Archives for posts with tag: Barcelona

Antoni Gaudí

temploI visited Barcelona in January, 2016. Among the most striking things in Barcelona is the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. He disdained straight lines, and thus impressed a style in Barcelona that is unmistakeable.

Barcelona is a well-known destination for travelers who wish to have a good mix of fun and culture in a modern setting. Knitted in this unmistakable urban fabric you will some unusual and well-known buildings of a single architect named Antoni Gaudí. His unique approach to the Art Nouveau movement generated some of the most creative buildings you will see in this Spanish region known as Cataluña. The pin shown was obtained at The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família.

Genius inspires genius. The Art Nouveau style is evident everywhere. So is the desire to experiment. The building seen at the left is almost an optical illusion. What appears to be two buildings of different styles is really three buildings. The central building is the narrowest building in Barcelona, and the narrowest building I’ve ever seen.

Even if you don’t know anything about architecture or Gaudí, when you walk the streets of Barcelona you will intuitively be able to identify a Gaudí building –they are unmistakable. So, if you’re interested in experiencing an unusual Barcelona, you should take a look at 10 of the most important buildings designed by Gaudí:

narrow-house

  1. Casa Vicens

This is Gaudí’s first important building. Built between 1883 and 1888, Casa Vicens is an imaginative residential project made for a wealthy family that owned a ceramic factory. This is clearly reflected in the “trencadis” façade that contains a significant variety of ceramic decorations. You can also see some Islamic architecture influences in its façade and some of its rooms.

  1. La Pedrera

This is one of Gaudí’s main residential buildings and one of the most imaginative houses in the history of architecture. This building is more sculpture than a building. The façade is a varied and harmonious mass of undulating stone that, along with its forged iron balconies, explores the irregularities of the natural world. UNESCO recognized this building as World Heritage in 1984.

  1. Parc Güell

Parc Güell was built between 1900 and 1914 and today is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. This is a garden complex that houses a series of dynamically designed buildings, including Gaudí’s house. Most buildings have the “trencadis” (surfaces covered with irregular ceramic pieces) that is characteristic of Gaudí and Art Nouveau. The colonnaded hall and the terrace with serpentine shapes are the most famous places in this park. This park is the perfect place to take a peaceful stroll while enjoying nature and looking at Gaudí’s artwork.

  1. Palau Güell

This is the palace residence of the Güell family. The exterior shows a sober façade that doesn’t resemble other projects made by Gaudí. On the other hand, the interior and the roof make up for the lack of “Gaudiesque” elements in the façade. The central living room has an unusual parabolic dome, and the lounge ceiling is perforated by circles that, under the daylight, give the ceiling a planetarium appearance. The roof counts with chimneys and conical vents resembling fir trees.

  1. Colonia Güell

Gaudí designed this irregular oval church and crypt in 1898 and finished its construction in 1914. The interior of the crypt has five aisles: a central one and two more at each side. The original Gaudí columns with various forms are present inside and outside. The windows jut out over the walls, and in the upper part of the door a ceramic composition show the four cardinal virtues. The crypt is built in basaltic stone bricks with mosaics that give an archaic appearance. The construction techniques used here laid the foundation of the techniques employed in La Sagrada Familia.

  1. El Drac de Gaudí at Finca Güell

Finca Güell is a significant property of one of Gaudí’s biggest client, Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, the count of Güell. But what’s interesting is not so much the complex, is its entrance iron gate. The complex is composed of two buildings linked by a common monumental cast iron gate adorned with Art Nouveau vegetal fantasies and a medallion with the “G” of Güell. The most astonishing feature is its unusual big iron dragon manufactured by the locksmith’s Vallet i Piquer.

  1. Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló is the result of a total restoration in 1904 of an old conventional house built in 1877. Gaudí used for it the typical constructive elements of the Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau) that include ceramics, stone, and forged iron. Even though it was highly criticized by the city during construction due to its radical design that broke all the bylaws of the city, in 1906 the Barcelona City Council awarded it the recognition of being one of the three best buildings of the year.

