The Palau de la Música Catalana (or Palace of Catalan Music, in English) is the most stunning concert hall I’ve ever seen in my life and the only one declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Built between 1905 and 1908 by the architect by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this music auditorium is situated in Barcelona, Spain. Besides having formidable acoustics, the Palau de la Música Catalana is richly decorated with stained glass, mosaics, ceramics, sculptures, murals, and wrought iron elements!
In 1890, businessman Eusebi Güell decided to build an industrial colony in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, near Barcelona. Nicknamed Colònia Güell, the textile complex had accommodation for the factory workers and several public buildings. One of them is the Crypt of Colònia Güell, a masterpiece of Catalan modernist architecture, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This unfinished church was designed by Antoni Gaudí and became one of the many monuments he designed for Eusebi Güell!
Casa Vicens in Barcelona is a summer residence that Antoni Gaudí i Cornet designed for Manuel Vicens i Montaner (a stockbroker). Built between 1883 and 1885, it’s considered Antoni Gaudí’s oldest masterpiece, as it was the first major commission the architect received. Forerunner of the Catalan modernist movement, the Casa Vicens combines oriental architectural influences, decorative elements from Hispanic Islamic art, and finishings with plant and naturalistic motifs!
Palau Güell is a building in Catalan Modernist style, which was designed by Antoni Gaudí. Built between 1886 and 1890, the palace is located in the historic center of Barcelona. When Eusebi Güell commissioned this first major work from Antoni Gaudí, the young architect was still far from becoming one of the most celebrated Catalan artists of all time. But the truth is that, after Palau Güell, Eusebi Güell became Antoni Gaudí’s most important patron and client!
The Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart (in Catalan, Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor) is a minor basilica located in the Tibidabo mountain, a few kilometers from the center of Barcelona. Constructed in the first half of the 20th century, the Expiatory Church of the Sacred Heart combines elements of Neo-Gothic, Neo-Romanesque, and Neo-Byzantine architecture. And despite being designed by the Catalan architect Enric Sagnier, this Catholic church was completed by his son Josep Maria Sagnier!
The Poble Espanyol in Barcelona is an open-air architectural museum located in Montjuïc Park – a hill that houses other museums and monuments such as the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Montjuïc Castle, or the Joan Miró Foundation. Designed for the 1929 International Exhibition, the Poble Espanyol in Barcelona is made up of dozens of points of interest, spread over four areas of Spain. And most of them are full-scale reproductions of buildings, squares, and streets across the country!
Created in 1975, the Joan Miró Foundation (or Fundació Joan Miró) has become an important center for research and dissemination of modern and contemporary art, offering scholarships and promoting the work of artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. This art gallery has a vast number of works, including paintings, sculptures, textiles, ceramics, drawings, and sketches. And its location on the famous Montjuïc hill makes the Joan Miró Foundation one of the most visited attractions in Barcelona!
The village of Aceredo was submerged in 1992 when the Alto Lindoso Dam closed its floodgates. Thirty years later, the extreme drought has lowered the water levels, leaving the ruins of this ancient settlement uncovered! When the “Atlantis of Galicia” emerges from the Lima River, it’s possible to stroll through its muddy streets and admire dozens of houses. Lately, Aceredo has become a real tourist attraction among the Portuguese and Spanish, who also call it the “ghost” or “abandoned” village!
Park Güell (in Catalan, Parc Güell) is an urban park designed by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona. Besides, it’s one of 7 works by the architect distinguished as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The idea for the creation of Park Güell came from Eusebi Güell, who wanted to build a luxury condominium inspired by the English concept of “garden cities”. The initial project had 60 houses, streets, squares, and viaducts. However, the urbanization proved to be a failure and was converted into a public park!
Barcelona is one of the best cities to visit, both in Spain and in Europe. To begin with, the architecture of the city is unique and you can admire it in buildings designed by masters like Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner. And then, the very streets and squares have a contagious energy and dynamic! Besides, it’s almost impossible to visit the capital of Catalonia without being influenced by its culture, art, history, and gastronomy. And of course, not wanting to go back once, twice, or more times!