Situated along the Mediterranean coast, the city of Barcelona is a cosmopolitan playground and top tourist destination rich in history, culture, and fabled architecture. From the medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter and the modern skyscrapers of the Gran Via district, to the quirky Art Nouveau facades that dot the city, there’s no shortage of eye -- and camera -- pleasing sights to see. In order to get a closer look at this world-class metropolis, we combed through Instagram to find our favourite shots.
Of all the buildings in Barcelona, none are as unusual and recognizable as the buildings created by renowned Spanish Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí. Using a unique mix of curves, shapes and ornamentations never before seen in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Gaudí’s portfolio of work has become internationally revered in the architecture community. Built between 1886 and 1888 as the palace residence of the Güell family, Palau Güell was one of Gaudí’s first works. While the building’s facade lacks the “Gaudí-esque” elements seen in his later creations, its interior more than makes up for it with its eclectic mix of parabolic domes, arches, columns.
Situated in Cuitat Vella -- Barcelona’s Old Town -- stepping into the Barri Gòtic is like stepping back in time. The area’s maze of narrow streets and squares is steeped in history and contains an abundance of Roman remains and Gothic buildings from the Middle Ages.
Located on Carmel Hill within the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Parc Güell is a 45 acre public park designed by Antoni Gaudí. Originally designed to be a part of a prestigious housing development that was never build, the park opened to the public in 1926. Inside, visitors will find several design elements reflective of Gaudí’s naturalist phase incorporating organic shapes and forms. Examples include the mosaic-tiled serpentine bench and the “birds nests” incorporated into
Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor
Constructed between 1902 and 1961, the Temple Expiatori del Sagrat Cor is a minor basilica designed by Spanish Catalan architect Enric Sagnier and his son Josep Maria Sagnier i Vidal. The historic complex consists of a Romanesque fortress of stone at the base, topped by a beautiful neo-Gothic church. Built atop the summit of Mount Tibidabo, overlooking the city of Barcelona, the area offers stunning city views and even includes an amusement park adjacent to the church.
Basílica de la Sagrada Família
Walking through the streets of Barcelona, Gaudí-designed buildings like Palau Güell, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera are unmistakable with their undulating curves, and ceramic tile-accented facades. However, Gaudí’s most famous and recognizable work is still under construction. The Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic Church that has been under construction for over 133 years. The masterpiece has already been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is scheduled to be completed in 2026 on the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death.