Antoni Gaudí is perhaps more synonymous with Barcelona than any single person is with any other major city in the world. Over his lifetime Gaudi created not just one but a whole group of the most iconic landmarks Barcelona has.
The most famous of these icons is Gaudí’s masterpiece, La Sagrada Família, but it’s just one of seven of his works that have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
La Sagrada Família, or to give it its full name the Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, is probably the most recognisable building in Barcelona. It serves as an iconic emblem of the city, and is undoubtedly the most famous of all the works of Antoni Gaudí.
Although still incomplete the Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI. Construction of Sagrada Família started in 1882 and Gaudí took over the project in 1883 when he transformed it with his architectural and engineering style combining Gothic and Modernista forms with structural columns and arches.
Gaudí devoted his final years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the cathedral was complete. The Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War – only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950’s. It now has an anticipated completion date of 2026 – the centennial of Gaudí’s death.
Address: c/ Mallorca, 401
Metro: Sagrada Familia
w. Sagrada Familia Website
Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Antoni Gaudí built Casa Milà (more commonly known as La Pedrera, meaning the ‘The Quarry’), between 1905 and 1910 and it was his last project before he dedicated himself to La Sagrada Família. Its rooftop surrealist chimneys serve as yet another of Gaudí’s iconic contributions to Barcelona.
Built for the couple, Rosario Segimon and Pere Milà, the building subsequently fell into disrepair and by the early 1980’s was in poor condition having been painted a dreary brown on the outside and many of its interior colour schemes had been abandoned or allowed to deteriorate. However Casa Milà has since been restored to its former glory and was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Address: c/ Provença, 261-265
w. Casa Milà (La Pedrera) Website
Casa Batlló was restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol between 1904 and 1906 and is known locally as Casa del Ossos (House of Bones), because of its skeletal appearance. It was originally designed for the middle-class Batlló family and is situated in the prosperous Eixample district of Barcelona.
Probably one of Gaudi’s most complete works with the interiors being just as spectacular as the exterior with swirling ceilings, iron work, stained glass and furniture from beds to wardrobes all designed by the great man.
Address: Passeig de Gràcia, 43
Metro: Passeig de Gràcia
w. Casa Batlló Website
Park Güell is a garden complex designed by Gaudí between 1900 and 1914 and situated on the hill of el Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona and was initially designed as an English style garden and housing project with 40 houses.
But the housing was largely abandoned with only two being built and Gaudí himself ending up living in one of them which has subsequently been converted into a museum devoted to the architect’s life and work.
Address: Olot, s/n
Transport: Bus 24 and 92. | Barcelona Bus Turístic, Park Güell stop
Casa Bellesguard takes its name from ‘beautiful view’ in catalan (bell esguard) standing on a site which boasts magnificent views of Barcelona. Designed and built by Gaudí between 1900 and 1909 in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district on the site of a medieval castle built by King Martin the Humane.
The house is private property and surrounded by gardens and has the nearby viaduct, also designed by Gaudí, which was built as a containing wall.
Address: Bellesguard, 16-20
Transport: Bus 60
Casa Calvet is one of Antoni Gaudí’s earliest works and probably because of that one of his least flamboyant but nevertheless containing some markedly modernista elements including the façade.
Casa Calvet was built in 1899 for the textile manufacturer Pere Màrtir Calvet, who used the upper floors as his private residence and the ground floor and basement as his business premises. Despite being one of Antoni Gaudí’s more conservative works it was awarded building of the year in 1900 by Barcelona City Council.
Probably the best way to see Casa Calvet is to eat there as it is now a restaurant!
Address: c/ Casp, 48
w. Casa Calvet Website
Col•legi de les Teresianes
Gaudí built this elegant building in 1887 for a community of nuns from the Order of Saint Teresa of Jesus as a convent school and it has been used for this purpose ever since.
Because of budget restraints Gaudí worked with cheaper materials such as brick and reconstituted stone, but still managed to achieve some incredible architectural feats.
Address: c/ Ganduxer, 85-105
Transport: Bus 14, 16, 70, 72 and 74 or FGC, stop Tres Torres
Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi was a wealthy industrialist and Antoni Gaudí’s main patron, commissioning him to design Palau Güell (his private residence) when the architect was still unknown.
Completed in 1890 Barcelona’s Palau Güell is a wonderful blend of medieval opulence and the architect’s unique exuberant style and was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Address: Nou de la Rambla, 3
Metro: Liceu or Drassanes
w. Palau Güell Website
Covered with spectacular green and white tiles and was Gaudí’s first major commission, Casa Vicens is an oasis of calm with an Eastern and Moorish flavour in the district of Gràcia. Manuel Vicens Montaner commissioned the building and was a tile manufacturer which became one of the key elements used for decoration and a material that featured throughout Gaudí’s career.
Although Casa Vicens is a privately owned building and is closed to visitors the exterior of the building can be viewed from the street.
Address: c/ Carolines, 24
w. Casa Vicens Website
Pavellons de la Finca Güell
The Pavellons de la Finca Güell were another work commissioned by Gaudí’s patron Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, built between 1884 and 1887 and involved re-landscaping the garden and building the two gatehouses (which were originally intended to be the caretaker’s house and stables) on the estate.
Address: Via Baldiri i Reixach, 2
Metro: Palau Reial
Porta de la Finca Miralles
‘Porta’ means entrance and a ‘finca’ is a country estate but the city has long since swallowed up this pocket of countryside and Porta de la Finca Miralles along with it which Gaudí built between 1901 and 1902 for his friend Hermenegild Miralles Anglès who was a printer. There is now also a statue of the great man within the entrance to the arch.
Address: Passeig Manuel Girona, 55-57
Metro: Maria Cristina