Playful Gaudi Barcelona Treasure
You can’t come to Barcelona and not explore Gaudi Barcelona. Anton Gaudi’s fingerprints are all over the city. Whether it is in playful parks, majestic churches or colourful houses, you can find Gaudi influence wherever you visit.
We planned a mixed mode trip to get to Parc Guell – tram, bus, Metro and then mini bus – finally ending up right in front of where we wanted. It was not hard to see we were in the right place, as crowds spilled out of the entrance.
Fighting the ebb of people coming down the stairs we wound our way to the upper deck. I tested several of the colourful tile benches around the patio.
David snapped views of the Parc and the Barcelona shoreline down below. You could see Gaudi’s playful art in the two towers right at the entrance.
With a very good zoom lens you could even see our next stop at Sagreda Familia far off in the distance.
Each stop offered a new view and we even found one trustworthy camera buff to swap cameras for pics.
We wandered ever higher, finding gems of stone work hidden in the trees. Everywhere we went, the street hawkers were set up, always ready to grab their goodies to run when the police showed up.
The museum was a cute little house with yet more whimsy in its design. We had missed getting tickets when we entered. Apparently Gaudi himself had lived there. We wondered what the inside might look like. We were amazed to think that the Parc had been designed to hold a sub-division. How much fun would that be?
Most of the park was decorated in colourful pastel hues. The section of the park decorated with rougher red mud was an interesting contrast.
As we headed out, we made sure to stop by the iconic lizard statue and take our time to get the right shot.
While we had started moving quite early, it was obvious everyone else had beat us. We exited the subway at Sagreda Familia to a wall of people. The line to get tickets was already wrapped around two full sides of the church. I did not want to go inside that bad.
Instead we would take our time exploring the outside of this evolving work of art. We moved around the church slowly, catching all angles.
Recalling the various videos we had watched in preparation, we could pick out many of the architectural elements on display. A large part of the church was carved with religious scenes in a very traditional manner.
In stark contrast, much of the church was decorated in very linear sparse modern design.
But this was Gaudi after all and there needed to be colour and whimsy. Unfortunately, many of the ornamental tops were covered with mesh, hiding the bright colours of many of Gaudi’s playful towers.
It was quite incredible to see all that was complete and to imagine how it might look when fully finished. Rounding the church back to where we started, we wondered if the line would have had us inside yet.
On our last morning in Barcelona we were targeting Casa Batlló. On previous visits to Barcelona, we had seen this colourful house from the outside. Windows fashioned as masks, balcony supports of bones and the dragon scale roof made us want to see more.
We were almost defeated by lack of planning due to a late start. Slipping in before the ticket gate closed at 2pm just meant missing the gift shop.
The entrance fee included an audio guide and this was one spot where we really welcomed the commentary. Every nook and cranny had something to see or a story behind it. Every piece of the house was designed to flow together. Even inner courtyard walls were artistic. It was whimsical, fun and colourful.
It was really an awesome sight and it would have been even more impressive to see it populated with custom furniture. Gaudi made pieces to fit the curved and flowing spaces. I left wanting to add a piece of this feeling to our condo at home.
The roof offered decorative chimneys and the outside patios continued the themes with colourful tile and glass and artistic iron works.
The attic was an engineering marvel with parabolic arches and innovative venting.
The house was a perfect combination of architectural genius mixed with artistic expression. A living tribute to Gaudi and a great way to close our Gaudi exploration.
If you visit Barcelona, don’t miss Gaudi Barcelona! There are tributes to this prolific artist in every corner of Barcelona. Be prepared to be awed by the artistry and colour that is Anton Gaudi.
What is your favourite Gaudi Barcelona site?