Casa Terrades

Eixample + Park Güell, Barcelona

Antoni Gaudí, Puig i Cadaflach and Domènech i Montaner Casa Milaare 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.

casa batiloStarting 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 Park Guellyou 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.

Old Town Barcelona

Old Town, Barcelona

The bottom of La Rambla was our starting poinLa Ramblat for the day as we set out to explore the old town area of Barcelona. This tree lined street was actually once a river, with a 13th century city wall following it. At the bottom of La Rambla is a monument to Columbus overlooking the street and sea. Just off La Rambla, is one of the first works of the famous architect Antoni Gaudi, Palau Güell. The spire-like chimneys are the only hint of colour that can be seen from the street. For some fresh fruit, fish or meat be sure to stop at Boqueria food market. The market originated from the 13th centurBarcelona Cathedraly and today is one of the top markets in the world! If you have the time you can even sign up for a cooking class there.

After that, we began to wander through the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter), the oldest part of the city chosen by the Romans. The Barcelona Cathedral stands on the old foundation of a Roman temple. The interior is beautiful and can be accessed anytime before noon for free, however make sure you’re covered up! We saw many women attempt to enter the church in shorts or thin straps on dresses but were required to wrap a scarf around their waist and shoulders before entering. Men wearing sleeveless shirts were also turned back. Don’t worry though, a man and woman were selling scarves out front from €0.50.

From the Gothic Quarter we worked ourParc de la Ciutadella way to Parc de la Ciutadella and Arc del Triomf, the main gateway to the 1888 International Exhibition. In the gardens is an incredible ornamental cascade designed by Joseph Fontsere and a young Antoni Gaudi. There is also a boating lake and although we never saw any, parrots living in the palm trees.