Monday, March 23, 2015

Modernist Barcelona, Gaudi Houses & Park and Camp Nou Tour

Our first stop was Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.  Its amazing how much has been completed since I visited 10 years ago.  Construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882 and Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família's construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death.   The outside is amazing.  The inside is breath taking.

The Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill.  With urbanization in mind, Eusebi Güell assigned the design of the park to Antoni Gaudí, a renowned architect and the face of Catalan modernism. The park was built between 1900 and 1914. In the design of Park Güell, Gaudí unleashed all his architectonic genius and put to practice much of his innovative structural solutions that would become the symbol of his organic style.

Güell and Gaudí conceived this park, situated within a natural park of incomparable beauty. They imagined an organized grouping of high-quality homes, decked out with all the latest technological advancements to ensure maximum comfort, finished off with an artistic touch. 

The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward, Gaudí, at Güell's suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in

On the way back from Park Güell we drove by Casa Mila and Casa Batllo which are two of the houses of Gaudi. 

We dropped HC off at the hotel and the driver volunteered to drop us off at Camp Nou for the tour.

Barcelona FC Chapel

Ready for his first Press Conference

Tunnel to the field

Atttributed to "Puig.i.Cadafalch.
Dinner at Les Quatre Cats. “Four Cats” is a colloquial Catalan expression for “only a few people” and the name of Els Quatre Gats is derived from this saying. This cafe/restaurant was a popular haunt for the young Picasso in the early 1900's and here he undertook his very first commissioned work for designing the front cover of the menu.   The reviews were really either super positive or super negative  one reviewer said Don't come here for the food, come here for the experience.  If I went back I would sit in the cafe and just have coffee and dessert or a drink.


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