Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Barcelona: Modernismo!

Sagrada Familia

I've been doing a bit of "fast travel" lately and so have got quite behind in blogging.

The final destination in Spain was the city of  Barcelona - a city of art and architecture.

But before dipping into the modernist architecture of Gaudí - the history of Barcelona is equally interesting.

Montjüic has been an integral and often dark part of Barcelona's history. From its name (Jewish Mountain) alluding to the previous Jewish population before the expulsion in 1492 to its use as a fortress to subdue Barcelona's population (including several bombardments of the city) to its use in the Civil War (by both Republicans and Fascists) - the Castle has a dark history.

In fact, at various points in its history, the populace has wanted to rip it down.

The Castle can be accessed for €5 for just a wander around the grounds but to really get a feel for the castle's history, the guided tour is well worth another €5.

View from Montjüic
Another view from Montjüic

From the historical Barcelona to its modernism - Gaudí's architecture and the modernist style flavours much of the city.

Park Güel was a residential project sponsored by Güel and designed by Gaudí in the modernist style. It wasn't very successful as a residential project, but as a public park overlooking Barcelona exemplifying Gaudí's design, it is a thing of beauty.

The washerwoman sculpture
The park entrance
The guardhouse at the entrance
View of Barcelona from Park Güel

Another of Gaudí's buildings that can be seen in Barcelona is the fantastic Casa Batlló. The amazing design/functionality nexus in this house is difficult to describe - so I'll just post pictures of this beautiful design.

Casa Batlló
The entrance way
Windows in the main room
The fireplace
The lightwell
The back terrace
The chimneys
View from the roof

Equally Gaudí's Sagrada Familia van only really be shown in pictures, although the sheer grandeur of the place, it's use of light and the design that links nature to the divine can only be experienced by being there.

Of all the Cathedrals I've been to - this has been by far the most impressive.

La Sagrada Familia
Looking towards the alter
Stained glass
The death of Christ depicted

After the majesty of the Sagrada Familia it was definitely time for lunch at La Boca - one of the large markets in Barcelona.

And that is where I will leave Spain - next stop: a train journey to Montpellier, France.

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