every single detail of the city!
Antoni Gaudi tragically died in his 70s, leaving us wondering how many wonderful and inspiring villas he would design. Moreover, how many plans of his have never seen the light of the day? Ultimately, we like to see his work because it makes us feel special walking in those mosaic-covered and curve-line hallways and rooms.
Which Gaudi building is your favorite? Have you seen some of them? Please share your experience with us in the comment section!
Add new Comment
Thank you for comment