I have never heard of Antoni Gaudi until I was researching our itinerary for Barcelona. It was rather impossible to miss since his name is associated with the majority of the attractions in Barcelona. He is the famed architect behind the Sagrada Familia, a project he started in 1883, when he was merely 31 years old, and is still under construction until today. His works are found throughout the city and if you are going to be in BCN, you’d do well to see his creations. I promise you will be impressed.
Out of all the buildings Gaudi designed, this one may just be my favourite… or maybe not, let’s just say it ties with Sagrada Familia. The locals dub it as the “House of Bones” because of its façade – You’ll understand this when you see it – it’ll remind you of your phalanges (W00ts!+10 for Pauline for inserting an Anatomy term into a blog post!).
Gaudi used marine life as his inspiration behind this particular project, so things inside are undulating and curvy. In fact, as my journal entry tells me (based on the audio guide), there is absolutely no straight line or sharp edges! As a result, the entire place feels whimsical, almost like you are stepping into a Dr. Seuss’ story.
Built for the Mila family, Gaudi made sure to design this apartment in such a way that every room is hit by the sunlight. Ever the perfectionist, he also focused on the details and created cast-iron railings for the balconies as well as the stairwells.
The most famous part of this apartment is the rooftop, where the chimneys are created with a futuristic flare, incorporating design with functionality. Some of them are somewhat scary – they remind me of aliens of some sort.
When you’re up there, don’t forget to take a breather and glance around, you can spot the other famous landmarks of Barcelona from here, namely the Sagrada Familia and Torre Agbar (or the capsule building, as I call it). If you’re mature like us, you can even pretend to hold the two buildings on the palms of your hands!
Since both Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are located on the same street, Passeig de Gracia, you can probably use one day to visit both of them. They are expensive to enter (18.15€ for Casa Batllo and 16.50€ for La Pedrera. Wooh, I was sweating when I typed that…) and by the end of the day you’ll probably feel like you’ve been robbed, but it’ll all be worth it!
If you need a break from the Gaudi overload that you will experience, head over to Avinguda Diagonal nearby. It’s a major street in Barcelona and this particular section near Passeig de Gracia is LINED with shopping centres!
On another completely unrelated note, I went to see War Horse last night! Has anyone seen this show? If you have, please join me as I continue to be in awe. If you haven’t, GO SEE IT! Each of the horses is basically this complex contraption that’s manned by 3 people. These guys are also responsible for choreographing its every move and making all the noises a horse could possibly make. It’s amazing to see how much work they do (they were sweating buckets! – I only know this because $29 rush tickets entitle you to a front-row seat thus you get to see all the actions up-close and personal) in order to make these contraptions into real, life-like horses with fluid movements! Kudos to the actors who operated them! Whew… to say I’m impressed is an understatement! Oh and the storyline? T’was pretty good!