Antoni Gaudí - Expand your knowledge of the Catalan culture

Wave-like structures that spiral throughout the Parc Güell
Antoni Gaudí, born in 1852, is known as one of the most influential and individualized architects in world history to date, and spent his entire professional career in Barcelona, designing and implementing his works. His one-of-a-kind style pulled from Baroque, Gothic, Moorish, and Victorian elements, and contorted them to boost the Catalan Modernisme movement. Gaudí's individualism was greatly inspired by his devout Catholicism and by nature, which can be found in all of his works. Millions of people a year travel to see the amazingly beautiful and inspiring works that Gaudí has created and that transcend architecture to a completely unique style of art.

Whale skeleton railings in Casa Batllo

When you start your search and look for the top attractions in Barcelona, you're likely going to find Gaudí's name stamped on at least 5 of the top 10 things to see. Walking down the streets of the 10th largest city in Europe, you'll see yourself in a vibrant and colorful city unlike any other; A city that is built in the Catalan identity. This architectural Modernisme defines and is connected through flowing rounded shapes, colorful  spires, and unassumingly natural statues. The salty air whips through the streets from the sea; hints of this aroma stir visitors and locals alike to crave the exquisite cuisine, vermut, wine, and cocktails, or to get up and dance! This exciting Catalan city is where the tapas came to be, and is still home to the best tapas bars in the world.

Gaudí fits in to this city by way of taking all that was the Catalan style and inserting his personal values of nature and religion into the region. The colorful landscape of plants, animals, and buildings uniquely intertwine in his houses, parks, and cathedrals.  Gaudí  uses many structures that can be found in nature to further structure his buildings and expand on their identity and efficiency. Just a few examples are the spiraling waves built in the Parc Güell, the whale bone arm rails in Casa Batllo, or the tree trunk columns holding the enormous La Sagrada Familia.

Tree trunk columns in La Sagrada Familia

Parc Güell - Eusebi Güell selected Gaudí for the creation of this park with the idea of urbanization in mind. Now a UNESCO world heritige site, this park is open to the public and contains only 2 houses that Gaudí designed. One of the houses, now a museum to Gaudí, become his home for the many years of his life while working on La Sagrada Familia. Gaudí seemed to be at home while creating this park as well, where he was free to use nature in whatever way he saw fit. He created several spiraling waves, long garden pathways, and many other Mediterranean shapes throughout, than overlook Barcelona.


Casa Batlló  is known as one of Guadi's masterpieces, and was a redesigned house bought and commisioned by Josep Battlo.  In competition with other architects to reform the growing area of Catalonia, Gaudi decided against the destruction of the existing house, and instead reconstructed the the existing building. Prior to being named after the owner of the house and after Guadi's reconstruction, the house was called  Casa dels ossos (House of Bones). The name was a result of the dragon-like design and skeletal interior.


Finally, La Sagrada Familia! This is the number 1 attraction in Barcelona and is a must see when anywhere near. This commissioned basilica has been in the works for over 100 years, and is still in construction today. While Gaudí worked on this design and construction for the last 17 years of his life, he knew that he would never see the finished product, and made sure that future architects had the tools to finish his work. The intricacies and details stand out and are extremely modern and liberal compared to all other Roman Catholic Churches. Due to many of the outlier versions of biblical reenactments through statues and other art, this site hosts many controversial, artistic creations, and spur many conspiracy theories in additional to distaste and arguments against the work from conservatives. In 1926, Gaudí was hit by a tram and lost his life, leaving the construction to future architects and contractors. The timeline has been finalized to have La Sagrada completed, exactly 100 years after his death: 2026. I wouldn't suggest waiting until then to go for a visit!