Antoni Gaudí

blog-gaudi-1 Gaudi - Barcelona

There are many beautiful buildings in Barcelona, but some of the most unique and distinctive structures including the Sagrada Família Basilica were designed by Antoni Gaudí.

Born in Reus in 1852, Antoni Gaudí received his Architectural degree 26 years later. From the beginning his designs were a radical departure from traditional construct. Gaudí took his inspiration from nature and his work developed an organic style inspired by natural forms. The flow of water, grain of wood, the way tree branches grow and spread out, the symmetry and also randomness of nature – all can be seen in his work. He normally didn’t draw plans but rather preferred to create models and sculptures so he could feel the work taking shape in 3 dimensions.

Most of Gaudí’s work is in Barcelona, including his masterpiece, the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Sagrada Família Basilica), originally started in 1883 but as of 1915 he was completely devoted to working on up until the day he died. The Basilica should be finally completed in 2026.

He also used color to a much greater extent than his contemporaries, using broken pieces of ceramic which normally would have been discarded, stained glass, and tiles. He planned every detail right down to custom door knobs. As you travel around Barcelona you will see how he used every different kind of material – they each had a purpose. From wrought Iron to curved stonework, plaster, and incredible woodwork that achieves a flowing organic feel for his interiors.

Gaudí preferred solitude, most people considered him arrogant and anti-social but the few close friends he had considered him to be a kind man who only wanted to work and be left alone. As he grew older he neglected his appearance and dressed in old, worn-out suits. Sometimes people saw him on the street and mistook him for a beggar. In 1926 just before his 74th birthday he was hit by a trolley car, and since he was dressed like a bum, he did not receive immediate first aid. Soon after he was finally taken to a hospital where he died.

Gaudí´s work demonstrated a completely new way to approach architecture. And I think to some small extent he has influenced many architects worldwide, while challenging the way we look at structures. There are still plenty of massive ugly brown square buildings – but once in a while an architect will stray from the beaten path.

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La Boqueria Market (Las Ramblas Market) in Barcelona

Fresh Seafood - La Boqueria Market La Boqueria Market

La Boqueria is a world famous market in Barcelona on the edge of the Barri Gòtic

It’s located in El Raval with an entrance to the market right off La Rambla.  An incredible place full of just about every kind of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat cheese and fish you could imagine.  One table even had 30 different kinds of eggs – everything from Quail to Ostrich.  When I go back to Barcelona I will not stay in a hotel again, instead I’ll find an apartment somewhere near the Gothic quarter where I can pick up fresh food and make it myself.

I did manage to do quite a lot of tasting while I was there – different kinds of ham, sausage and cheese. Prosciutto hams hanging over my head while enjoying a cold Estrella Damm - Little wax paper cone cups attached to the bottom of the hams so the warm liquified fat doesn’t drip on peoples heads.  

The fresh seafood was amazing, oysters the size of baby heads, razor clams oozing out of their shells, hundreds of fish lined up on ice looking almost too beautiful to eat.  The Market is huge and it’s easy to spend the better part of an afternoon just wandering around and watching the different chefs working.

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Arc de Triomf - city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain

Arc de Triomf Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf is a triumphal arch in the city of Barcelona, Spain.

It was built by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair. The arch crosses over the wide central promenade of the Passeig de Lluís Companys, leading to the Ciutadella Park that now occupies the site of the world fair.

The monument is classical in shape and proportions and features ground-breaking sculptural and decorative finishes replete with symbolism. It has become one of the city's iconic landmarks. The frieze overlooking the Passeig de Sant Joan depicts Barcelona welcoming the nations and the frieze facing the park shows the city presenting medals to the exhibition participants. There are reliefs on one side symbolising agriculture and industry, and commerce and art on the other. At the top of the arch the shields of the 49 Spanish provinces are presided over by the coat of arms of the city of Barcelona. Parc de la Ciutadella Barri Gòtic:

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