Visiting European City - Barcelona

From Lantern to Temple - Barcelona, Spain

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Plaça Reial

Plaça Reial

There is a beautiful square next to la Rambla, Plaça Reial, that is framed by a beautiful arcades (Plaça Reial in Catalan, Plaza Real in Spanish). Here catch the eye unusual street lanterns.
Each of these has six lamps and at the very top - the winged helmet of Mercury, messenger of the gods. Top of lanterns is made in the form of caduceus with two serpents - rod herald the ancient Greeks and Romans. These lanterns is one of the first works of Gaudi, Barcelona's great architect.

During our vacation in Spain in September 2007, we lived in a hotel close to Barcelona. Therefore, we were able to visit Barcelona several times in order to see at least some of the famous Gaudi buildings.

Antoni Gaudi was born in 1852 in the town of Reus that is located 15 km west of Tarragona. (We went to Reus unfortunately not knowing at that moment that it was Gaudí's birthplace.)
Gaudi - the most weird representative of the modernist style. This style was born in Europe in the late 19 th century and was called Art Nouveau in Belgium and France, "modernismo" - in Spain, "Jugendstil" - in Germany.
It is characterized by smoothly curved shapes and patterns with restrained colors, often in the form of plants and shells. In the facades were used wrought iron lattices. The Tassel House Hotel, built by Victor Horta in Brussels (Viktor Horta), is considered to be the first example of this style of architecture.

The Window of Casa Batlló

The Window of Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló

We planned to see the Casa Batlló, Casa Milà, Palau Guell, Park Guell and Sagrada Familia. But we could not only get in the Palau Guell because of the reconstruction of the building. And we could not even see it from the outside.
But we did see the rest of the buildings, though we were not everywhere inside.

House (Casa) Batlló is not a house that is built from scratch but a converted one of the pre-existing building. Gaudi achieved here a surprising combination of luxury and piety, because the idea of this house is based on the legend of St. George, patron saint of Catalonia. For example, a dome with a cross on the roof is a symbol of the spear of St. George, the names of Jesus, Mary and Joseph are written on it.

Although only litte from the interior is preserved, it seems that the most interesting things in this house are just inside and not outside. (But we were unfortunately not inside.)
But outside the house makes an indelible impression. Due to the tile and ceramic the facade takes different hues depending on the lighting and looks like blurry water. You get an association with a picture of Monet's "Water Lilies".

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Gaudi's works in Barcelona:

- Sagrada Familia (Gaudi 1883–1926)
- Casa Vicens (1883–1888)
- Guell Pavillons (1884–1887)
- Palau Guell (1886–1888)
- Street lamps on the Placa Reial (1888) - College of the Teresianas (1888—1894)
- Casa Calvet (1898–1900)
- Casa Figueras (1900—1909)
- Park Guell (1900–1914)
- Casa Batllo (1904–1906)
- Casa Mila (1906–1910)