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A Weekend in the Capital of Modernism: Barcelona.

Posted by Fatima Linares on 07/06/2016
Art in Barcelona Spain

Barcelona… has the most beautiful horizon, Barcelona is a jewel in the sun, wish I could be a seagull of your beautiful sea… The song “Barcelona” for the Olympic Games of 1992 couldn’t describe better this stunning, historic and modern city bathed by the Mediterranean Sea.

Thanks to low cost companies now it is possible to fly from the UK to Spain everyday at any time. Barcelona is a beloved city for Britons because it is capable to gather the things that everyone is looking for: fiesta, playa and history.

Do you have any plans for the weekend? Why not book a hotel and visit Barcelona? Visit this iconic city in the Mediterranean Sea and discover why Barcelona is considered the capital of Modernism.

Barcelona has earned the name of “capital of modernism”, thanks to incredible masterpieces of 3 important architects: Gaudi, Puig I Cadafalch and Domenech i Montaner.

The Municipal Institute for Urban Landscapes of Barcelona has created a very popular route that enable visitors to discover buildings that have become symbols of Barcelona; it is incredible how arts has become a very important part of the life of Barcelona.

To enjoy a weekend in the capital of Modernism we have prepared a guidebook, to suggest you the best itineraries in order to discover the heritage of “La Barcelona Modernista”.

The complete route, including visits to all the monuments, could take you more than 2 days to be completed but in a weekend you can discover the most important sights. Take a look at these 2 itineraries to discover Barcelona and enjoy a weekend in the capital of modernism.

Itinerary 1: “Gracia”

This tour is less touristy but doesn’t mean is not interesting, in fact it shows other hidden gems of modernism. Gracia was a tiny village that was annexed to the city in the mid-nineteenth century, nowadays it is one of the most charming neighborhoods of Barcelona.

The tour begins in the beautiful Parc Güell… the highlight without any doubt is its spectacular square, with a privileged place to admire the city. In the park you have the chance to walk through a forest and fountains with peculiar monuments.

Parc Guell, Barcelona Spain
Parc Guell, Photo Credit: Brian Teutsch via Flickr

The park represents a burst of color and decorative richness, achieved on the basis of “trencadis”, small decorative ceramic pieces or glazed.

After admire Parc Guell, you can now visit “Plaça Lesseps”; in this plaza you will find a beautiful building created by the talented architect “Jaume Torres”, it is easy to recognize the building thanks to its intense color yellow.

The buildings have constant references to the natural world, the façade has plenty of flowers and bees as decorative motifs.

The building also has, in the center of the back courtyard, a well preserved modernist bandstand. In order to visit this beautiful modernist bandstand you just have to go to “Mont-Roig” street in the back part of the building.

The area is really beautiful, even the acclaimed film maker “Pedro Almodóvar” chose this courtyard to shoot some scenes for his film “All about my mother”.

Casa Vicens

Caroline 24 is located “La casa Vicens”, known for being the first major work by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí. The house was commissioned by the tile manufacture Manuel Vicens, its construction began in 1883 and finished 5 years later.

La casa Vicens, Barcelona Spain
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a Casa Vicens, Photo Credit: Akarat Akwisarn via Flick

The project was to build a summer villa for Vicens. References to Vicens are constant, mainly manifested in the use of ceramic tiles. The building has clear influences in Arab architecture and is undoubtly a beautiful modernist building worth visiting.

Following Carrer de Gran Gracia until Jardins de Salvador Espriu in the beginning of Passeig de Gracia is located “La Casa Fuster”, an imposing building, and one of the lesser-known buildings Domenech I Montaner.

The exterior has large windows, undulating architecture in stone and marble, richly decorated arches, which together convey the sense of movement of all modernist work. “Casa Fuster” has been recently restored and has become a luxurious hotel in Barcelona; you can enter and admire the hall that has a beautiful inner décor.

Casa Fuster concludes the first itinerary, now we are going to show you the second itinerary for the next day.

Itinerary 2: “Passeig de Gracia”

Passeig de Gracia is a veritable outdoor museum of Modernist art, as it became the favorite place of residence for Catalan Bourgeoisie of the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Strolling by Passeig de Gracia, you can take a look to its modernist lamp-posts, made from wrought iron and designed by Pere Falqués; also take a look to undulating banks with ceramic of “trencadis” decoration.

Casa Milá:

First stop is undoubtly at “Casa Milà”, a stunning modernist building designed by the genius Antoni Gaudi.  The building stands as an imposing mass of undulating stone, its façade stand out in the ironwork on the balconies.

Casa Mila, Barcelona Spain
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asa Mila, Photo Credit: Manuel Martin via Flickr

The building has been a target of numerous jokes in 1910 due to its odd construction and since then is known by locals as “La Pedrera” (The Quarry).It is recommended to visit the interior of the house, however you can only visit “Espai Gaudi” the floor and the rooftop, but seriously the rooftop is a beautiful piece of artwork.

Casa Batlló, Casa Ametller and Casa Lleó Morera:

Following this fantastic itinerary to enjoy a weekend in the capital of Modernism you have to arrive at the “Apple of discord”, where “Casa Amatller” of Josep Puig I Cadafalch, Casa Lleó-Morera, a beautiful artwork of Lluis Domench I Montaner and the worldwide famous “Casa Batlló” of Antoni Gaudi is located.

The first one is Casa Batlló, conceived as a huge colourful allegory of the seabed, the façade of the house is a spectacular recreation of various shades of the sea. Casa Batlló is one of the most significant examples of “organic architecture”. Due to its beauty and spectacular undulating architecture, you cannot visit Barcelona and not visit this house.

Casa Batllo, Barcelona Spain
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asa Batllo, Photo Credit: Sara Sune via Flickr

Next to Casa Batlló is located the beautiful and peculiar “Casa Amatller” created by Josep Puig I Cadafalch. Its stepped façade is incredible, with a visible triangular pediment reminiscent of the Dutch houses of 18th century, with a clear inspiration in neo-Gothic style.

Last but not least next to Casa Amatller is located “Casa Lleó Morera”. In 1905 the Lleó Morera family commissioned the architect Lluis Domenech I Montaner to refurbish the house, located on Passeig de Gracia.

The work of Lluis Domenech I Montaner was considered a success; the old house won a prize awarded by the City Hall of Barcelona.  The façade is stunning thanks to the master craftsmen that worked on it. Lluis Domenech I Montaner counted with the help of a great team of artists specializing in the arts of stained glass, wood, and ceramic among many others.

Casa Lleó Morera concludes the second itinerary.

Coming to Barcelona not only means a visit to the beach, it can also can be an interesting opportunity to expand your horizons and discover beautiful sights and hidden jewels of the city. Visit Barcelona and enjoy a weekend in the capital of Modernism.