Last Updated: 7th Jun 2012
Antonio Gaudi is easily one of the most distinct architectural designers of modern times. Creating much of his work during the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s, he lived his later years a recluse before he was tragically killed by a tram. Like so many other great artistic masters, it’s difficult to put your finger on exactly what makes his work so outstanding but his use of colorfully tilled mosaics and flowing, almost ‘natural’ looking designs have left an indelible mark on the Barcelona cityscape with his unique style and flair that many have tried to emulate but none have come close to mastering. Seeing this amazing work is often a welcome surprise to anyone travelling through Europe.
The Sagrada Familia although it was only partially completed during his lifetime, it is perhaps his most famous work and crowning glory. The church is still under construction today and is a growing and ever-changing symbol of the city. Nowhere is the Masters style more pronounced than on the nativity façade of the church. Construction has now been handed over to Lluís and Jordi Bonet who have controversially commissioned Josep Subirachs, whose angular style used to decorate the Passion Facade is in total contrast with Gaudi’s more smooth and flowing organic approach. Although work was originally progressing at a painfully slow pace, every day that passes now brings the church visibly closer to its completion.
Located a short bus or taxi ride from the heart of the city is Parc Guell, an entire park designed by Gaudi. The area was commissioned by the Guell family and was intended to become a housing estate. The dream was never fully realized however the family and Gaudi himself lived in some of the gingerbread looking houses designed by Gaudi. The park is also home to the small but famous lizard fountain and some very cool landscaping.
More buildings, apartments and street lamps designed by Gaudi can also be found along the Passage de Gracia, a main road stretching north-west from Placa de Catalyuna, the main square of the city.