Not many friends of mine know that I have certain interest in architecture. I once wanted to be an architect. But, my physics score in high school was not good enough to lead me there. As the result, I’m happy just to adore them by the picture. If you ever found me in the bookstore, you’ll find me sitting in the architecture corner, drowning with catalogue of magnificent building around the world and wishing I could visit them someday.
Antonio Gaudi is one of mankind that successfully brought a breakthrough to architecture world. He was part of the Catalan Modernista movement, eventually transcending it with his nature-based organic style. His brilliant work could pull over million of people come to Barcelona, including me.
That what brings me to put Barcelona in my itinerary. Besides, I’ve been more curious about Gaudi’s masterpiece since I watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I got a feeling I will love the city – I mean, you can tell from it’s name, right? It somehow got a sexy rhyme – to me, at least. Hence, I was planning to have 2 or 3 days in Barcelona, take a slow pace exploring the city. But unfortunately none of the flight schedule matched my next destination to Morocco. Either I need to leave on the day I arrive or 5 days after to catch flight to Fes, Morocco. Holy Crap – I mean Crab! Sad to say I ended up with first choice.
I only had 12 hours to spend in Barcelona until my next flight to Fes, Marocco. So I tried to focus on 4 Gaudi’s major building – Parc Guell, Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and I also wanted to visit the famous Las Ramblas at the Gothic Quarter.
When the time reached 9 am, I jetted myself onto a subway to Parc Guell which then I realised I need to take another bus to go up there. I was hoping my early morning attendance will be a bit private – I was wrong. But at least I didn’t need to be in the long line at the ticket box. For much effective and efficient reason, it’s suggested to buy the ticket online – it’s cheaper and more importantly, you can skip the crazy line.
Parc Guell obviously satisfied my architecture crave. The building and all the ornament were perfectly carved and built on top of a hill surrounded by a park. It was designed as a garden city project and built in 1900 – 1914 and remains the most playful and colourful Gaudi’s artwork.
I spent 2,5 hours here to get to every corner of the park, it was just so relaxing to see the green garden with a great artwork in between, added with Barcelona skyline view from above.
My second hop was Sagrada Familia. A church that first constructed in 1882 by the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano, which then took over by Gaudi from 1883 until his death in 1926. He did a massive redesign on the church with his gothic and art nouveau style, yet up to his death the construction only completed about 20%. There has been 7 successor continued on his work until now that it finally reach 70% of completion, and expecting will be done by 2026. Can you imagine, it’s more than 1 century!
So the tales is true – Sagrada Familia is such a massively breathtaking and phenomenal artwork. No kidding – I had a goosebumps when I stood in front of the building. Hat’s off to Gaudi, he’s a real genius! Unfortunately, I got there at around noon which has made the entrance line far from friendly. I took some time to cherish its beauty before heading to the next one.
Casa Mila – La Pedrera, built in 1906 – 1912. It became the fourth and final work Gaudí did on Passeig de Gràcia, the main avenue of the city at the time and happened to be bourgeois residential area. It was owned by the wealthy businessman that appointed Gaudi as the architect of his family home with apartments for rent. Such a beauty!
Casa Batllo is located in distance to Casa Mila. A textile businessman bought a house on Passeig de Gràcia, due to it centralised location. Then, in 1906 he hired Gaudi to do a total renovation on his new home. The facade is decorated with a colourful mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles and the roof is arched was likened to the back of a dragon – which is very cool!
At 3 pm, I found myself in the middle of busy street of Las Ramblas. I liked this spot so much, people were everywhere, the market, food stalls, shops, restaurants. I randomly walked through small alleys and end up at one spot to sit down and people watching! It was a good place to end my day in Barcelona.
I really wish I could stay longer, visited more Gaudi’s fascinated buildings and enjoyed a Spanish guitar jam
Maybe, next time!