I have to admit I’ve only heard of the name Gaudi when I first arrived in Barcelona, I only had a vague idea of who he is as compared to Picasso I think. (There is also a Picasso museum in Barcelona BTW)
The Sagrada Familia has proceeded the man behind the masterpiece so I needed to formally introduce myself to this revolutionary artist who has somewhat evaded my interest in the past.
The first thing that came into my mind when I saw Gaudi’s works was, ‘’Art Nouveau!” And that is how the obsession began, I have followed the works of my favourite artist Alphonse Mucha from his french lithographs to his home in Prague and now I am in Barcelona, Gaudi’s City.
Gaudi had distinct influences or his Architectural masterpieces, just to give you all a quick introduction.
-He is greatly religious and draw a lot of inspiration from it, including nature, mythology and all of creation.
-His design were revolutionary for his time and he pay attention to all the details, even the smallest ones.
-Designing with purpose always, organic form and ergonomics are prominent.
He is a man whose mind I truly admire, walking into structures and landmarks like Parc Guell, Casa Batllo, and The Sagrada Familia is like exploring the imaginative mind of a sorcerer who conjures fantasy into a world of form and function. Space is his canvass, one that you can feel and experience and that is the magic of it.
Below, my visual journey unfolds...
A Glimpse of Parc Guell
As a warning to other tourists who are planning their first visit to Barcelona, you need to understand that this city is immensely dense with tourists most of the year, you need to prepare and book your tickets in advance, this saves precious time in lining up to wait for tickets.
Parc Guell is one of the top attractions in the city, and you need a ticket to access the inner most part of the park. Tickets can be sold out a few days in advance so book it at least a week before. You don’t want to be like me and fail in getting inside.
On the brighter side, the surrounding area is free for you to take a stroll, quite a lovely place as you can see:
Overlooking the city...
There is also Gaudi’s house as a consolation. Felt like traveling back in time and walking where the great man walked and lived himself.
I took photos of some interesting details I think you guys will love:
You will see in the house a scale model of the Sagrada Familia in it's completed form which is a RARE find, was quite a treat for me.
Into belly of the beast
This architectural marvel still haunts my dreams, I just fell in love with an apartment building, YES I did.
Th spine of a legendary beast welcomes you into an obscure space that seems to be submerged in an a aquatic realm. Filtered light dances through tinted glass like that of a dream.
As you ascend the staircase, it leads you to the main floor of the building.
The windows resemble an organic form that seems to be like the shell of a sea turtle swimming in along the fluid texture of the walls. An orb that seems floats in the air decorates the top of the staircase, like an enchanted beating heart.
Going further will take you to the Noble Room.
The details in this chamber will fascinate your senses, like the vortex forming in the ceiling that was quite a revolutionary achievement in design during his time.
In this room you can see Passeig de Gracia right outside the majestic windows. Also notice how both light and air is filtered with attention to design and innovation. Try to find the small holes at the top and bottom that can be adjusted to open and close in this photo:
My next favourite part of the building is the central light well that provides the main source of light during the day.
The windows become bigger and the tiles become lighter in colour as they go down, to balance the lighting on all the levels. You can check it out here too: The Symbolism of Light in Gaudi's Work
I will leave the rest of the details for when you visit Casa Batlló yourself, these are only the highlights. You will see a lot of very organic forms inspired by nature and animals like halls that look like rib cages but are actually intended for ventilation and Gaudi has given utmost attention to every detail including the vine-like metalwork and recycling of broken tiles which he uses in the exterior of his designs.
Clearly I had fun signing the guestbook...
The Iconic Sagrada Familia.
You simply cannot visit Barcelona without a glimpse of this magnificent structure.
So I decided to buy a ticket in Advance and was easily able to get inside, there are different schedules for entering depending on what time suits you. They do this so the area does not get too crowded by waiting outside the entire time. By doing this, its more comfortable to walk inside knowing the crowd is controlled.
So let's have a look at some of the interesting exterior details you normally don't see on google:
(Notice that all of it's exterior is meant to be filled with sculptures, that is why it is taking forever to finish.)
Going inside you will be blinded with lights of all the colours from the stained glass filtering the light from all directions.
The massive scale of it is visually stunning, you can simply stay in it and enjoy every detail for hours.
The following photos will hopefully give you a better idea why.
The pillars caught my interest as they branch out at the top like branches of tree that support a canopy.
This innovative architectural solution enables the pillars to support more weight and also help in distributing light and sound.
He designed it in such a way that the windows filter the light and results in filling the entire space with every colour imaginable.
This wraps up my journey into Gaudi's realm, hope you've all enjoyed this visual online experience in still photographs.
Do follow me on Instagram as I post my videos on Instastory there.
In the meantime Casa Milla’s invitation awaits in my next visit to Barcelona.