Tuesday, June 21, 2011


To say that Barcelona is Antoni Gaudi and Antoni Gaudi is Barcelona would not be an overstatement. Barcelona is not only define by Gaudi's architecture but it is infused with the ethos of Gaudi's vision of art and architecture. Every building seemed to emulate Gaudi in some way. May it is just the Catalan world view. When you consider that Salvador Dali and Joan Miro are fellow Catalans you can see that there is a consistency to the way that they looked at the world.

On Saturday, May 16th we decided that we would devote the day to the works of Antoni Gaudi. In the morning we decided we would go toPark Güell. After consulting the travel guide we decided that best way to get to Park Güell would be to take bus number 24. You have to understand, Barcelona is situated at the base of a mountain and Park Güell is located near the top of the mountain. We were informed that bus number 24 will literally drop you at the front gate of the park. We realized the good sense of this after we left the park and decided that we would take the Metro back to our hotel. It took us over half an hour walking downhill to get to the metro. If we took the Metro to the park it would have taken us much more than an hour walking up the side of the mountain to get to the park. We would have been tired of walking by the time we got to the park. I would strongly advise anyone who is considering a visit to Park Güell to take bus number 24 or a taxi, don not take the Metro!

To say the least, Park Güell is a magical place. The architecture and ornamentation of Gaudi's designs are amazing.

I have never seen geometry like this anyway in the world.

The colors and motifs that Gaudi used are reminiscent of the middle east.

This is the high point of Park Güell. From this peak you have an amazing view of Barcelona and the rest of the park.

You also have an excellent view of the Sagrada Familia which is the cathedral that Gaudi designed. We went there in the afternoon. It looks like some quixotic imagining rising out of the city.

Some of Gaudi's structures look like minarets rising above the trees, elegant and beautiful.

There is a raw, visceral beauty in Gaudi's work that touches you in a way that ordinary structures do not.

Then he creates other buildings that seem to exude whimsy and humor.

This structure is the heart and soul of Park Güell.

Even the iron fence work is full of creativity and imagination.

And here is the king of iguanas! This critter which must be at least eight feet long is remarkable in its conception. It is probably the most phtographed object in Spain. Voila! Here is mine to add to the list.

The space underneath was heavily populated with hawkers who seemed to be from lands east of Spain.

And what would a public space in Barcelona be without its requisite Flamenco guitarist. Actually, he was quite good but I still did not buy his CD.

Everywhere you looked there were mosaics by Gaudi.

You have to love the organic feel of Gaudi's work. These series of arches reminded me of the rib cage of some terrible beast.

The crenelated flow of the balconies creates a beautiful and elegant series of lines and curves. 
I could not shake the sense that this building reminded me of a ginger bread house.

Yet another picture of the famous iguana. You can tell that I was impressed with this fellow.

This picture is not so much about the balconies as it is about the dog heads which are actually the water drains for the run off when it rains. I would have loved to see it rain and just what happens to the water as it gushes out of the mouths of the dogs.

Doesn't it look like these structures simply grew out of the ground. I guess that is the magic of Gaudi, his work, as weird and wondrous as it is, seems to have evolved organically from the earth.

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