The picture above sets the stage for this posting as our stay in Barcelona continues. I am sure that everyone takes away one or two specific imperessions of a place they visit for the first time. For me, what has impressed me most after two days in Barcelona is the diversity of the city’s architecture. I know vitually nothing about architectural design other than I react to it in terms of appearance and function.
That’s our hotel in the picture above. It’s very much typical of many other early 20th Century buildings that make up a good portion of the city. Window balconies adorn the facades of all of these buildings. One curiousity that cannot be missed are the trash bins. Despite great efforts to maintain the magnificence of the buildings, their curb appeal is marred by these rather large, ugly containers. There seems to have been no effort to hide or at least “beautify” them. While the original appearance of the exteriors has been maticuously maintained, not so the interiors.
Many have been contemporized, such as the interior of our hotel which features elaborately tiled bathrooms and rooms accented with sculptures and wall art.
My extensive walking days are pretty much over when it comes to touring a new environment. In the past I found walking the best way to really visit a city and feel its mood and culture. For the first time ever, I joined some of the folks we are traveling with and hopped aboard a double-decker tour bus. It was great! It ran a path through the entire city and as best I can tell, didn’t miss any of the sites worth visiting. It was a good way to get an overall picture of Barcelona and then cherry-pick specific items to visit the next day.
The bus also offered a good platform for picture taking, especially since I was focusing on the buildings. That said, it is impossible to mention Barcelona without reference to Antoni Gaudi, the city’s foremost modernista architect. His Art Nouveau/Modernisme influence, as downright weird as it appears to many, cannot be missed. Towering above the city is Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s Gothic Cathederal, where he devoted 43 years of his life. Its construction has continued on and off since Gaudi’s death in 1926. Completion is projected for 2026.
Gaudi’s work is no less eye-catching than that of many of Barcelona’s contempory architects. The city is peppered with stuctures both unique and beautiful. I had a hard time selecting some examples to show you, so here’s a bunch…
The most spectacular building that got my biggest W O W ! was the white one above. Unfortunately, we did not get close enough to get a better shot or be able to identify it…but it was really pretty cool! And, BTW, if you think Times Square in New York city is the only place known for large advertisements, Check out the sides of this building…