August 2, 2013
Of course all of the Gaudi monuments are worth visiting, but most likely you will have to choose. Here is our personal advice from our experiences, hoping to help you make the most of your time in Barcelona.
At both of these places, you can understand Gaudi’s ability to design down to the minute details and imagine him working closely with the craftsmen on every detail. His architecture, especially in these buildings, are incredibly comfortable and human centered. They are filled with soft, natural curves and cosy spaces.
Practical: We chose La Pedrera to visit because of the spectacular roofscape, which we were lucky to barely see as it was raining. We were also able to enjoy the jeweled facade of Casa Batllo from the street without stepping in. Buy your ticket in advance to skip the line and note that no printout was necessary.
The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia is well worth a visit, Gaudi’s chef d’oeuvre, still under construction since 1882. The sheer magnitude of the space will put you in awe as you wander the forest of massive columns.
Practical: The exterior of the building can be well appreciated without buying a ticket. However, the interior of the cathedral is spectacular and awe inspiring, despite the drilling and hammering sounds of ongoing construction. There is an excellent exhibition on the main level that connects the natural and geometric origins of many of the forms found in Gaudi’s work. In the lower level there is a comprehensive exhibit on the history of the building where you can see Gaudi’s drawings, large scale models, and the famous inverted string and sandbag model. Buy your ticket online ahead of your visit for a much shorter wait (a printout in this case was helpful).
Parc Guell contains several pieces of what was planned as a housing development. Now existing as a park, you can experience the marketplace and entrance where undulating surfaces are coated with mosaics of broken ceramic. Excellent views over Barcelona, and an excuse to stretch your legs and take a stroll.
Practical: Entrance to the park is free, however the Gaudi House Museum does have an entrance fee. On a hot day, the park might be best experienced around sunset, when it is cooler and the colors even more dazzling. Even though it was pouring rain during our visit, we still enjoyed the park immensely.
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