  1. Casa Calvet

Casa Calvet was built between 1898 and 1900 for the Calvets, a family of textile industrialists. This is Gaudi’s most conventional work. The stone facade reflects Baroque influences, along with its bay windows, sculptural decoration, and interior decorations. The shape of the balconies can be seen as a forerunner to shapes used at Casa Batlló, where Gaudí turned much more to the inspiration of nature. The roof is topped with two pediments, each supporting a wrought iron cross. They are surrounded by various pieces of stone ornamentation and crowned with statues of San Genis and Saint Peter – Calvets saints.

  1. La Sagrada Familia

This is the most famous of Gaudí’s works. This church has been in construction since 1892, and it’s not expected to be finished until 2030. The church presents an excellent depiction of the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture and façade sculptures. Climbing one of its towers will give you a unique view of Barcelona. Take the audio tour, is very informative and it’s well worth it. Also, due to its popularity, long queues are to be expected, so you can skip the line by going with any of these tours.

  1. Cascada Fountain at Park de la Ciutadella

The Cascada was designed by Josep Fontseré in 1881, specifically for the universal exhibition in 1888, with young Gaudí as an assistant. The inspiration for the Cascada was the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. It is located in Barcelona’s most famous park – Park de la Ciutadella.

As you can see, Gaudí’s architecture is full of unusual and unexpected characteristics that are not seen in other buildings, let alone other cities in the world. It’s no surprise why this architect’s works make great sightseeing destinations that without any doubt will create an impression on you.

AT SEA

I left Rome in early January and sailed around the Mediterranean. My final stop was Barcelona. All during this time I was running online courses for Angelo State University. To prove I was at work, I am including this picture of me in my stateroom.

Location: 25-E1

I visited Barcelona in January, 2016. Among the most striking things in Barcelona is the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. He disdained straight lines, and thus impressed a style in Barcelona that is unmistakeable.

Barcelona is a well-known destination for travelers who wish to have a good mix of fun and culture in a modern setting. Knitted in this unmistakable urban fabric you will some unusual and well-known buildings of a single architect named Antoni Gaudí. His unique approach to the Art Nouveau movement generated some of the most creative buildings you will see in this Spanish region known as Cataluña. The pin shown was obtained at The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família.

Genius inspires genius. The Art Nouveau style is evident everywhere. So is the desire to experiment. The building seen at the left is almost an optical illusion. What appears to be two buildings of different styles is really three buildings. The central building is the narrowest building in Barcelona, and the narrowest building I’ve ever seen.

Even if you don’t know anything about architecture or Gaudí, when you walk the streets of Barcelona you will intuitively be able to identify a Gaudí building –they are unmistakable. So, if you’re interested in experiencing an unusual Barcelona, you should take a look at 10 of the most important buildings designed by Gaudí:

  1. Casa Vicens

This is Gaudí’s first important building. Built between 1883 and 1888, Casa Vicens is an imaginative residential project made for a wealthy family that owned a ceramic factory. This is clearly reflected in the “trencadis” façade that contains a significant variety of ceramic decorations. You can also see some Islamic architecture influences in its façade and some of its rooms.

  1. La Pedrera

This is one of Gaudí’s main residential buildings and one of the most imaginative houses in the history of architecture. This building is more sculpture than a building. The façade is a varied and harmonious mass of undulating stone that, along with its forged iron balconies, explores the irregularities of the natural world. UNESCO recognized this building as World Heritage in 1984.

  1. Parc Güell

Parc Güell was built between 1900 and 1914 and today is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. This is a garden complex that houses a series of dynamically designed buildings, including Gaudí’s house. Most buildings have the “trencadis” (surfaces covered with irregular ceramic pieces) that is characteristic of Gaudí and Art Nouveau. The colonnaded hall and the terrace with serpentine shapes are the most famous places in this park. This park is the perfect place to take a peaceful stroll while enjoying nature and looking at Gaudí’s artwork.

  1. Palau Güell

This is the palace residence of the Güell family. The exterior shows a sober façade that doesn’t resemble other projects made by Gaudí. On the other hand, the interior and the roof make up for the lack of “Gaudiesque” elements in the façade. The central living room has an unusual parabolic dome, and the lounge ceiling is perforated by circles that, under the daylight, give the ceiling a planetarium appearance. The roof counts with chimneys and conical vents resembling fir trees.

