A person cannot visit Barcelona without checking out some of its most interesting architecture designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi.
The most famous site in all of Barcelona is La Sagrada Familia, so that is where we started.
This is an interesting mammoth church that began its construction in 1882. What is so interesting about it? Well, it has yet to be finished. Surrounded by cranes and scaffolding, it is a bit of a monstrosity in our eyes. It is scheduled to be complete by 2020, but we doubt they will ever finish this “work of art” 130 years in the making. Why would anyone come to see Gaudi’s finished church when they have been swarming to see his unfinished La Sagrada Familia for so long? And now why would we care to see a building finished by modern machinery and technology.
It is a mishmash of old and new. Some of its outer stones are smooth and polished while others are old and weathered after years of facing the elements. How will they blend it all together when it is done?
We checked it out anyway because the guide books and tourist information centers told us to but we didn’t love it. It is giant, it is incomplete and it is well, gaudy.
That didn’t stop us from following the Gaudi tour however. We made our way down the street to see the rest of his buildings that he designed in Barcelona.
Stopping first at La Pedrera on Carrer de Provenca.
It is about a half hour walk from La Sagrada Familia. We didn’t pay the 8 Euro each to go up to the rooftop but we did take a look at its outside façade.
I am sure that architecture lovers are aghast, but we didn’t marvel at this building either.
We pondered, “So this is where the term gaudy came from?” Antoni Gaudi defines what we think is “gaudy” in the 21st century.
Walking south to the waterfront we stopped at Casa Batllo.
You know instantly when you have arrived at a Gaudi work of art by the large crowd milling around out front.
The entrance fee for this one is 16.50 Euro! 33 Euro for two people to look at the inside of a building was a bit much for us so we skipped this one too. We could go broke looking at the works of Gaudi in Barcelona.
We are happy to view them for free from the outside thank you very much.
There were two more facades on the street Passeig de Gracia that we took a quick look at but unfortunately we just weren’t into looking at buildings.
We can appreciate the art and engineering that went into these structures but it is just not for us.
Just like climbing mountains isn’t for everyone else either.
We are very happy that we saw the works of Antoni Gaudi though because they are the most famous sites in Barcelona. We feel that you shouldn’t miss anything that is the top attraction if you are anywhere.
Like we always say “You never know if you don’t go.”
But we were happy to go out and enjoy the rest of Barcelona. It is the city’s vibe that will keep us coming back. The streets are alive with energy, the tapa bars are filled with great food and wine and the rest of the architecture is extraordinary. You don’t have to be a Gaudi fan to enjoy Barcelona.
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- Cuenca and the Casas Colgadas