What to see in Barcelona, Spain Part Two
To continue with Barcelona…always on the must see list, especially if you have a short trip… Casa Mila (also known as La Pedrera). The building was designed by Antonio Gaudi and was built from 1905-1910. Casa Mila is on the Passeig de Gracia, another wide street that has many notable buildings, great cafes, and it is a great people watching area.
Casa Mila can be toured and there is an entrance fee. With the visit you get to see the apartments which are unique and worth seeing as the building is circular so the rooms are all curved and create the feeling that you are inside a snake. From the apartment viewing you go up to the roof which is the most recognizable. Before you enter onto the roof there is a museum section with information about the architecture. On the roof, you will find a fantastical scene of chimneys that are larger then life and resemble geometric shapes and some have what look like faces. To see my photos of the Casa Mila chimneys click here.
Also on the Passeig de Gracia is another Antoni Gaudi masterpiece and well recognized building, Casa Batllo built in 1877 and remodeled in 1904-1906. Casa Batllo is referred to locally as Casa dels ossos, or House of Bones as you can see when you look closely at the façade. You can also tour this building for an entrance fee as well but it is worth it because again, the building is entirely unique. It is theorized that the roof (which you can also walk around) represents a dragon with the mosaic and curved roof and tiles while the small tower and cross represent the sword of Saint George.
Right next to Casa Batllo is the Casa Amatller which should not be overlooked. The building was designed as a house for Antoni Amatller, a chocolatier, and features amazing architectural details including a magnificent little sculpture of Saint George slaying the dragon on one of the columns in the front. Click here to see my photograph of Saint George slaying the dragon on The Monica Store.
And of course there is the Sagrada Familia, also designed by Antonio Gaudi. The church has been under construction since 1882. It is certainly worth seeing. From afar the church looks like the castles you make as a child on the beach with the dripping wet sand, and yet from up close the façade looks like a sun baked sand castle and the interiors appear to be something akin to a Star Trek scene of alien cities. Each side of the church has a different theme: the East side is the Nativity, the South side is Glory, and the West side is Passion and the sculptures represent each theme. The whole building is breathtaking in astounding and unbelievable ways. I only hope to be around when it is finished to see what the grand plan turns out to be. For photography of the Sagrada Familia click here for The Monica Store.
If you have time, it is worth seeing the Monastery of Pedralbes. The Monastery was built in the 14th century and has a beautiful courtyard. Click here for a direct link to The Monica Store photograph of the Monastery of Pedralbes.
Another must see building is the Palau de la Musica Catalana (the Palace of Catalan Music). I actually was only able to see the outside of the building – they do have funny hours for tours and they can conflict with shows. Plus if you would like to see a performance, as I did but was unable to, book ahead of time as they seem to sell out fast! The outside is amazing and has so many details. Make sure to look up to see the enormous sculptures that represent Catalan music and for a glimpse of the mosaic columns on the balconies. There is a lot to see on the outside but even more inside – so on the next trip I will make sure to get inside!
There so much to see in Barcelona. I am eager to go back and see more. I did manage to see all of the above as well as a few more things in three days, so it can be done.
Hopefully this provided some insight into what to see. See below for more information and travel tips. And as always you may visit my store site to buy a framed photograph of Barcelona, a wonderful travel photo book of Barcelona, and my signature accordion cards as well.
1 – Casa Mila was designed for a wealthy couple. The building suffered some changes from its original design due to government regulations including standard building height regulations that prevented the installation of a sculpture atop the building.
2 – Casa Mila is also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3 – The Sagrada Familia has eighteen towers which represent the twelve Apostles, four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary, and Jesus Christ.