Antoni Gaudí, Puig i Cadaflach and Domènech i Montaner are some of the famous modernisme architects whose works sit in Eixample, Barcelona. This architecture style flourished in Barcelona when the medieval walls of the city were torn down for expansion (eixample) in 1854. Although it was built on a grid system there are two diagonal avenues and architect Domènech i Montaner, out of spite (he detested the grid system) angled the hospital looking down one of these streets towards Sagrada Familia to disrupt the pattern.
Starting from Passeig de Gràcia you are immediately confronted with the bold and convention-defying designs of Gaudí. Casa Batlló was completed in 1906 but still remains just as much of a statement today. The stunning dragon back roof top is a mosaic containing pieces of glass and ceramic discs. Casa Milà (also known as La Pedrera), a rippled apartment building further up the street was built around two circular courtyards. Like many of Gaudí’s designs, the rooftop is a highlight with sculpted chimneys. Some have been described as having a threatening appearance and are known as witch-scarers. The Casa Milà was Gaudí’s last completed work in the city before devoting himself to the Sagrada Família, Europe’s most unconventional church. Gaudí began work on the church in 1883 and devoted his life to it from 1914 – 1926, the year he died. At the time of his death only one tower had been completed however work resumed after the civil war and continues today to complete his original design. When it is finished 12 towers will stand, one for each apostle. The church can be seen from the city’s surrounding hills for a greater understanding on just how large this project is.
After, we walked up to Park Güell where you imagine yourself being in a fairytale as you walk through the entrance pavilions, they look like gingerbread houses. The mosaics and serpentine bench collage are some of the most captivating features of the park and the works of Josep Maria Jujol. The paths lead you up to the Hill of the Crosses where there are panoramic views over the city. As you walk towards the top, the path is to project spiritual elevation. The carved-out pathways with angled pillars made out of stone are incredible to walk through.