“There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners,” Antoni Gaudi once remarked.
As I walked through the streets of Barcelona, I wonder if I would get lost while looking for Gaudi’s creations. The sight of his creation is not one to be missed when you are in Barcelona. When I got to my first destination, Casa Batllo, it was easy to recognize it. It was not because of the queue of tourists nor signs pointing to its direction but the distinctive style of the building that stands out amidst other structures.
Gaudi and his creations are prominent cultural fixtures in Barcelona. Most people would probably remember Gaudi in association with Sagrada Familia but this great icon is just one of his several works around the city.
Antoni Gaudi is a Catalan architect and a significant character in Catalan architecture although most of his contemporaries were not too keen with his work. His fondness with Mother Nature is mirrored through his creations which feature shapes he observe in his excursions. In contrast to Victorian architecture, his designs often featured curved lines and irregular geometric shapes set in bright mosaic tiles and metalwork inspired by animals or plants.
Aside from Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo, I was also able to visit Park Güell. A quick glimpse in the park, one can see how it truly embodies the unique style of the Catalan architect. It can get a bit crowded but it will depend on the season and time of your visit.
With a strategic position atop a hill, Park Güell boasts a beautiful view of the city and a serene nature enclave in the midst of it. The park was originally designed to be a residential complex with at least 60 villas complete with all facilities a village needs.
It was industrialist Eusebi Güell who commissioned Gaudi to design the site. Later on, the plans for a sprawling residential complex were eventually abandoned due to lack of prospective buyers. Gaudi and Güell both resided in the area, although neither of the houses were designed by Gaudi. The site was turned into a park and was opened to the public in 1922.
The entrance esplanade features a twin flight of stairs where you can find “el drac”, the salamander covered with decorative tile mosaic.
The Roman hall was planned as a market hall for the residential area. The ceiling and columns are lined with mosaics set in ceramic tiles. Above is the terrace which is also decorated with colorful ceramic tiles.
The path that leads to the market hall is a pine grove with the stone colonnaded pathway.
Park Güell was my last destination in Barcelona. The three days I spent in the region of Catalonia were definitely not enough, what I have learned in terms of history and culture just made me yearn to come back the very moment I left.