Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, an autonomous region of Spain. Located next to France on the Mediterranean, Catalonia has a stronger European influence than Madrid and southern Spain have. One area is architecture.
Antonio Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia is the best-known example of Catalan Modernisme architecture. Like its contemporary art nouveau movement, modernisme is based on flowing curves rather than straight lines.
La Sagrada Familia was started 130 years ago and is still under construction. The nativity facade is extremely ornate.
On the opposite side of the church, the passion facade is stark and spare.
Gaudi noticed that the traditional architectural shapes — triangles, squares, and rectangles — don’t appear in nature. Instead, he employed conical shapes found in bones, fingers, and trees.
Gaudi designed this apartment building called Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera, the stone quarry. Completed in 1910, Casa Mila is on the most fashionable street on Barcelona, and it does not fit in with the neighborhood.
Note the undulating facade.
Gaudi’s Casa Batilo is a few blocks down the same fashionable street. See the use of color and the fanciful roof.