Barcelona – More Buildings

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Fundación Antoni Tapies.

Continuing our casual architectural tour of Barcelona.  First this crazy building, which houses the foundation set-up by Antoni Tapies as a home for his own artwork.

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Just around the corner from there…

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Casa Batllo, another Gaudi designed building. With a massive queue outside.

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Right next door to Casa Batllo…

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Casa Amatller. Apparently this block (the block of discord) is renowned for its modernist buildings.

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I was very struck by this one. It even had its own George and Dragon.

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And you could pay to take a tour (should you so wish) without the huge queues (or price I suspect) next door at Casa Batllo.

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We contented ourselves with a sneaky look in the entrance hall.

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The third famous building in the block (though I didn’t know it at the time) is Casa Lleo Morera…

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A little bit of lazy internet research suggests that the interior is stunning, although I’m not sure that it’s open to the public. I would have particularly liked to get up onto the roof to have a look at this….

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…folly?

Tempietto apparently, at least according to wikipedia.

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We used water fountains a great deal whilst we were in Barcelona, none more elaborate than this one.

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Our wander had brought us to Placa de Catalunya which has become quite familiar. This was handy because we wanted to get some tickets from the Tourist Information offices below the square.

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Then we’re off again to find one final Gaudi property…

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Casa Calvet.

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A few blocks away from there…

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…the Palau de la Musica Catalana.

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The older part of the building looked amazing, but in the narrow streets quite difficult to get a clear view for a photo.

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And that, finally, is the last of my Barcelona photos, though there are an awful lot more on my flickr account and one more post from our trip to Spain to come.

Barcelona – More Buildings

Barcelona – La Pedrera

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Another very striking building, and this time definitely designed by Gaudi and not just wrongly attributed to him by yours truly.

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You can look around inside, but it’s pretty pricey so we decided to enjoy it from across the street.

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I think that the rather splendid street lights near La Pedrera were also designed by Gaudi. Perhaps. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

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Barcelona – La Pedrera

Barcelona – Casa Comalat

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We were using a tourist’s street map to navigate our way between Gaudi buildings, but inevitably perhaps, we stumbled across other places of interest en route. On the tree lined Avinguda Diagonal it was difficult to get a clear view of this tall building.

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But these very rounded windows and balconies seemed to me reminiscent of Gaudi’s designs. Sadly I didn’t realise that the building has another, very colourful, facade on an adjacent street.

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Or that the interior is richly decorated in a very distinctive style. (Guided tour available here if you are interested).

I was particularly taken by the door…

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Is this Art Nouveau?

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Barcelona – Casa Comalat

Barcelona – Casa de les Punxes

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After a day at the beach, or possibly a day at the wonderfully odd sea-water swimming pool at Zona de banys del Forum, we had another ‘Gaudi’ day – wandering around the city using our tourist map to find some Gaudi designed buildings.

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It’s possible to look inside many of them but it always costs something, and usually quite a bit, so we contented ourselves with window-shopping.

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I’m no expert on architecture (or anything else for that matter), but I do know that I like what Gaudi did.

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In our wandering, we came across other buildings, designed by other, less celebrated, architects, which I also appreciated.

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So what will follow is a series of posts, mainly photos, from our ramble around Barcelona.

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Barcelona – Casa de les Punxes

Barcelona – Park Güell

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A lot of photographs in this post. You may want to put the kettle on.

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TBH and I have been to Park Güell before, on our previous fleeting visit to Barcelona. Back then it was free to visit and didn’t need to be booked in advance.

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Now, like almost everywhere we visited in the city, Park Güell has a not inconsiderable fee.  In general, Barcelona seemed pretty expensive to me. Although the beach is free and the transport system very cheap,  Museums and Art Galleries and the like, were far from cheap. I suppose this is one way in which austerity has bitten in Spain.

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You can’t really come to Barcelona, however, without a visit to Park Güell. TBH and I were both very keen to go.

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Count Eusebi Güell bought this land intending to turn it, with the help of Antoni Gaudí into a luxurious housing estate, with  sixty plots.

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The two buildings at the top of the post were the porter’s lodges at the entrance.

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There was one other building already on the site, which Güell moved into. Two more houses were built. When it couldn’t be sold, Gaudí bought one of them and moved his family into it.

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Gaudi made alterations to the house which was already on the site, but neither of the other  houses were designed by Gaudí.

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Eventually, the Park became a Municipal Garden.

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So in a way, it’s a giant folly. A failed commercial enterprise, now designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Gaudí had some pretty radical ideas…

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…this was going to be the marketplace. Our kids found it adapted well for hide and seek.

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The Porter’s Lodges. The right-hand one is a shop. The left-hand a museum. But the queue was 45 minutes, so we didn’t go in.

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The famous serpentine seating on the terrace (the only clear memory I had from our previous visit) is the work of Gaudí’s regular collaborator, Josep Maris Jujol.

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The (mostly) hidden house behind the trees, is the Gaudí House Museum, the house where Gaudí and his family lived for twenty years.

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This is the ‘other’ house built in the park, the one which Gaudí didn’t buy. It’s in the free part of Park Güell, which is well worth a visit. There are lots of buskers…

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…this harp player was amazing.

And stunning views over the city, including views of Gaudí’s incomplete cathedral, the Sagrada Família.

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Our next port of call…

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Barcelona – Park Güell

Barcelona – Jardin de Montjuic

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Below the Miro Foundation a formal park covers the hillside down towards the city.

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Designed by French landscape architect Jean-Cluade Nicolas Forestier, who seems to have designed parks in major cities across the world, the garden contains an abundance of water features, particularly several waterfalls which take advantage of the steep hillside on which the park is situated.

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I think one of the children had just ‘got’ TBH here, and revenge was on the cards.

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Teatre Lliure.

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Then we were back to the Gothic Quarter in the centre of the city for one final sight-seeing stop for the day….

Barcelona – Jardin de Montjuic

Our Grand Tour:Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

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Many of the streets around the Cathedral are narrow, with tall buildings on either side, so that our first sight of this imposing building was at very close quarters.

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Judging from what I’ve subsequently seen on the web, it would have been well worth having a look inside too, but there was an enormous queue, so that will have to wait for our return visit.

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Our Grand Tour:Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore