October 15, 2013

Gaudi's Barcelona

At last, the final phase of my honeymoon recap from Barcelona! I can't believe that I have let it drag on for this long, but I suppose it's better late than never.

Barcelona enthralled us, and we both fell in love with the city-- hard. There's something about Barcelona that just makes you want to swirl a glass of wine, linger over tapas, and rave about Gaudí, no? Our apartment happened to be just down the street from one of the city's gems, La Sagrada Familia, so we were treated to a bit of modernism at its best every time we peeked out our bedroom window. Hey, life could be worse.

While I cannot do justice to an explanation of modernist architecture, let me just say that it is magnificent. While art deco can woo me and make yearn for Gatsby, art nouveau, with its swirls and incorporation of natural lines, is just another world. I love how the modernists like Gaudí took those lines and transformed them into such a distinct style.

We began by touring the Palau Güell, the mansion of the Güell family, who were Gaudí's benefactors. It was amazing to see how the family lived, and I enjoyed seeing their main parlor where people were invited to Mass and could hear the giant organ playing above them.The hubs and I opted to do the audio guide tour, and I'm glad that we were able to learn more about the history of the home and the family as we walked around. I would definitely recommend the audio tour!


After our peek into the lifestyles of the rich and famous, the hubs and I wandered around the city to catch glimpses of more modernist architecture. It's amazing that what we consider to be amazing art from the sidewalks actually serves as a home to many Barcelonans. Can you imagine being able to look out at the city from one of these ornate windows as you sip your morning coffee? Casa Batlló is one of the most dramatic, and the balconies remind me of theatre masks.

Casa Milá was next on our agenda, and while it doesn't have the same pizzazz as Casa Batlló, it's still a beautiful building, and I love its soft curves. These works of art stand proudly along the streets, reminders of the artists who have called Barcelona home, and I would be totally okay with marveling at them all day long.

We could have walked the streets of Barcelona for days on end and still been amazed by the architecture around us. It is an artful city, and the spirit of Gaudí lives on. I would love to learn even more about modernism overall, as I certainly like what I know of it thus far. Then we will just have to go back to Barcelona and revisit our favorite places with our newfound knowledge. Great plan, right?

As wonderful as our architecture tour was up to this point, the best was yet to come with our tour of La Sagrada Familia, the famous cathedral begun by Gaudí that is yet to be completed. That, however, is a tale for another time and another post.... stay tuned! :)
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