architecture

Click on one of the styles to immediately find the information you're looking for.

Gothic buildings in Barcelona

Gothic is the architectural style that existed at the end of the middle ages after the Romanesque era. In the historical centre of Barcelona you can still find several gothic buildings, like the gothic cathedral, two other impressive churches, the royal palace at Plaça del Rei, and the Palau de la Generalitat.

 

La Catedral de Santa Creu i Santa Eulalia

The cathedral dates from the year 1928, even though some parts were added still in the fifteenth century. The façade was only built in the nineteenth century and recently it underwent an extensive cleaning job. The cathedral was named after the former patron saint of Barcelona. According to the legend, the young virgin Santa Eulalia died a martyr's death after she had been tortured by the Romans. Her body is buried in the Cathedral.

 

La Iglesia de Santa Maria del Pi

At only a few hundred meters from the cathedral you will find the gothic church of Santa Maria del Pi. At the same spot there used to be a small romanesque church with the same name in the 10th century. The church is devoted to the holy virgin of the pine tree. The exterior of the church has a quite simple appearance, except for the big gothic entrance underneath a typical large rose window. However, the most eye-catching part of the church surely is the 54-meter high tower that can be seen from all parts of Barcelona.

 

La Iglesia de Santa Maria del Mar

In the neighbourhood el Borne you find the gothic basilic Santa Maria del Mar which gained fame recently thanks to the best selling book 'Cathedral of the Sea'. This church was built by and for the seafarers of Barcelona between 1329 and 1383.

 

Plaça del Rei

As soon as you enter this historical square through one of the narrow streets, you feel as if you just walked into the middle ages. The square is surrounded by the palace of the counts and kings of medieval Barcelona and Aragon, and the accompanying chapel. The palace and the church are built within the Roman wall which gives this enchanting square an extra dimension. Also on the other side of the walls, from the busy street Via Layetana, you get a good impression of the majesticity of the building. Nowadays, the building houses part of the museum of the history of Barcelona.

 

Palau de la Genralitat

Looking at this building with its modern façade seen from Plaça Sant Jaume you probably wouldn't realize that this actually is a Gothic building. The courtyard and the interior however still date from the Gothic era. Also when you walk into the narrow street next to the palace you can see many signs of gothic architecture on the walls.

 

Modernism in Barcelona

The Modernism route leads you through the neighbourhood Eixample where about a hundred years ago many modernist architects competed to design the most extraordinary houses for the rich families that moved into the area when Barcelona was extending its city center along the Passeig de Gracia. You can follow the route by following the stones that indicate the way in the side walk. In front of many of the modernistic buildings you will find information signs where you can read the story of the architect and the building.

Ruta del modernisme

 

the modernism of Gaudi

Portret van Antoni GaudiAntoni Gaudí is the most famous architect that contributed to the way Barcelona is looking today. The catalan architect was born in 1852 in Reus, in the south of Catalonya. During his childhood he spent much time in nature which later became the most important source of inspiration for his work. When he was twenty he started studying architecture in Barcelona. He also lived there most of his life. The rise of modernism and the extension of Barcelona around the posh Passeig de Gracia, where rich families had their houses built in that time, acounted for some of his most important assignments. Gaudí died in 1926 while working on the Sagrada Familia that has still not finished today.

Following you find an overview of Gaudí's most important works in Barcelona.

 

Sagrada Familia

The enormous temple is very impressive on the outside with its different façades and towers. We recommend everyone who visits Barcelona to take a walk around this beautiful church. You can also see the church from the inside and climb the elegant towers. If you're interested in the history of the temple and the details of Gaudí's master piece, then you should absolutely join the cue to enter. But if it's out of mere curiosity, then we warn you that it might not be worth the effort to enter the temple since many parts are still closed for construction works.

Metroline 2, purpleline 5, blue Sagrada Familia

 

Parc Guell

The park is like an escape from the noise and traffic of the city. Gaudí's fantasy-like style with many of his typical mosaic structures mixes perfectly with nature. Gaudí designed the park in assignment of the business man Eusebi Güell who also gave him many other assignments. The purpose was to create a green area with houses for families to live in. There were two houses built as show models, but due to lack of interest the plan to build more houses was cancelled. Eventually park Güell has become a public city park. Gaudí has lived inside the park for some time himself.

Metroline 3, green Valcarca

 

modern architecture in Barcelona

 

Torre Agbar

The Torre Agbar can be seen from anywhere in the city and especially at night, it's very prominently visible thanks to its curious shape and lighting. This building in the shape of a fallus houses the water company of Barcelona. It was designed by the agency of the French architect Jean Nouvel and was inaugurated in september 2005.