5 Must See Gaudí Buildings in BarcelonaBy Niamh Duffy -
Whether you're interested in architecture or not the breathtaking masterpieces of Gaudí that are all around the streets of Barcelona will leave you speechless. The intricacy and art make identifying them easy - they are truly unmistakable. That's why we thought we'd give you our top 5 to tick off on your trip to Barcelona:
1. Casa Vicens
Casa Vicens is a hidden gem, and Gaudí’s first important masterpiece, built between 1883 and 1888. It is an imaginative residential project made for a wealthy family that owned a ceramic factory, clearly reflected in the “trencadis” façade that contains a significant variety of ceramic decorations.
Wheelchair access is good, with all floors accessible. With the chance to not only enjoy the fabulous design and architecture, there was an interesting exhibition chronicling Gaudi’s early influences and comparing his work to that of his contemporaries and those that followed.
2. Casa Battló
Casa Batlló is a beautiful building located right in the heart of the city, which is the result of the restoration in 1904 of an old house built in 1877. Gaudí used the typical constructive elements of Modernisme including ceramics, stone and forged iron to used for it the typical constructive elements of the Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau) that include ceramics, stone, and forged iron. Even though it was highly criticised by the city during construction due to its radical design breaking the city's laws, in 1906 Barcelona City Council awarded it the recognition of being one of the three best buildings of the year.
Casa Batlló was the first privately owned museum to adapt its visits for blind people, with the tactile environment filled with shapes, forms and textures that can be fully appreciated by touch. There is a small lift available, with wheelchairs of a suitable shape and size also available. Visitors with reduced mobility can access a large part of the tour by wheelchair, visiting the most important parts of the house.
3. Sagrada Familia
The Sagrada Familia is possibly one of Gaudi's most famous works, construction began in 1892 however it's still not expected to be finished until 2030. The church presents an excellent depiction of the relationship between man, nature, and religion through its architecture and facade sculptures. The basilica has three monumental façades each one representing one of the pivotal moments in the life of Christ: hisbirth (Carrer Marina), his passion, death and resurrection (Carrer Sardenya), and his present and future glory (Carrer Mallorca). The four towers on each façade represent the 12 Apostles. A dome-shaped tower will eventually crown the apse, symbolising the Virgin Mary, and the four tall towers dedicated to the evangelists will encircle the central spire which will be built over the crossing and represent the Saviour.
As the basilica of the Sagrada Familia is still under construction it therefore means that the their are constantly changes taking place which can affect the level of accessiblity, however they do aid where they can including discounted entry, a specialist entry point and ramps where possible to all main parts of the building.
4. Cascada Fountain
The Cascada was designed by Josep Fontseré in 1881, specifically for the universal exhibition in 1888, with young Gaudí as an assistant. The inspiration for the Cascada was the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. It is located in Barcelona’s most famous park – Park de la Ciutadella.
The Parc de la Ciutadella is one of Barcelona’s oldest and biggest parks. All the entrances are accessible and the ground is flat, making it ideal for wheelchair users. The paths inside the park have no architectural barriers and are correctly signposted.
5. Parc Güell
Parc Güell was built between 1900 and 1914 and today is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. This is a garden complex that houses a series of dynamically designed buildings, including Gaudí’s house. Most buildings have the “trencadis” (surfaces covered with irregular ceramic pieces) that is characteristic of Gaudí and Art Nouveau. The colonnaded hall and the terrace with serpentine shapes are the most famous places in this park. This park is the perfect place to take a peaceful stroll while enjoying nature and looking at Gaudí’s artwork.
Although the Monumental Zone has some barriers, there are alternative pathways and ramps that allow a complete tour of the park.