  1. Colonia Güell

Gaudí designed this irregular oval church and crypt in 1898 and finished its construction in 1914. The interior of the crypt has five aisles: a central one and two more at each side. The original Gaudí columns with various forms are present inside and outside. The windows jut out over the walls, and in the upper part of the door a ceramic composition show the four cardinal virtues. The crypt is built in basaltic stone bricks with mosaics that give an archaic appearance. The construction techniques used here laid the foundation of the techniques employed in La Sagrada Familia.

  1. El Drac de Gaudí at Finca Güell

Finca Güell is a significant property of one of Gaudí’s biggest client, Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, the count of Güell. But what’s interesting is not so much the complex, is its entrance iron gate. The complex is composed of two buildings linked by a common monumental cast iron gate adorned with Art Nouveau vegetal fantasies and a medallion with the “G” of Güell. The most astonishing feature is its unusual big iron dragon manufactured by the locksmith’s Vallet i Piquer.

  1. Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló is the result of a total restoration in 1904 of an old conventional house built in 1877. Gaudí used for it the typical constructive elements of the Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau) that include ceramics, stone, and forged iron. Even though it was highly criticized by the city during construction due to its radical design that broke all the bylaws of the city, in 1906 the Barcelona City Council awarded it the recognition of being one of the three best buildings of the year.

  1. Casa Calvet

Casa Calvet was built between 1898 and 1900 for the Calvets, a family of textile industrialists. This is Gaudi’s most conventional work. The stone facade reflects Baroque influences, along with its bay windows, sculptural decoration, and interior decorations. The shape of the balconies can be seen as a forerunner to shapes used at Casa Batlló, where Gaudí turned much more to the inspiration of nature. The roof is topped with two pediments, each supporting a wrought iron cross. They are surrounded by various pieces of stone ornamentation and crowned with statues of San Genis and Saint Peter – Calvets saints.

  1. La Sagrada Familia

This is the most famous of Gaudí’s works. This church has been in construction since 1892, and it’s not expected to be finished until 2030. The church presents an excellent depiction of the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture and façade sculptures. Climbing one of its towers will give you a unique view of Barcelona. Take the audio tour, is very informative and it’s well worth it. Also, due to its popularity, long queues are to be expected, so you can skip the line by going with any of these tours.

  1. Cascada Fountain at Park de la Ciutadella

The Cascada was designed by Josep Fontseré in 1881, specifically for the universal exhibition in 1888, with young Gaudí as an assistant. The inspiration for the Cascada was the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. It is located in Barcelona’s most famous park – Park de la Ciutadella.

As you can see, Gaudí’s architecture is full of unusual and unexpected characteristics that are not seen in other buildings, let alone other cities in the world. It’s no surprise why this architect’s works make great sightseeing destinations that without any doubt will create an impression on you.

AT SEA

working-at-seaI left Rome in early January and sailed around the Mediterranean. My final stop was Barcelona. All during this time I was running online courses for Angelo State University. To prove I was at work, I am including this picture of me in my stateroom.

Location: 25-E1

Sagrada Familia

gaudi-temple-barcelonaI got this pin in Barcelona at the Sagrada Famlia in January 2016.

The stunning La Sagrada Família is a must-see for any tourist passing through Barcelona. The towering, still-under-construction basilica is beloved architect Antoni Gaudí’s most celebrated work. The building of this ornamental wonder began in 1882 and is currently ongoing. Though it is the most visited monument in Spain, welcoming more than three million visitors each year, La Sagrada Família is still very much a place of worship—so much so that Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church in 2010. The Temple holds Sunday mass once every couple of months, and there are special visiting hours for The Chapel of the Holy Sacrament and Penitence, which is reserved for prayer.

Whether you visit La Sagrada Família to take in its intricate and fascinating design, or as part of a holy pilgrimage, it is truly a wonder to behold. Below are 9 things you might not have heard about Spain’s ultimate attraction.

