One of the most interesting tourist attractions in Barcelona is undoubtedly the modernist architecture and its greatest exponent: Antoni Gaudí. Our All about Gaudí bike tour will take you to some of the most emblematic buildings of the Catalan architect to discover them closely. During a 4-hour tour we will guide you through the Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and, of course, the Sagrada Familia. Additionally, to complete the tour, we will also visit the Olympic Village, the Ciutadella Park and the Barceloneta neighborhood. And if you want to see more modernist decoration, don’t miss the Escribà pastry shop, in the Rambla of Barcelona.
Bike tour First stop: la pedrera
The All about Gaudí bike tour will take you to Passeig de Gràcia, corner with Provença street, to see the Casa Milà, popularly known as La Pedrera. It was built between 1906 and 1912 by order of Pere Milà and Roser Segimon, and consists of two blocks of houses organized around two large courtyards that fill the building with light. The façade is the most striking element, and is made up of more than 6000 blocks of stone. Its particular structure that now awakens passions to tourists and pedestrians, at that time was the subject of criticisms and cartoons in satirical newspapers, which compared the building with a landing strip for airplanes. On the fourth floor of La Pedrera there is a sample apartment where you can take a guided tour. On this floor you can see ornamentation full of historical, legendary and fabulous motifs inspired by the free movement of nature that Gaudí liked so much.
The roof is the other must-see space for the Casa Batlló visit. There you can stroll among chimneys and ventilation towers decorated with the typical “trencadís”, fragments of ceramic, stones or marble. Their forms remember elms of medieval knights.
In 1984 the Casa Milà was declared World Heritage by UNESCO, and in 1996 it was restored to open it to the public. In addition, since 2013, the building houses a cultural center of reference in Barcelona.
Bike tour second stop: Casa Batlló
Continuing with the bike tour, at Passeig de Gràcia, we will stop at Casa Batlló, another essential building of Gaudí. Its façade is the main attraction for the symbology of its elements. It is said that the roof, made up of large color scales, represents the back of a dragon, and the tower from which a large four-arm cross stands out, symbolizes Saint George's knight. In the group, we wanted to see the legend of Saint George represented killing the dragon, very typical of the Catalan tradition. The balconies of the Casa Batlló look like human bones, which could represent the victims of the dragon, according to this interpretation.
Another interpretation of this façade so full of fantasy is that it could symbolize an aquatic landscape, with water lilies of colors made of glazed ceramics and pieces of broken crystals. In any case, if you visit Barcelona you must add a guided tour to this jewel of Modernism designed by Gaudí.
The bike tour finally arrives at the most special and awaited stop: the Sagrada Familia. This monumental temple, which began to be built in 1882, is an essential visit of all guided tours in Barcelona. Based on the tradition of Gothic and Byzantine cathedrals, Gaudí unite beauty and religious belief in an innovative architecture full of symbolism. Externally, the Sagrada Familia is composed of five naves and three façades that represent each of three culminating moments of the life of Jesus. When it is finished, you can see 18 towers with different symbolisms each. The interior is an explosion of light and color thanks to the stained glass windows and the skylights that illuminate the temple and fill it with natural light. The color, said the Catalan architect, is the representation of life, and this is the case in the Sagrada Familia. The columns inside represent a forest where Gaudí wanted to invite to pray to everyone who entered. The complex is full of religious symbolism with sculptures and reliefs that represent various passages of the Gospels, as well as the reasons for natural inspiration that never fails in the architecture of Gaudí. The Catalan architect devised a temple of marked verticality where the beauty of its forms was the way to reach God. La Sagrada Família is built exclusively thanks to donations and public contributions, and is expected to be finished in 2016. But although it is not yet finished, the visit is obligatory to understand the work of Antoni Gaudí, and with our bike tour will stop by to contemplate, photograph and enjoy it.