“Antoni Gaudí” is a household name in and around Barcelona. But for visitors to Barcelona, it’s a name that’s often floated around without context. Tourists are often left wondering who he actually is and how he contributed to the city. So, I’ll quickly discuss a little more about ancient Barcelona’s most genius mind.
Antoni Gaudi is one of the most famous architects that Barcelona has ever seen. While walking around the city, you will inevitably encounter some of the work Gaudí created throughout his career. If you’re curious about all things historical and intriguing, then you came to the right place.
Short Story on who Antoni Gaudí was
Our story’s hero was born in Reus, Tarragona, on June 25th, 1852. He was the youngest of 5 siblings, but only three of them lived to adulthood. While growing up in his quaint hometown, Antoni developed a love for nature in a very profound way, especially during his summers in Mas de la Calderera, the family’s holiday home.
It’s believed that Gaudí’s love for art and architecture was also homegrown. With more than 5 generations of copper manufacturers, Gaudí was able to hone his craft with relative ease. He learned the work pretty well and developed a unique perspective for large spaces, shapes, and materials. This helped him build the posteriori that’s reflected in his work to this day.
Gaudí finished his primary education at home, then moved to Barcelona in 1868 to finish his mid-school studies. In 1878 he was eligible for military service, but since he was frequently ill, he avoided the Third “Carlista” war and continued his studies.
Modernism Influence in Gaudí’s Career
If you’re wondering about the unique style Gaudí used during his career, we can say it’s a bit complicated. He loved to experiment with different styles, and that unique sampling is evident through various works that clearly display his vision.
During Gaudí’s college days, he experimented with a style that was common during the 1870s decade known as Modernism. He made it a habit to continue practicing and improving. Works like “Cemetery Gate,” “University Assemble Hall,” and “Fountain in Plaça Catalunya” were some of his earliest projects as a college student.
Also while attending university, he began working with and for some of Barcelona’s most affluent people. These include Joan Martorell, Francisco de Paula del Villar Lozano, Leandre Serrallach, and many others. These collaborations helped Antoni Gaudí define his own style as he worked alongside them on famous architectural projects like the Palacio de Sobrellano designed by Joan Martorell. This was the breakthrough project that made Gaudí famous.
But it didn’t stop there. Gaudí kept working for years and years, creating new and vital buildings that have become iconic pieces of Barcelona’s history.
And, before we forget, it’s worth mentioning that Gaudí didn’t just work with architectural projects; there are some minor pieces that visitors can enjoy while walking through Barcelona’s streets, including lampposts, furniture, and even an elevator in Casa Batlló!!!!
All of these pieces were crafted with Gaudí’s iconic sui generis style. In other words, everything he made had a unique touch that only he could deliver.
Are Gaudi’s Works Only Found in Barcelona?
While the spotlight is on Barcelona, Antoni Gaudí made such an impact that his works can be seen in many other places, including Mataró, Astorga, and León! His lasting legacy offers the chance for us to experience who many consider being one of the greatest Spanish architects who ever lived.
But, to be fair, most of his pieces remain in Barcelona, alongside his Magnum Opus, La Sagrada Familia. Technically, the Sagrada Familia Basilica is not entirely Gaudi’s work since its construction. However, the architects who have been involved in the project (even to this day) continue to follow his plans precisely. This includes architectural legends like Catalonian Josep Maria Subirachs, and Japanese architect Etsuro Sotoo, along with several other genius minds who left their legacy in the church’s construction. Still, it’s worth remembering that most of the work came from his mind, and it’s the purest representation of what his evolution as an architect looked like.
There’s also another place that Antoni Gaudí created and is considered one of the most important districts in Barcelona. Park Güell, is one of the most impressive Gaudi architectural works. I have to say, it really does look like something from a fairy tale.
Gaudí’s Most Significant Projects and Where to Find Them:
As we discussed, most of his work is in the city of Barcelona, but we can find some of his art in other places, including many provinces.
So, here’s a shortlist if you want to see more of his work and Spain’s most unique provinces during your next trip:
- Casa Vicens, Barcelona.
- Palau Güell, Barcelona.
- Casa Milà, Barcelona.
- Casa Batlló, Barcelona.
- Park Güell, Barcelona.
- Bellesguard Tower, Barcelona.
- Sagrada Familia, Barcelona.
- Rosary of Montserrat, Barcelona. (Collaboration)
- Bodegas Güell, Barcelona.
- Colonia Güell, Barcelona.
- Episcopal Astorga Palace, Astorga.
- Casa Botines, León.
Once you’ve made it to the city, you will breathe and see Gaudi almost everywhere. But, don’t think of it as annoying; enjoying the work from Gaudí is a pretty unique experience in Barcelona.
Are Gaudí’s Works Worth Visiting?
Let’s answer this question with a little perspective. Imagine that you are traveling to Paris. What’s something that you must see during your visit? The Eiffel Tower, right?!. If you don’t go there, then you really didn’t get the full experience of Paris. It remains incomplete.
It’s the same case in Barcelona. You have to visit at least one of Gaudí’s creations to enjoy the city’s full experience.
In case you don’t know what Gaudi’s work looks like, check out our Insta and you will be amazed by the beauty and fantasy of his pieces.
Thanks so much for your time, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it!
See you in my next post!