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Gaudí

Discover Gaudí's work in the Gaudí Exhibition Center

One of the great attractions of Barcelona is undoubtedly Antoni Gaudí and his architecture. Everyone visiting the city does not leave (or should not leave) without having visited at least the Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera. But beyond the emblematic buildings, in Barcelona there is a museum that deepens in the figure of the Catalan architect and his work, the Gaudí Exhibition Center.

Gaudí Exhibition Center

Gaudí Exhibition Center: art and genius of Antoni Gaudí

Gaudí museum

Near the cathedral of Barcelona, on the avenue of the Cathedral, we find the Gaudí Exhibition Center. In this museum there is a collection of unique pieces and objects created by the most international Catalan architect, as well as documents that tell us about his life and his work. For more than a century, research has been carried out around Antoni Gaudí around the world to understand the genius of his work. The studies speak of its revolutionary method of work, and this museum in Barcelona shows the results of years of research related to the extraordinary pieces of the architect.

The museum's objective of the Gaudí Exhibition Center is to value Gaudí's work and make it known. Although the most emblematic works of the architect are the great buildings such as the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Batlló or the Casa Milà, Gaudí also designed furniture and craftsmanship. All his legacy is exposed to the museum, where visitors will learn the revolutionary ideas of the artist and the unconventional methods that made him a genius.

The Gaudí Exhibition Center in a special building

Gaudí architecture

The Gaudí Exhibition Center is located in a privileged place in Barcelona, just next to the Cathedral, one of the most visited places for tourists. The building was the seat of a charitable institution called Pia Almoina, which hosted the poor and the pilgrims. Initially, in the 12th century, this institution was located in the cloister of the cathedral of Barcelona and was there until the fifteenth century. But in 1423 the building was built that is currently on top of a part of the Roman walls of Barcelona. The building, which has undergone renovations and constructions over the years, has a Gothic and a Renaissance part, and you can still see fragments of other eras such as a tower of the wall of the 4th century or a capital pre-Romanesque.

The long history of the building is another reason to visit the Gaudí Exhibition Center, as all kinds of events have survived to this day, which has become the site of the most complete museum on Antoni Gaudí.

And if you haven’t enough with visiting Gaudí's work in this museum in Barcelona, you can visit its iconic buildings with our e-bike tour that tracks the works of the Catalan architect that you can not miss.

Do you want to know Gaudí? This e-bike tour is for you

Barcelona’s treasure

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.

Casa Milà Modernism arquitecture

Bike tour second stop: Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló Gaudí

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.

Sagrada Família

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.

La Sagrada Família church barcelona

The Casa Vicens: Gaudí & Modernisme movement

Casa Vicens, located in Vila de Gràcia, was commissioned to the catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in 1883 as a summer residence. The construction was finished in 1885 becoming the first masterpiece of the architect and giving the kick-off to Modernisme movement in Catalonia. The house consists of different interesting spaces, such as the garden, the basement, the main floor, the first and the second floor (where the permanent exhibition is located) and the accessible rooftop, all of them visitable. In 1925 an extension of Casa Vicens was carried out to accommodate the cultural and museological function that it currently has, and in 2005 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

casa vicens before and now.jpg

CASA VICENS - GAUDÍ: Garden and basement

Going through the enclosure, we make a first stop in the garden of Casa Vicens. It is a space inspired by Mediterranean flora and fauna, which is why we can find plants such as palms, magnolias and roses. As a curiosity, every May 22, following a typical tradition in the neighborhood of Gràcia, there is a mass in honor of Santa Rita in the garden, where there is an image of hers, and the blessing of the roses is celebrated. Continuing with the visit we can stop at the basement, where we find the specialized bookstore La Capell, which also has a library, under a catalan vault ceiling.

The house

Casa Vicens.jpg

On the ground floor, which contains the main floor, we find the dependencies for day-time use, such as the smoking room and the dining room. The smoking room is a leisure space decorated in an exuberant way in the oriental style, and in the dining room we can find the original furniture designed by Gaudí and a collection of paintings by Francesc Torrescassana. On the first floor there are the private rooms of the Vicens family (bedrooms, bathrooms...) all decorated with plant motifs and typical symbols of the Gaudí style. The second floor, where we find the permanent exhibition, is a diaphanous space with wooden beams and windows that offer a beautiful set of lights and shadows. And finally, the rooftop was built as a transitable area where you can stroll and enjoy the views.

The museum project has recovered the original spaces conceived by Gaudí to publicize the essence of its architecture and decoration. Casa Vicens is now a unique cultural space of knowledge and entertainment for all audiences.

Do you like to discover other emblematic buildings created by Gaudí? Pick our Gaudí & Sagrada Familia tour!