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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.

La Sagra Familia gaudi's masterpiece under construction

La Sagrada Familia!

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.

Immaculate Carvings at la sagrada familia

Immaculate Carvings!

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?

exterior-la-sagrada-familia

Just plain Gaudi....

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.

gaudi architecture barcelona

La Pedrera!

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.

Casa Batllo by Gaudi

Casa Batllo

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.

Gaudi in Barcelona Spain

Gaudi, Gaudi Everywhere!!

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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20 Comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Works of Gaudi in Barcelona | The Planet D: Around the World Adventure Couple -- Topsy.com

  2. dreamalittledream.ca

    I’m sad to report to you that you missed one of the best parts of Barecelona and again one of Gaudi’s pieces of work. Park Guell! Its pretty much his only creation you can explore the inside for free in Barcelona! (much like you we skipped all the insides due to price and lines)

    Check out our photos from it here: http://dreamalittledream.ca/spending-a-day-in-the-mind-of-gaudi/
    .-= dreamalittledream.ca´s last blog ..Pixels by Patrick Jean – cool video for your Saturday =-.

    1. davendeb

      We had heard that the park was excellent and we had planned on going to see it in the next day or two. but then the rain came and we were drenched in our campsite. No worries though, we are planning on going back to Spain in the near future. That is the amazing thing about travel. You can always go back!

      1. Scott

        To be fair, while Parc Guell was probably one of the coolest things I saw in all of Europe (other than the Banksy museum exhibit), we didn’t go into the churches or other attractions. The entrance fee’s were just too much, and with 4 of us we could have easily spent 300 euros. If it were 5 euros each it would be a far more reasonable price.

        But I love the outsides of the buildings. It brings art back into architecture. Why do we have to have these straight lines, or have everything look like everything else? Why not have some cool curves and round shapes. And remember, this was all done in the early part of the 20th century, I think around 1910ish. Very different for the times. Skulls for balconies. Bones for support structures. Just cool things to mess with your head.

        Of course, we figure he was a huge opium fiend or something :)
        .-= Scott´s last blog ..Pixels by Patrick Jean – cool video for your Saturday =-.

  3. Alouise

    I’m not really knowledgeable about architecture or Gaudi, although I’ve always wanted to visit Barcelona just to see his work because it’s so different from anything else. But I can’t say I’d feel compelled to pay 16.50 Euros for an entrance fee to one. Anyways I love that you were totally upfront in your opinions with such a must see attraction. It’d be a pretty boring world is everyone liked the same things.
    .-= Alouise´s last blog ..List #7 – Items I found while looking for my camera – or how I learned to stop attaching myself to material goods. =-.

  4. Audrey

    When we visited Barcelona in 2000, we thought we would stay about three days…but ended up staying around a week. Gaudi’s architecture was one of the reasons for extending our stay – we found his philosophy and design fascinating, as well as beautiful. I’d love to return to Barcelona and explore some more! Enjoy your travels in Europe!
    .-= Audrey´s last blog ..Coming to America: Sharing Our Journey at Home =-.

    1. davendeb

      That is awesome that you loved Gaudi. We didn’t love Gaudi’s works, but we loved Barcelona.

  5. corina

    dave and deb i AM aghast! while i am a straight lines, modern girl to the core, i have a soft spot for Gaudi. i’d heard rumours that there are people like you that don’t love him but i’ve never actually ‘met’ one. but i’ll give you some cred as it looks like your photo of casa bastillo turned out better than mine ;p

    1. davendeb

      Haha, I love your comment. I know. We are in the minority. Not to say that we didn’t love our day walking around Barcelona. We love the city. We just didnt’ love Gaudi. But we appreciate the people that do.

  6. soultravelers3

    Wow! We’ve been to Barcelona 8 times on our open ended world tour & often stay a month or more at a time & we think Gaudi is the very BEST thing in Barcelona! But, we are artists & love art.

    Just seeing them in person really touches something inside us, even our child loves Gaudi! If you love art, architecture and innovation, he will touch you. It really helps If you go inside those buildings, worth the money and it’s hard not to admire history’s most unique architect and what he did so very far ahead of his time. Reading about him also gives it great context, but it’s quite visceral for us. There is also an amazing connection between his work and nature.

    He is like a poet or many genius’s that are before their time, some “get it” and some don’t. No right or wrong, just different tastes.

    Can’t wait to hear what you think about Dali or Picasso ( 2 other innovative artists with awesome work in and near Barcelona). ;)
    .-= soultravelers3´s last blog ..Can Globe Trotting Location Independent Kids Have Friends? =-.

  7. Laura

    I think even if you don’t exactly like the works of Gaudi, one can’t help but appreciate his contribution to architecture. As far as the entry fees though, they sound steep! I went to see a lot of buildings in Italy, but had to admire many of them from outside. As a designer, I love architecture, but as a backpacker, I can’t always afford the price to see them :)

  8. Michela

    Gaudi’s works are the most impressive I have ever seen in my life…and I am really looking forward to admiring the sagrada familia accomplished, I hope I manage that ;) I first visited in 1983 and to be honest at that time I could not appreciate it as much as I did a couple of years ago….the work progess made in this 27 years is simply amazing…I spent 4 hours in there and would not leave !! ..I am a painter and love arts….so for me Gaudi was a real genius!

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  13. Dina

    Gaudi amazed me, I wonder where did he get the inspirations for all of his creations. I’ve seen nothing like that. Even the furniture pieces that he designed are really curvy and unusual. La Sagrada Familia is my favourite thing in Barcelona and also my favourite church in the world. I hope it will be finished one day, it will be interesting to visit in the future!
    .-= Dina´s last blog ..10 Spectacular Natural Wonders in New Zealand’s North Island =-.

    1. davendeb

      Hi Dina, It is true, he is definitely unusual. We are definitely the odd balls that didn’t get it. There you go, it is our lack of education in architecture. As I travel more to the cities of Europe, I hope that I grow an appreciation for it. It is writing pieces like this and reading people’s comments that make me want to go back and have another look at his works. Everyone loves him so much, that he deserves a second look from us.

  14. Fred D

    Just wanted to inform you and your readers that the 3 pictures you have from the Sagrada Familia DO NOT represent Gaudi’s work. These modern sculptures, mostly found in the back of the cathedral weren’t made by Gaudi, and not even commanded by him. They are recent additions to the building and haven’t been very appreciated in the population because of their contratst to the rest of the cathedral (Gaudi’s work). A picture from the front of the cathedral would have been much more representative of this chef d’oeuvre.

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