The architecture of this city is fascinating. There are simply no identical buildings here; each of them is a work of art. The reason for such a variety of design and architectural styles was the industrial revolution at the boundary of centuries. The most ambitious and famous artists, architects, sculptors and decorators were gathering in Barcelona, converting into a fact all their creative ideas. The brightest examples are the house of Calvet, the Palace of the Catalan Music, the house of Vicens and many others. Four Barcelona buildings, which are described above, are considered some of the most beautiful and remarkable in Barcelona.
Despite the fact that almost all of them are situated in different parts of the city, you may reach them quickly and comfortably with the help of car rental at Barcelona Airport.
Casa Amatller (the House of Amalie)
Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 41, 08007 Barcelona
The architecture of Barcelona begins with Casa Amatller, distinguished among other buildings by its originality and geographic location. The house is located next to no less famous neighbors – the Casa Batlló and the house of Leo Morera. The style of the building varies between neo-Gothic and modern.
The front of the construction is having a stair-stepped shape and an allegorical portrait of the second owner, the confectioner Amalie, who bought it in 1898. The project was developed and implemented by the architect J. Puig i Kadafalch. During his work, the redevelopment was successfully carried out, and the decoration of the building was made. The house is declared a monument of the national value in Spain.
The magnificent House of Amalie is located in the “Block of Disagreement”. This block is formed by the modernist buildings, which are having peculiar stylistic eccentricity. The wonderful facade of the historic mansion harmoniously combines Gothic and Moorish elements.
During the external overlook of the Amalie House, pay attention to the original lanterns on the balconies and to the sculptural compositions near the doors. Now, there is an Institute of Spanish Art and a large library on the upper floors, so it is Impossible to look over the whole building. However, you can visit the museum on the first floor and see the Roman glass, furniture, paintings, sculptures and ornaments.
Location: Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona
The house was built in the second half of the 19th century, but at the beginning of the 20th century, the architect Antoni Gaudi rebuilt it, creating a masterpiece of Barcelona. Although the structure of the walls has not changed much, the dwelling has acquired a completely new look. The owner wanted to demolish the structure, but Gaudi was not so radical about it.
Only the mezzanine has undergone cardinal changes, a basement and an attic were added. The house has two facades. One faces the avenue de Gracia, the other faces the block. The architect combined light shafts into the light courtyard, significantly increasing the quantity of illumination at the daytime and the quality of ventilation at the house. As Gaudi is almost indifferent to styles and canons, there is not a single straight line on the façade- it is decorated with thousands of details, hewn out of stone.
Until now, it is not known what the building symbolizes. Modern architects believe that the structure is the dragon, which was overthrown by St. George, and the skulls and bones, which are seen on its squama- are the fallen victims. The top of the tower is pierced with the sword. According to legend, St. George struck the dragon in the ridge. For the lights and darks achievement, Gaudi did not just correctly calculate the light yard, but also used one more trick- he used different colors in the lining – from white to light blue and blue.
Location: Carrer de les Carolines, 18-24, 08012 Barcelona
It is another wonder of Barcelona and the very first great creation of Gaudi, which he has made just after the end of his study. Although the building is having a shape of a quadrangle – it is expressing the uniqueness. To achieve the volume, hundreds of small elements of decorative construction were used: turrets, specific ledges, balconies and bay windows. In the middle of the 20th century, it was decided to expand the street, as a result, the garden was destroyed, and the fountain with a cascade, a rotunda and part of the fence were destroyed. The building got into the UNESCO list only in 2005.
In 1878, Antonio Gaudi received an order from Manuel Vicens i Montaner, the owner of factories for the production of facing tiles, for the construction of a summer residence on the Carolines street, which has now entered the Barcelona Gracia region. The work began in 1883 and ended in 1888.
The original structure, considered the first major work of the young architect, has some characteristic features of his early works: the use of traditional Mediterranean and Arabic construction methods, the usage of materials with different surface characteristics and the key role of ceramic tiles in the exterior decoration of the building. The house was conceived in a manner of historical eclecticism, combining two styles: medieval and eastern. The majestic look of the building is given by the rich decorative design of both the external facade and the interiors.
The facade is faced with tiles, which are having small yellow flowers on them. It is said that when the architect came to the place, where a house is now standing, he was amazed by the abundance of flowers growing there. Since these flowers were to be destroyed, Gaudi decided to capture them with the help of architectural design – on the facade, so they still blossom there in summer and winter. The floral ornament is combined with an oriental style, which is best seen in the color effects – the contrast of white and green tiles, bricks and stones, and in the plastic elements of architectural design (decor, bay windows, turrets, roofing).
The magnificent garden around the house was fenced with a wrought-iron grate decorated with a palm leaf motif. The palms, together with the yellow flowers, grew once on the site, where the house was built.
Do not forget about the rich interior of the building, where every detail is carefully reasoned out. In the dining room, which walls are adorned with the painting of the artist Josep Torrescasana, and fruit compositions, made of pressed cardboard, there is an ivy, climbing on one of the wall. True to his own concept, Antoni Gaudi designed even the bedroom furniture, as well as an Arabic-style smoking room, a Japanese-style veranda and a dining room with the rural motifs in its design.
Location: Carrer de Casp, 48
This work by Gaudi was made by the order of the Calvet family. The building has a typical layout, which is not peculiar to Gaudi, though he received the Barcelona municipal award for the best construction of the year for this house. The Calvet building was made as an apartment building. Accordingly, the lower and the basement floors were for trade, the mezzanine was for the Calvet family, and all the other apartments were for rent. That is why it was decided to avoid any elements of the middle Ages. The main style is baroque. Probably, the previous work of the master (the Temple of the Holy Family) has affected this construction. Gaudi himself thought about every detail, every element. On all entrance doors, instead of the rings, the hammers are hang. They knock at metal images of the bedbugs. On both sides of the central entrance, there are huge bobbins, indicating the owner’s business area- the textile industry. In the decoration, the first letter of the family name ‘Calvet’ is noticeable. There are the ornamentation in the form of vegetation in the bay window of the mezzanine, pointing on the hobby of the owners, as well as the symbols of hospitality (cypress), olive trees, cornucopia and the coat of arms of Barcelona, seen on the building.