About Me

My photo

I'm a 30 something who loves to travel.  I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels.  I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt.  I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney.  My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.  

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gaudi's Barcelona - Where Art and Architecture Meet

Barcelona from Park Guell
I'm riding around Barcelona on my first afternoon in the city and I'm more asleep then awake, I guess 4 hours of sleep on a plane wasn't enough.  I decide I had to get off the bus soon and as I try to think where to do that I looked up and see Sagrada Familia.  I wasn't planning on seeing the church now, but if it woke me up, then it did the job so I got off the bus.  It was time to explore Gaudi's Barcelona...

Park Guell
Antoni Gaudi was a modernistic architect with a very unique sytle, he has left his fingerprint all over Barcelona.  He's best known for his work designing Sagrada Familia; but, he is also know for Park Guell, Casa Batllo and Casa Mila.

I'm going to skip Sagrada Familia for now, except to say that it's magnificent!  It's so magnificent that it deserves its own post.  My next stop after waking up was Park Guell.

Maybe I was tired and cranky but the first thing I thought of when I walked in was the time Disney did that cheesy overlay on Cinderella's Castle, not a good sign.  Looking at it now I'm not quite so repulsed by it, it reminds me more of gingerbread houses and they're kinda cute, right?  Ok, the highlight here was that I bought a bunch of really cute necklaces for 3 euro each, I bought one for every girl I know.
Park Guell

I only ever saw Casa Mila from the outside and it's a pretty cool looking building, and not totally out of place.  It blended in with the nearby architecutre, but was also distinct.

Casa Mila
At this point, I wasn't totally digging Gaudi, I thought he was a little out there.  But I went to Casa Batllo anyway, I had heard great things.  The outside of the house doesn't do much for me, too bright and out of place on the block.  I slowly started to adjust to the place, as I started to see his designs giving flow to the house.  How much thought was put into functionality, and not just making things look good, this place really started to grow on me - this is where I started to see his architecture as a form of art.  Some of it is over the top, but the combination of nature and curved lines actually started to sit well with my contemporary design leanings.  There were a few weird things, but overall I really liked this place. 
Casa Batllo
Whether you like Guadi's work or not, he really does have a style all his own. He designs with a purpose and a lot of his work is not only functional, but is also a piece of art. I'm not sure I would hire Gaudi to design my house (ya know, from the grave - he did passed away years ago), but I wouldn't rule out the possibility either.
Casa Batllo Dining Room

Seating for a courting couple

This is the second part of a series on Barcelona, the first post can be found here.