Gaudí y el Modernismo: Hotel Silken Concordia Barcelona
The Catalan Art Nouveau cultural movement, which demonstrated extraordinary vitality and artistic qualities, is one of Barcelona’s main tourist attractions and one of the most convincing reasons for getting to know the city. Even today, Modernisme, as it is known locally, still characterises the city, giving it a very special charm. It is the style of many buildings here and you can see it clearly for yourself at various city museums and historical houses.
Modernisme influenced other arts, even leaving its mark in the smallest details of everyday objects. The movement combined elements of modernity with cultural revival and was driven by a group of intellectuals who did not limit themselves to promoting architecture, the cornerstone of Modernisme, but also sculpture, painting, graphic arts, literature, the theatre, music and the decorative arts, as well as reviving old craft skills, which the great architects really knew how to exploit.
Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) is one of Catalonia’s geniuses with the most universal appeal, its best-known architect internationally. Barcelona is proud to be the setting for the best examples of his work. Here you can see, in detail, the marvels produced by the complete architect, which is what Gaudí, one of our best cultural ambassadors in the world, was.
Gaudí may be the best-known representative of Catalan Modernisme, but there are others, who remain in his shadow. Some of their work is also a must if you are interested in this movement.
Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) is one of Catalonia’s geniuses with the most universal appeal, its best-known architect internationally.
Barcelona is proud to be the setting for the best examples of his work. In Barcelona, you can see in detail the marvels produced by the complete architect, which is what Gaudí, one of our best cultural ambassadors in the world, was.
UNESCO has classified much of his work as World Heritage sites: in 1984, Parc Güell and Palau Güell, the park and house named after his patron, and the Casa Milà, better-known as La Pedrera: in 2005, his famous cathedral, the Sagrada Família, two more houses, the Casa Vicens and Casa Batlló, and the Colònia Güell Crypt. However, his entire legacy comprises artistic and cultural sites that are a must for a visit to Barcelona! br>
Born into a family of coppersmiths, Antoni Gaudí always proudly cited this family trade as the origin of his personal vision and understanding of space. He was born in Reus (Baix Camp) in 1852 and went to Barcelona in 1870 to study architecture. He combined this with working in the studios of various architects and masons.
Gaudí’s works, which were mainly constructed in the city of Barcelona, can be divided into four periods. During the first, from 1878 (when he graduated) to 1882, his works were of an urban and social nature. The following stage, during which he began to work on the Temple of the Holy Family (the Sagrada Família), is marked by the effort to transcend historical styles and achieve his own visual and structural forms. These two basic aspects are what define Gaudí’s style. He makes free and personal use of Islamic art and of Gothic and Baroque styles.
The years from 1900 to 1917 were his most creative and innovative period, in which he developed his most characteristic style: this is the period when he transformed Casa Batlló and built Parc Güell, the Colònia Güell church, the Casa Milà (known as La Pedrera) and the Sagrada Família School. Finally, from 1918 until he was run over and killed by a tram in 1926, Gaudí dedicated himself to building the Sagrada Família church.
You will not find a church like it in the world! The Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família), Antoni Gaudí’s best known work, is still unfinished but work continues with donations from private individuals as well as public bodies.
Visitors to the Sagrada Família Museum can see the whole project, with Gaudí’s plans and models, and it is interesting to see how it will look when finished. In recent years, building work has advanced at a good pace, so Gaudí’s dream should soon finally be realised. He was unable to continue working on it because he died, on 10 June 1926, from injuries he received when he was knocked down by a tram at the junction between Gran Via and Carrer de Bailèn. During his lifetime, the Passion façade was completed and he left sketches for the rest of the cathedral.
In recent years, sculptures by Josep Maria Subirachs have been added to the Passion façade and work has progressed on the naves and transept, including the columns, choir stalls and upper windows, which provide the light. Once this part is finished, the roof will be completed and work will start on the apse. Then the cathedral will really take shape and everyone will get a clear idea of the scope of the project. After that, the Sagrada Família will continue evolving, increasing in size as it rises skywards, with addition of the main façade on Carrer de Mallorca, along with the three largest towers. Come and see how the Sagrada Família is growing!
You will not find a park like it in the world! This architectural marvel, created by Antoni Gaudí in the middle of nature, was commissioned by Count Güell, who wanted him to design an elegant estate with family homes. Now it is a public park and part of the city’s heritage, another marvel that awaits you on your visit to Barcelona. Don’t miss Parc Güell: it will really surprise you!
When you go to Parc Güell, you should enter by the big staircase dominated by the dragon decorated with mosaic of ceramic tiles, the Catalan style known as trencadís, one of the most characteristic images of Barcelona. Originally written Park Güell (using the English spelling), it is arranged around a large central square bordered by a snaking, trencadís-covered bench. Below the square, the roof is supported by 86 Doric columns, like trees, with paths between them, and viaducts on sloping columns: Gaudí’s work unites nature and architecture.
