Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain, is known as the most cosmopolitan capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and is located directly on the Mediterranean coast. Barcelona is best known for its works of art and architecture. But that’s not all: a great football team, great beaches, delicious tapas are also part of it.
A small selection of the absolute highlights of this city:
Sagrada Familia – Gaudi’s most symbolic work of art
The Sagrada Familia is perhaps the most characteristic and best-known building in the city of Barcelona. The imposing church is the ultimate expression of modernism created by Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí. Its construction began in 1882, but it is still unfinished because its creator died in 1926, leaving the project unfinished. As the plans have been preserved, this great work is gradually becoming a reality. In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI elevated this church to the rank of minor pontifical basilica.
Passeig de Gràcia – an elegant and magnificent promenade
The Passeig de Gràcia is one of the most prestigious and elegant streets in Barcelona. It is an authentic showcase for outstanding works of modernist architecture such as the buildings by architects Antonio Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been declared World Heritage Sites. Its origins date back to Roman times, when it was part of the Via Augusta. In the Middle Ages, the Portal dels Orbs (Gate of the Blind) was the entrance to the city, which is now called Portal de l’Àngel and is a pedestrian zone.
Camp Nou – more than just a football stadium
This is the dream of every football fan. It is the largest football stadium in Europe and the third largest in the world. Camp Nou seats almost 100,000 fans and houses the official headquarters of Futbol Club Barcelona as well as the “Museo”, the club’s museum, which is one of the most visited museums in Catalonia.
Admire Antoni Gaudí’s colourful mosaic art, such as the Dragon Staircase with its world-famous Salamander. Escape the hectic, stroll through the verdant Austrian Gardens and take breathtaking photos of Barcelona at the park’s viewpoints. The plan for the park was given to Gaudí by Eusebi Güell, a Catalan entrepreneur, who wanted to recreate a British residential park on Muntanya Pelada. Opened in 1926, recognised as an artistic monument 1969 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Casa Batlló Gaudi
A fascinating journey through the magic of Casa Batlló. Using an audio guide and an augmented reality tablet, this house becomes alive. Special Highlights: the Gaudí Dome (the first room with a dome with more than a thousand screens) and the Gaudí Cube (a 6-sided LED cube that is unique in the world). New features include a new vertical communication core (Japanese architect Kengo Kuma), a floating ladder made of 13 tons of polished marble suspended in mid-air, the first 6-sided indoor mapping on a courtyard with Gaudí’s lights and the new “Simbolic” shop.
Explore the world of Picasso, the famous eccentric Spanish painter. This unique museum houses one of the most important collections of Picasso’s works from his youth and as a young adult in the world. It shows the evolution of his styles from classical to his invention of Cubism. Placed in a historic building, the Picasso Museu is close to the site of Picasso’s last studio, before he left for Paris. Highlights of the museum include some of his later works, such as a series of interpretations of Velazquez’s Las Meninas from 1957, as well as ceramics and engravings.
The Casa Milá is one of the most outstanding and innovative buildings of the 20th century, built by star architect Antoni Gaudí. Behind the front of the extraordinary building on the elegant boulevard Passeig de Gracia, you can admire the eye-catching staircases as well as the chimneys in the shape of corkscrews. These have become landmarks of Gaudí’s Barcelona. In the attic of the house, the exhibition “Espai Gaudí” awaits you, the only one entirely dedicated to the life and work of this brilliant architect.
Palau de la Música Catalana – the luxurious masterpiece of Modernisme Català
The Palau de la Música is one of the most symbolic buildings in Barcelona as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This concert hall impresses with its lavish decoration and is located in the heart of the city. The tour starts in the foyer and then climbs the grand staircase to admire the elaborate flowers and tiles that adorn the walls. You are enchanted by the impressive details in iron, glass and other materials. In the Lluís Mille room, there is a large balcony with columns symbolising nature with flowers of all kinds.
Finally, one is overwhelmed by the explosion of colours, shapes and lights in the concert hall. On the second floor, you have the opportunity to admire the impressive light source closely. Finally, one enjoys a beautiful live piano or organ concert to complete the visit.