The Mediterranean Modernistes of Barcelona

Published on 10/6/2008 in Spanish Culture

BarcelonaLocated on the north-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and capital of Catalonia.

The popularity and recognition of Barcelona as an internationally significant city can be partly attributed to the legacy of Gaudi and the other Modernistes who contributed largely to the unique and instantly identifiable architecture that acts as a constant reminder of where you are when visiting this multifaceted city.

The architect Antoni Gaudi was a strong supporter of the Moderniste movement, which was centred on Barcelona. A stroll through the city itself presents you with numerous opportunities to get a close-up of some fine examples. Inspired by the various forms of nature, Gaudi's work is renowned for use of coloured tiles and mosaic patterns and his distinctive style can be seen throughout Catalonia's capital city.

If you fancy experiencing this for yourself then a good starting point is La Sagrada Familia; one of Gaudi's most famous works in Barcelona. Under construction since 1882, which continues to this day, this giant temple is a magnificent sight, and the museum inside gives you a glimpse of the stone masons hard at work carving the stones that they hope will help to finally complete the construction of this notorious landmark.

Park Güell is another place of interest on the Moderniste map and one of Barcelona's largest urban parks. Commissioned by Catalonian business man Eusebi Güell, the park was originally intended to be an English style garden. Created by Gaudi for the Barcelona aristocracy to enjoy, Park Güell contains some stone structures and buildings that are unrivalled anywhere else in the world in terms of their distinctive and slightly eccentric qualities.

If you're feeling energetic then a climb to the top of the park rewards you with a terraced area where you can have a seat, relax and become immersed in the excellent views across the city. You can also find a museum in Park Güell, where the building itself used to be Gaudi's home and has been known to contain some interesting artefacts to peruse.

Other greats of architectural Modernisme include Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluis Domenech i Montaner. Cadafalch is considered one of the last of representatives of Art Nouveau and his works in Barcelona include Baró de Quadras with its contrary facades. Montaner is responsible for the Palace of Catalan Music (Palau de la Musica Catalana), a grand concert hall which opened in 1908 and is a now a world heritage site.

This is only the tip of the Moderniste iceberg and you could easily wile away a weekend break or week long trip to Barcelona exploring the huge variety of sights and attractions. The variation of activities on offer are complemented by the choice of hotels in Barcelona and with excellent rail and air links to the rest of Europe and beyond, you could be experiencing the Moderniste movement firsthand in no time.

Written by: Isla Campbell

About the author:

Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:

Related articles in this category

A Culture of Benidorm

A Guide to Almeria City

A Guide To The Festivals Of Murcia

A History Of The Spanish Civil War

All About Albarino Wine

All About Tapas

All About Tempting Tempranillo

All You Need To Know About Spanish Wine

An American's Perspective of Spanish Food

Avoiding Misunderstandings In Spanish When You Like Somebody

Books Set in Spain - Five Novels to Read Before You Travel

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Spain

Christmas in Spain

Christmas Shopping in Spain

Devotion - Spain Celebrates Easter

Do you speak Spanish? What do we mean when we ask if someone speaks Spanish?

Easter in Spain

El Grumpy Gringo - Arts & Crafts

El Grumpy Gringo - At the Butchers

El Grumpy Gringo - Get A Heater!

El Grumpy Gringo - Good Old Telefonica!

El Grumpy Gringo - It ain’t ‘arf hot chum!

El Grumpy Gringo - Labels Over Labels

El Grumpy Gringo - Manners Maketh The Man (or Woman)

El Grumpy Gringo - Signposts

Experience Barcelona's Festival Spirit

Exploring The World Of Spanish Wines

Expose Your Child To Spanish

Five Ways Not to Insult the Locals in Barcelona

Flamenco Music - Is it really from Spain?

Follow The Festive Fun Across Spain

From Colonisation To Loss Of Empire; Nationalism And Decline In 19th Century Spanish And Colonial Art

From the Morris Dance to the Flamenco

Gaudi - Barcelona's Most Famous Attraction

Getting Close To The Spanish

Guggenheim Museum Bilboa

Halloween In Spain

Housing Bubble - Underground Living in Lanzarote

How not to give up learning Spanish

How To Kiss A Spaniard

How to Make Spanish Chorizo Sausage

Jamon Serrano - Typical Spanish Ham

La Tomatina Tomato Fight, Buñol Valencia

Language Swap

Learning Spanish - You can do it!

Learning Spanish with Speekee - A Review

Menu of The Day - A Cheap Meal In Spain

Old Friends in New Spain

Pollo al Ajillo - How to Cook the Classic Spanish Garlic Chicken

Processions, Processions, Processions: Semana Santa

Salvador Dali: Son of Girona

Save the Duero

Sherry or Jerez?

Spain After Franco

Spain/UK – A Study of Cultures

Spanish Cava Wine - A Better Alternative to Champagne?

Spanish Culture Has Been Shaped by Numerous Civilizations

Spanish Lies – Book Review

Spanish Sparkling Wine - Four Things to Know About Cava

Sporting Traditions on Gran Canaria

Stub it out in Spain

The Benefits of NOT Learning Spanish

The Magic of the Flamenco Guitar

The Mediterranean Modernistes of Barcelona

The Most Famous Spanish Explorers

The National Art Museum Of Catalonia

The Sirens of La Gomera

The Three Kings - Los Reyes Magos

This Must be New Spain

Top Tips For Learning Spanish - By A 'Mature' Expat

Tortilla Española - Spanish Omelette

Travel, Culture and Study in Spain

Watching TV in Spain

What Makes Spaniards Spaniards?

What We Can Learn From The Spanish

When Cultural Characters Conflict

Why is Spain One of the Most Corrupt Democratic Countries in the world?

Why Spaniards Can Survive La Crisis

Zapping in Spain

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x