The work of Antoni Gaudi stands out as one of the most original in the history of architecture. His buildings have become symbols of the modernist movement and has been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage. Barcelona would not be the same without his works. Keep reading to discover the essential Gaudi sights.
Barcelona hosts most of Gaudi major works including the iconic Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, or Guell Park. We focus here on his main seven works that the UNESCO recognized as World Heritage Sites.
The 7 UNESCO Heritage Sites By Gaudi
Gaudi’s Magnum opus – his masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia is one of the most amazing man-made structures you’ll ever see. Its construction started in 1882, and has thus been going on for over 130 years.
A mix of the natural and the mystical, the eye-catching Sagrada Familia is hard to describe. Spanish gothic and modernism combined, the Sagrada Familia is one hell-of-a-crazy building.
Private donations and funds fund the majority of the costs, hence the slow progression in the development of the project. When completed, the highest point will reach 170m and redefine Barcelona’s skyline once again. Come visit again when finished!
How to get to the Sagrada Familia?
Subway Sagrada Familia (L5 blue, L2 purple)
Casa Mila – La Pedrera
Build between 1906-1912, La Pedrera is a beautiful organic modernist building located in the spacious Passeig de Gracia Boulevard not too far from the old town. Its white magnificent, sober, and unforgettable. For many, it is Gaudi’s favorite work.
This is Gaudi’s last civil work, and well – nowadays doubles as museum, office building, and even some fortunate locals live there. There is a fancy overpriced restaurant-cafe on the ground floor.
The while broad and prominent facade was built using broad limestone blocks from the nearby Garraf Massif, just 40km south from Barcelona.
The building hosts a large interior courtyard, which is accessed from the main gate.
The roof and the chimneys are maybe the most impressive innovations. Back then these were usually inaccessible and ugly, but Gaudi designed them artistically and integrated them to the visible part of the building.
This means that Gaudi’s Casa Mila is one of the first buildings in history where roofs and chimneys take an artistically and aesthetically important role.
As you can see, the unforgettable facade and the roof are the most notable elements, completely adorned with cheeky chimneys, fans, staircase exits and skylights. Don’t miss it!
How to get to the Casa Mila?
Subway Diagonal (L3 green, L5 blue)
The Parc Guell is one of the most popular tourist destination in Barcelona. Built in 1900-1914, it consists of gardens and architectonic elements, most notably around the central terrace area.
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The Parc Guell was meant to become a high-end urbanized condo consisting of independent high-quality homes. However, the project failed and has since become an urban park.
The Park Guell features a museum, a functioning school, a big terrace meant as a market square, and a set of trails. Don’t miss the “dragon” in the entrance.
How to get to the Park Guell?
Subway Lesseps (L3 green)
Built between 1886 and 1890, the Palau Guell was designed for the industrial magnate and Gaudi’s long-life patron Eusebi Guell. It is located in the heart of the Raval neighborhood, and thus just a few minutes away from the touristic old town.
Gaudi conceived this work during his orientalist period, heavily influenced by Middle-Eastern and Spanish moorish architecture.
It was Gaudi’s first notable project, and hence he put all his efforts in ensuring a memorable outcome. You’ll be able to appreciate the level of detail. What a dome!
How to get to the Guell Palace?
Subway Liceu (L3 green)
Gaudi reformed Casa Batllo, which was designed and built in 1875 by Emilio Sala Cortes.
The current look responds to Gaudi’s naturalism productive period. The facade, roof, and interiors are the most remarkable features of this project.
The windows of the first floor are particularly noteworthy, and unlike anything you’ve seen before.
How to get to the Casa Batllo?
Subway Passeig de Gracia (L2 purple, L3 green)
The Casa Vicens is a less-known Gaudi project located in the Gracia neighborhood.
One of his main major projects, this project has a clear orientalist feel. largely covered with colorful tiles and decorative ornaments, this is a very expressive building.
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How to get to the Casa Vicens?
Subway Fontana (L3 green)
The Crypt of the Colonia Guell
This work was build between 1998 and 1914, and is part of a larger project: the Guell Colony. Sponsored by Eusebi Guell, the Guell Colony was meant to become a 160 hectares industrial complex consisting of housing, schools, praying area, parks and other leisure items. It is located in Santa Coloma de Cervello, not far from Barcelona.
Gaudi built the Crypt of the Guell Colony during his naturalist period.The death of its patron in 1918 lead to the interruption of the project, as its heirs did not chose to proceed with the development.
The design of the crypt exhibits a number of creative architectonic designs, most notably the porticos and altars as well as the modernist furniture. Unfortunately the building was assaulted and put on fire in 1939 during the Spanish Civil war, leading to the loss of major documentation.
This unfinished temple is an amazing visit, just one hour away from Pl. Catalunya, and makes an interesting morning trip. Do you have an extra morning to kill?
How to get to the Crypt of the Colonia Guell?
Subway Colonia Guell (S33, S4, S8) about 1h away from Pl Catalunya.
You can visit all these Gaudi Masterpieces in a weekend. Casa Mila and Casa Batllo are 5 minutes away. Sagrada Familia and Parc Guell are also in the same direction, but with trickier logistics and longer visit times.
Most people agree that Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, and Casa Batllo are the most impressive. In fact, once can look at their facades for hours… for free! The Park Guell makes a good stroll and has a nice view over the city. Palau Guell was generally considered one of Gaudi’s best works, but also very obscure. Finally, combine the Casa Vicens with a nice daily menu weekday lunch deal in Gracia.
Which one is your favorite? Leave us a comment!