Casa Batlló is one of the most visited houses (cases) in Barcelona, a really original building in terms of shape, colours and decoration. What was supposed to be a renovation of the Batlló family home ended up being the most poetic and sensitive of Gaudí’s work. He expanded the project to include the double loft, the staircase and interior decoration. The result was the architectural smile that is always associated with Barcelona.
You will find all the information you need to prepare your visit on the Casa Batlló website. The house is located in an area known as the Illa de la Discòrdia (Block of Discord), where the most famous architects wanted to leave their mark with their own styles.
Casa Milà – La Pedrera
You will not find a house like it in the world! This is the landmark Modernista civic building, criticised when it was built but today one of the city’s most admired buildings.
At the Casa Milà, also known as the Pedrera (Quarry), you can take a close look at Antoni Gaudí’s interior design. This is a gem of a building that imitates the shapes found in nature. Its façades, windows, doors, stairs, walls and living rooms, with their original furniture, create a dream world.
Plaça d’Espanya, at the foot of Montjuïc, is one of the most important squares in Barcelona, and the gateway to the city centre from the Llobregat. Major roads meet at the square, such as Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Avinguda del Paral·lel and Carrer de Tarragona. There are very good underground communications (Metro lines 1 and 3), the local Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya trains, and the central Sants station is also very nearby.
The square is the centre for the Fira de Barcelona, the trade fair site, with several pavilions on both sides of Avinguda de Maria Cristina. This road, flanked by the Torres Venecianes, two towers by Ramón Raventós, is the access to the pavilions and the mountain of Montjuïc. At the end of the avenue there is the Magic Fountain, internationally known for its musical and light spectaculars. Presiding over the fountain, you will find the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, one of the best museums in the city, at the Palau Nacional, which has a major collection of Romanesque art, among other major collections. If you go up Montjuïc along Avinguda del Marquès de Comillas, you will find CaixaForum, a cultural centre in an old Modernista factory. Opposite there is the Mies van der Rohe pavilion, built for the 1929 International Exhibition, marking a major architectural milestone; this is where the famous Barcelona Chair is.
Plaça d’Espanya was built in 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition, based on the design for a circular plaza by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch. In the centre there is a large fountain, by Josep Maria Jujol (a student of Antoni Gaudí) adorned with marble and bronze sculptures by Miquel Blay. The group of buildings with exposed brickwork by the Hotel Plaza was designed as a hotel for visitors to the International Exhibition.
Tibidabo Amusement Park
As it is the highest point in the city, Tibidabo Amusement Park has exceptional views to offer. This park is ideal for visiting with the family or friends because you will always find the right attraction for everyone. The park offers a great variety of options for enjoyment, with attractions that combine quality, old-fashioned fun and uniqueness.
Tibidabo Amusement Park has much to offer, from a lively, thrill-filled visit to an exhibition of antique gems from the world of puppetry with the Herta Frankel collection, followed by a show with a demonstration of how the puppets work. Some of Tibidabo’s mythical attractions include the Automata Museum, one of the most famous in the world; the Watchtower; the Plane; the Carousel; and endless attractions for children. It also hosts shows like the Krüeger Hotel, a tunnel depicting all manner of phenomena from the history of horror films.
Tibidabo always has some novelty to offer, like the new four-dimensional cinema that allows you to enjoy a film with light, sound, air and water effects, giving you an exceptional view through special 3D glasses. It also offers the Pendulum, a unique attraction in Spain, where an articulated arm falls from a height of 38 metres and moves with a pendulum effect.
The history of this hundred year-old park, the oldest in Spain, goes back to 1899, when Salvador Andreu founded the Societat Anònima Tibidabo with the aim of opening a leisure centre on the mountain for the people of Barcelona. The Blue Tram (Tramvia Blau) and the funicular railway were inaugurated in 1901, and the first attractions came shortly afterwards. Some of these attractions have been conserved to this day, like the Castle of Terror and the Roller Coaster. As a curiosity, you can still find the famous Tibidabo Plane (l’Avió) dating from 1928, a replica of the plane that made the first flight between Barcelona and Madrid.
The amusement park combines enjoyment, nature, spectacles, values and services, to the delight of any visitor.
Come to Tibidabo with enjoyable means of transport.
There are various forms of tourist transport to take you up to Tibidabo: there is Barcelona’s oldest tram, the historic Blue Tram; the Tibidabo funicular railway, the cable car that takes you from the Blue Tram terminal on Plaça del Doctor Andreu to Tibidabo Amusement Park; or the Tibibús, a bus that runs from Plaça de Catalunya to Plaça del Tibidabo, which only operates when the amusement park is open.