  1. The first completed facade is titled The Birth of Christ and within this facade are three portals: “The Portal of Hope,” “The Portal of Mercy,” and “The Portal of Faith.” The faces on “The Portal of Mercy” are actually sculpted from the death masks of diseased Barcelona citizens, as well as builders of La Sagrada Família—it was Gaudí’s way of paying tribute to these people.
  2. La Sagrada Família will take longer to complete than the Egyptian pyramids. It started in 1882 and is hoped to be completed in 2026 (the centennial of Gaudí’s death), though it might not be finished until as late as 2040. The Great Pyramid, by comparison, only took 20 years.
  3. The project was first commissioned for Francisco Del Vilar by the Spiritual Association of Devotees of Saint Joseph. He built the crypt, but after creative disagreements he dropped the site and it was passed over to Gaudí.
  4. Gaudí disliked straight lines and angles because they don’t often appear naturally. Instead, he based his design on the swirling curves of nature.
  5. There is endless natural symbolism within La Sagrada Família. The interior structure is supported by large pillars that look like trees. One pillar has a turtle at its base, and another a tortoise in order to show the balance between land and sea.
  6. Gaudí didn’t just use the natural world for inspiration; he used it to develop architectural techniques. Gaudí analyzed plants, animals, and geothermal formations to see how they naturally supported shapes and weight. The orbit of the stars was used to design the helicoidal columns.
  7. Gaudí believed that no man-made object should be constructed higher than the work of God. Therefore, La Sagrada Família, when completed, will tower at 170 meters (560 ft), which was intended to be one meter less than Barcelona’s highest point, Montjuïc hill.
  8. In 1936, a group of anarchists and revolutionaries set fire to the crypt and destroyed the workshop which contained all of the plans and models—thankfully a scarce few were saved.
  9. The holy place was built to be seen from all points of the city. It has glass mosaics at its highest points, which when reflected by sun or moonlight act as beacons to guide seafarers home.

Location: 25-D1

Barcelona, Spain (2)

barcelona-spain-3Another pin from the Hard Rock Cafe in Barcelona. I am NO fan of rock music, but I love the atmosphere of Hard Rock Cafes around the world. My hotel was not far from the Plaça de Catalunya (Catalan language) meaning in English “Catalonia Square”; sometimes referred to as Plaza de Cataluña, its Spanish name. The Square is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city center and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built city meet.

Some of the city’s most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça Catalunya. The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square meters. It is especially known for itsplaca-de-catalunya fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona’s most popular attractions, and for the flocks of pigeons that gather in the center. January weather was not bad and the tourist population seems to be very small compared to the favorite tourist months.

Location: 25-B1

Barcelona Cathedral

templo-expiatorio-de-la-sagrada-familiaThe Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família; Spanish: Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia; English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family) is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). I visited here in January, 2016.

Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral, which must be the seat of a bishop.

Construction of Sagrada Família commenced in 1882 by architect Francisco Paula de Villar with Gaudí becoming involved in 1883 after Francisco resigned as the head architect. Taking over the project, Gaudí transformed it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete.

Sagrada Familia’s construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí’s death.

The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona: over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona’s cathedral, over Gaudí’s design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí’s death disregarded his design, and the 2007 proposal to build an underground tunnel of Spain’s high-speed rail link to France which could disturb its stability. Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said, “It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art”[12] and Paul Goldberger describes it as, “The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.”

Location: 25-A2barcelona-cathedral-picbarcelona-cathedral

Barcelona, Spain

barcelona-spainI got this pin in Barcelona, Spain in January 2016. I enjoyed a pulled pork sandwich at the Hard Rock Cafe there. Barcelona is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in the Kingdom of Spain, as well as the country’s second most populous municipality, with a population of 1.6 million within city limits. I was surprised to learn that it is illegal to post signs in Spanish. The permitted language is Caltalon.

Barcelona’s urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 meters (1,680 ft) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative center of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural center and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí (more on that later) and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic center in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial center. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; it is leading Spain in both employment rate and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europe’s third and one of the world’s most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe’s fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, but it has since been in a full recession with declines in both employment and GDP per capita, with some recent signs of the beginning of an economic recovery. Since 2011 Barcelona is a leading smart city in Europe. Barcelona is a transport hub with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe’s principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles above 40 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.

Location: 25-A1