For someone as fascinated by architecture and cityscapes as I am, Barcelona is a dream of a city. It is beautiful in a strictly urban fashion, and contains buildings and textures and colours of every kind to please the eye and the brain.
Home to both Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, Barcelona was the playground of Antoni Gaudi. Our hotel was in the Gracia neighbourhood and within walking distance of several Gaudi “monuments”. The Sagrada Familia church didn’t impress me, though I was impressed to learn that several million visitors per year make it one of Spain’s largest attractions. However, Gaudi’s more domestic architecture, such as the Casa Mila …
… and the Casa Battlo ….
were interesting distractions just a block each from where we were staying. A more modern rendition of Gaudi-esque forms was also close….
Each of these buildings features balconies; and I was particularly taken with the range of balconies throughout Barcelona. Each building seemed to be different and each building seemed to revel in these marvelous excretions.
And then, there is the modern stuff! Barcelona’s skyline seems to change every decade, with each generation of architects seeking to make their mark. Just two examples among so many: There is the glorious Torre Agbar:
(image from http://viajeteca.com/europa/espana/Barcelona)
And a marvelous red building that I saw only on our way out to the airport …
(image from http://www.elpais.com/articulo/cataluna/Toyo/Ito/hay/mejor/arquitectura/arbol/elpepiespcat/20090318elpcat_3/Tes)
This is part of Las Torres Fira, by architect Toyo Ito. No wishy-washy rust colour; just red and proud of it.
We had barely a day in Barcelona, with too much to see. I need to return there and just spend a good long time looking at the architecure of the place. I have absolutely no idea whether it actually works as a city, but for the visitor with an eye to its looks, that hardly matters.