If you have already booked your apartment in Barcelona and your flight to the Catalan capital, it is time to design your touristic route. We know that it is not an easy task, since the offer of monuments in Barcelona is practically inexhaustible. You will even find places that are World Heritage Sites in Barcelona, so … where to start? Don’t worry, we are here to help you.
If you want to make the most of your next weekend getaway, without forgetting any important landmarks, do not miss these recommendations with the must-see buildings in this destination on the shores of the Mediterranean. Pay attention!
LA CASA BATLLÓ, ONE OF GAUDÍ’S MASTERPIECES
What did Reus’s genius have to transform a bland Eixample housing block into a fairytale house? This is precisely what happened at number 43 of the Passeig de Gràcia, an estate where the architect worked between 1904 and 1906. Also known as the Casa dels Ossos – or ‘House of Bones’, for the capricious shape of the columns that decorate the lower part of the facade—, Casa Batlló is framed in the artistic plenitude of Gaudí’s inspiration during his naturalistic stage. Visiting the Sagrada Familia Museum, you will know how Gaudí applied natural forms to his architectural projects.
WHAT MAKES THE ARCHITECTURE OF BARCELONA UNIQUE?
In any case, modernist architecture in Barcelona goes far beyond Gaudi’s legacy. Bold, colorful, original, harmonious, groundbreaking … These are just some of the adjectives that describe it. Of course: in the Catalan capital, the old and the new coexist without clashing, giving it a unique personality. Thus, few feelings are as pleasant as walking along its streets and avenues and get caught up in its beauty.
A magnetism to which buildings like the church of Santa Maria del Pi also contribute, a Gothic building whose tower was the tallest building in Barcelona until the 19th century, or the cathedral, whose elegant neo-Gothic facade exhibits the splendor of its arches and ogives. From the Gothic quarter, and in a few metro stops, you can reach the Sagrada Familia, icon par excellence of the architecture of Barcelona.
As you will see during this walk, the center of Barcelona has several different areas. One of them is Ciutat Vella, where the city was born. This district is characterized by its narrow streets with medieval flair and its tall buildings. One of the neighborhoods which it accommodates is the Raval, which in the past brought together some buildings located outside the walls of Barcelona. We should also refer to part of the Eixample, a district that resembles a large grid and borders the old town. To get a little more familiar with Barcelona’s street map, we recommend you take a look at this article about the 10 districts of Barcelona.
AGBAR, JEAN NOUVEL’S MASTERPIECE
It is said that this tower was designed before Norman Foster erected his 40-story skyscraper in London named 30 St Mary Ax or ‘The Gherkin’. Be that as it may, the truth is that the similarities between this neofuturist building and the Agbar Tower of Barcelona, the work of Frenchman Jean Nouvel, are undeniable.
The Agbar Tower imitates a geyser. Hence the flickering colors that speck its facade. Built between 1999 and 2004 and opened in 2005, this structure is not only one of the three tallest buildings in Barcelona, but also one of the emblems of the post-Olympic city and the Poblenou neighborhood, where our apartments are located on the beach of Barcelona.
To get there, get off at the Glòries metro station (L1) or Clot (L1 and L2).
THE FÒRUM, HERZOG & DE MEURON BUILDING
The Swiss Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron are considered two of the brightest architects of the moment. Something that can be verified if we take into account some of his most recent interventions, such as the Tate Modern in London or the Beijing Nest stadium, one of the places where the 2008 Olympic Games where held. A list to which the Fòrum building must be added.
This example of Barcelona’s new achitecture is framed in the enclosure that hosted the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2004, and in whose vicinity the skyscraper neighborhood of Diagonal Mar was built. Currently, this building accommodates the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona, also known as Museu Blau.
To get there, you can take the subway to Maresme station | Fòrum (L4), tram T4 to the Fòrum stop or buses 36 and 141, getting off at the Maresme stop | Forum And if it is summer, take advantage of the visit, because there you will find one of the bathing areas and beaches of Barcelona.
EL PEIX, A SCULPTURE BY FRANK GEHRY
Frank Gehry, creator of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, has also left his mark on Barcelona. Specifically, through his sculpture El Peix, he has become one of the standards of Olympic Barcelona. It is a large goldfish that seems to float on the Mediterranean, 56 m long and 35 m high. The sun is reflected on the golden scales of the animal, which dominates the beach of Port Olímpic. Although this work looks perfectly from any angle, you have to go up close to realize that its peculiar metal structure is empty inside.
To see it, it is best use Barcelona metro to the Ciutadella stop | Olympic Village (L4).
VISIT CALATRAVA’S CREATIONS IN BARCELONA
The Valencia-born architect Santiago Calatrava is one of the most famous n Spain and one of those with the greatest international projection. Among his best-known works, it is worth mentioning the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia or the subway stop of the World Trade Center in New York.
In Barcelona, Calatrava is the author of the Montjuïc telecommunications tower and the Bac de Roda bridge, which unites the districts of Sant Andreu and Sant Martí.
THE SANTA CATERINA MARKET, RESTORED BY ENRIC MIRALLES AND BENEDETTA TAGLIABUE
Located very close to the cathedral of Barcelona, this market originating in 1845 was subject to a major restoration in 2005. This intervention provided its beautiful undulating ceramic roof, designed to be viewed from the air. Its brightly colored tiles are a nod to the fruits and vegetables sold inside.
To visit this place, take the L4 metro to the Urquinaona or Jaume I stops.
THE COLLSEROLA TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER, BY NORMAN FOSTER
Renowned British architect Norman Foster is the author of this infrastructure. Built between 1990 and 1992 on the hill of Vilana at 445.5 m above sea level, very close to the top of Tibidabo, it offers unique views over the city.
What do you think about this tour? If you think this list of the most unique architecture in Barcelonais missing a remarkable building, do not hesitate to send us your comments with your suggestions. We would love to extend the list!