Barcelona Architecture Highlights - Best Architecture in Barcelona

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Barcelona architecture is enlighted by the fabulous Modernista works of three of the most famous architects: Antoni Gaudi, Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch. One of the world's most famous architects, Antoni Gaudí, created works throughout the city. You'll find that a signature of his buildings is colored tiles and mosaics. Architecture in Barcelona reveals his great use of color, combined, of course, with attractive design and unique stonework.

Barcelona architecture - Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí

Who is Antoni Gaudí?

Antoni Gaudí was born in 1852 in the Catalonian region. He is considered the leader of Catalan Modernism. In addition to his interest in architecture, Gaudí was inspired by nature and religion. Due to his religious influence, you can see different religious iconic images in his work. Some call him "God's architect".

Another interesting feature you can see in Barcelona Spain architecture through Gaudí's work is that he was inspired by the art of the East, and he studied that of India, Persia, and Japan. Works such as the Güell Palace, the Güell Pavilions, and Casa Vicens reflect this Eastern influence. At a later point in his life, Antoni Gaudí became inspired by the neo-Gothic movement, and you can see that influence in some of his other architecture outside of Barcelona like the Episcopal Palace in Astorga and the Casa Botines.

UNESCO has made seven of Gaudí's works into World Heritage Sites. First, in 1984, the Park Güell, the Palau Güell, and the Casa Milà were bestowed with this particular designation. Then later, the Nativity facade of Sagrada Família, the Casa Vicens and the Casa Batlló in Barcelona, along with the Colònia Güell in Santa Coloma de Cervelló all became World Heritage Sites as well. In fact, one of these creations, Sagrada Familia, is one of the most famous monuments in all of Spain.

Barcelona architecture - The gaudi Tour

The Gaudi Tour - eBook Guide

Gaudi Architecture Tour

The Gaudi Tour eBook is a self-guided architecture walking tour in Barcelona to see the works of Antoni Gaudi throughout the city on your own. This eBook guide is more than just a free Gaudi walking tour in Barcelona.

Learn the history of the Gaudi works and easily get from one spot to the next with the clear turn-by-turn instructions provided in the guide. You'll tour not only the most famous Gaudi buildings but also other less known Gaudi works which are indeed hidden gems.

In this architecture tour dedicated to Antoni Gaudi works, you'll learn some facts that backed the architecture of Parc Guell (Gaudi Park), La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo, La Pedrera, and the other main Gaudi works.

The Gaudi Tour eBook guide is essential for those who visit Barcelona, and for architecture lovers. Full details for each of the Gaudi works is provided, as well as turn-by-turn instructions to get to every point of interest on the route.

The Gaudi Tour guide also comes with many tips and secrets that will help you save money on visits and also in transportation to get around the city. Plus, two free bonuses are included in the guide.

Buy The Gaudi Architecture Tour eBook Guide here!

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia
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Visiting Sagrada Familia

Gaudí was commissioned to begin work on La Sagrada Família, or the Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, in 1883. The work had been previously initiated by his former professor, Francisco de Paula del Villar. Antoni Gaudí focused diligently on this project for more than 40 years until his death in 1926.

This work still is incomplete and is scheduled to be done in 2026. Every tourist interested in architecture should see La Sagrada Familia, and actually, it is the most visited attraction the entire city! This building is truly breathtaking.

Barcelona architecture - La Pedrera

La Pedrera and its impressive façade

La Pedrera is Another Fascinating Work by Antoni Gaudí

No trip to Barcelona is complete without a visit to La Pedrera, which is another one of Antoni Gaudí's works. When considering architecture to see in Barcelona, this building is fascinating to study, as it is one of the best examples of the Catalan Art Nouveau period or "Modernista." It is sometimes also called Casa Mila.

La Pedrera was built between 1906-1912. Within La Pedrera is a cultural center that contains exhibitions and some other spaces accessible to the public. At the time of its creation, the design was quite controversial and bold by the standards of architecture in the early 1900's.

It has a stone facade made from large blocks of limestone and wrought iron decorating the window and balconies. Also quite innovative for its time was the fact that La Pedrera featured an underground car parking lot.

As a tourist, it is possible to take a tour of this building to learn about its conception. Throughout the building are explanations of how Gaudí handled its creation and what makes it so unique. In fact, there is a museum on one of the floors dedicated to Antoni Gaudí.

Buy Tickets to Visit Casa Mila Interior and Roof - Skip the Line!


Barcelona architecture - Park Güell is another must see work of Gaudi

Park Güell is another must-see work of Gaudi

Other Must-See Works by Antoni Gaudí

Other essential works to check out include Gaudí's Park Güell, which is a garden located in the Gracia district. Originally conceived as a housing development, it is now a municipal garden full of nature, wildlife, mosaics and innovative architecture.

Casa Batlló was built by Antoni Gaudí between 1904-1906. This building has a great facade that is both creative and playful. Once a house, Casa Batlló has been converted into a house-museum that is open to the public. You can find it on the "Block of Discord" where you will find buildings by the city's most famous architects.

