Antoni Gaudí

You know when something is over-the-top too-much and we say it is gaudy? That term originates from Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí. He is known for his colorful, wild, curvy lines and fantastical creatures, his mosaics and childlike visions, and as a major figure in the Catalan architectural movement Modernisma.

Of all the sites we could visit, we restrained ourselves to just three – Casa Battló, and Parc Güell and Gaudí’s magnum opus, the Bascillica of La Sagrada Familia.

Casa Battló stands on the Block of Discord – a block in the Eixample with buildings snuggled up to each other which appear to be competing for attention. It was remodeled by Gaudí in the early 1900s as a residence for the Batlló family who would live in the first few floors, with apartments above them.

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The house next door to Casa Batlló

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Casa Batlló facade

Not only is the entire building whimsical (with obvious inspiration coming from waves and colors of the ocean, among other natural phenomena), but it uses several architectural innovations.

The roof is particularly interesting with the beautiful chimneys as well as the dragon back and scales feature.

Park Güell

About the same time that Gaudí was working on Casa Batlló, he embarked on creating a sort-of gated community of lovely homes on a hill overlooking Barcelona. There were already two houses on this hill, but the planned housing development never came to be. Gaudí did complete a number of structures in this park, including the Porter’s Lodge, a grand outdoor covered area, the dragon stairway, gardens, etc.

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