Architecture In Barcelona Is More Than Gaudi

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Walking in Barcelona

Architecture in Barcelona

One of the great joys of walking through Barcelona is discovering the great architecture that the city’s grand boulevards have to offer. Whenever you look up on one of the main streets in the city’s grid-like “new town”, you will not need laser eye surgery to be sure to see something interesting.

"an example of architecture in Barcelona - an interesting building demonstrating the architecture in Barcelona along a boulevard in Barcelona"

Barcelona’s extension from its old medieval core which started in the mid 19th century – in the wake of the city’s economic success – coincided with a period of turmoil in the arts and culture which is also reflected in the architecture in Barcelona.

This was the period of Wagnerian excess …

"A Wagnerian excess expressed in architecture in Barcelona"

"A Wagnerian excess expressed in architecture in Barcelona"

… of Art Nouveau …

"architecture in Barcelona - art nouveau building in Barcelona"

"Art nouveau building in Barcelona"

… and a great willingness to integrate exotic influences into local architecture …

"An exotic building in Barcelona"

… but it was, at the same time, a period when many artists across Europe were searching for truly “national” modes of expression. In Barcelona, the national style of choice was dubbed “Catalan Modernism”…

… a movement that was to find its greatest proponent in Antoni Gaudi …

"Gaudi's Casa Batlló in Barcelona"

"Gaudi's Casa Mila in Barcelona"

… who eventually used this style as a springboard to something more daring and more eccentric than anything the other “Catalan Modernists” would have been willing to undertake in the movement’s heyday before WWI.

"The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona"

Of course, not everything you can see on Passeig de Gracia and the surrounding boulevards is great art …

"A not very artistic building in Barcelona"

… but it does not have to be – as long as it is puzzling, amusing or amazing.

And there is always something which is one – or the other.

"A not very artistic building in Barcelona"

Just keep your eyes up!

Want to find out another Barcelona architectural secret? Read it HERE.

In early February this year, we were in Barcelona as guests of the budget Spanish airline Vueling and the award-winning Indie Internet radio station ScannerFM for the #MyVuelingCity bloggers meet.

10 comments to Architecture In Barcelona Is More Than Gaudi

  • Luke

    Oh! My beautiful Barcelona! I could spend days just walking around! Nice photos!

  • Gorgeous pictures. A visit to Barcelona always brings new delights, and especially in architecture. I honestly can’t think of anywhere else to compare. Although the name Gaudí is synonymous with the city, I agree there is so much more. Last time I “discovered” the Palau de la Música, although the entrance fee was prohibitive (and anyway, apparently, photos aren’t allowed), so spent an age photographing the outside. Love these. You make me want to go back, right now!

  • Debbie, you would love Barcelona. As to Gaudi, you are not obliged to like his style.

  • The architecture of Barcelona is so diverse! I would love to see it for myself although I’m not sure what my reaction to Gaudi will be. I loved all of the pictures you shared though.

  • I am just in love with the architecture of Barcelona my friends. You’ve captured the ornamental facades in such perfect detail…I must add these stops to my bucket list!!

  • I am so excited that next month I will be able to see this beautiful architecture first hand. Thanks for the preview :)

  • Such a beautiful city! Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world, and the reason for it is the architecture. Not only Gaudi, there are so many masterpieces of the contemporary architecture as well, for example the bridge of Santiago Calatrava. But of course, the character of the city was designed by master Gaudi.

  • I have many of the same photos – and loved all the architecture in Barcelona. And you really do have to keep looking up.

  • Jeremy Branham

    Gaudi had a huge influence on the style of architecture. Trying to remember what I learned there, I believe that most of the architecture there is a unique take on Art Nouveau. However, I didn’t realize the name for this style was Catalan Modernism. So even though there is more than Gaudi (GASP!), there is no doubt the influence he had on the city.

  • Alexander

    Great information! I love your blog! You always post interesting things!

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