When it comes to architecture in Barcelona, you will certainly see and hear a great deal about Gaudí, as he is one of the most impressive and unique architects to date. Plus, he has an incredibly distinctive and unique style. While touring throughout the city looking at architecture, you will see a great deal of his work. Even if you aren't very knowledgeable about this field, you will still be quite impressed by what Gaudí achieved during his lifetime.

Skip the Line Guided Walking Tour to Gaudi Park in Barcelona


Barcelona Architecture by Lluis Domenech i Montaner

No discussion of about architecture in Barcelona could be complete without mentioning Lluis Domenech i Montaner, who was the director of the School of Architecture of Barcelona. Montaner was responsible for works of extraordinary beauty including Hospital de Sant Pau, Palau de la Musica Catalana and Casa Lleó Morera.

Barcelona Walking Tour Modernism

Barcelona Walking Tour Modernism

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Hospital de Sant Pau

The hospital was created as an innovative way to boost healthcare in the city. Huge interior spaces have been set up employing underground passageways and pavilions. It is unlikely that you will ever see a hospital more beautiful than this one!

Architecture Tours in Barcelona

We offer guided Barcelona tours oriented to architecture, such as the Medieval and Modernist Architecture Tour, the Barcelona Art and Architecture Tour, the Architecture in Barcelona Small-Group Walking Tour.

Barcelona architecture - Palau de la Musica Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana (interior)

Palau de la Musica Catalana

The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall of extraordinary beauty, with a capacity of 2,015 seats. The building was designed in the Catalan Modernista (Art Nouveau) style, and it was built in 3 years, from 1905 to 1908. It serves as the home of the Orfeó Català, a choral society managing the Palau de la Musica, and a symphonic choir that still performs locally and internationally.

The Palau de la Musica is like a big music box, with the primary structure of metal surrounded by stained glass windows and covered by an acoustical, carefully designed stained glass skylight. Besides the extraordinary beauty of this kind of structure, it makes good use of daylight. The building was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

With Palau de la Musica Catalana, Montaner also used high-tech architectural solutions. The building showcases great sculptures, ceramics, mosaics, and ironwork. Don't miss the chance to see this concert hall full of stained glass and other ornate detailed work.

Buy Tickets for Guided Tour in Palau de la Musica


Barcelona architecture - Casa Lleó Morera

The elegance of Casa Lleó Morera

Casa Lleo Morera, a reference in Modernista architecture

In 1902 the family Lleo Morera commissioned Lluis Domenech i Montaner to refurbish their old building from 1864, known as Casa Rocamora. The old house was completely remodeled with the genius of Montaner by using new and different materials until this impressive work was finished in 1906.

This house is another extraordinary work of Modernist architecture where you can appreciate details of stained-glass windows, different mosaics, ceramic works, as well as other materials. This jewel of Modernism is located in the known “block of discord” in the Eixample district, on Passeig de Gracia 35.

Barcelona architecture - Diagonal ZeroZero (left) and Forum (right)

Diagonal ZeroZero (left) and Forum (right)

Modern Architecture in Barcelona

Works of contemporary architecture in Barcelona are to be appreciated in diverse districts of Barcelona and not only in buildings, but also in the form of structures like telecommunications towers, and even of massive sculptures. Though in the [email protected] district you'll notice that is the area where most of the incredible modern buildings are concentrated.

What Are the Most Famous Modern Buildings in Barcelona?

- Mies van der Rohe Pavilion (by Mies van der Rohe)
- Natural Gas Company Tower (by Enric Miralles / Benedetta Tagliabue EMBT)
- Santa Caterina Market (by Enric Miralles / Benedetta Tagliabue EMBT)
- Barceloneta Market (by MiAS Arquitectes / Josep Miàs, Silvia Brandi, Adriana Porta, Maria Chiara Ziliani, Andreu Canut, Carles Bou)
- Agbar Tower (by Jean Nouvel)
- The Collserola Telecommunications Tower (by Norman Foster)
- The Calatrava Telecommunications Tower (by Santiago Calatrava)
- MACBA - Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona (by Richard Meier & Partners)
- The Fish (by Frank Gehry)
- The Barcelona Forum (by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron; Herzog & de Meuron)
- The Diagonal ZeroZero Tower (by Enric Massip-Bosch; EMBA)
- Media-TIC (by Enric Ruiz Geli)
- Joan Miro Foundation (by Josep Lluis Sert)
- Palau Nacional - MNAC Museum (by Eugenio P. Cendoya, Enric Catà and Pere Domènech i Roura)
- Hotel Porta Fira (by Toyo Ito AA + Fermín Vázquez / b720 Arquitectos)
- Suites Avenue Apartments (by Toyo Ito AA)

There is an abundance of buildings from the medieval gothic styles, neo-gothic and Catalan gothic, such as the Gothic Cathedral, the churches of Santa Maria del Mar and Santa Maria del Pi, and many other famous structures in the old city (Ciutat Vella). Also, Barcelona is rich in Art Nouveau buildings, and some good examples are given above.

Regarding modern architecture in Barcelona, we just gave you a few examples above, though the city is still "under modern construction" and you can expect other impressive buildings shortly.

See some pictures of Barcelona architecture