Have you heard of the famous designer and architect, Antoni Gaudí? If you haven’t, then I bet you’ve at least seen his work without even knowing it. Antoni Gaudí was a Spanish Catalan architect who had a very distinctive and unique architectural style. His style was so distinct that upon graduating from the Barcelona School of Architecture, the Dean said, “I do not know if we have awarded this degree to a madman or to a genius; only time will tell”. Regardless of opinion, however, his work is undoubtedly one of a kind. He is usually considered the master of Catalan Modernism, but his work truly cannot be embodied in any one style, and defies any sort of classification. His work is incredibly imaginative and creative, and was heavily influenced by nature.
You will see his work speckled around the streets of Barcelona. From lamps, to buildings, to churches, you’ll find it everywhere, and the below are some of my favorites!
Placa Reial Lanterns
Plaça Reial, 9, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
It make sense to start at the beginning, so let’s take a look at this lesser-known and simpler piece of art. These lampposts are worth noting because they were designed for Placa Reial, and they were Gaudí’s first public project.
You can already see his creative imagination take place as the details of the lamppost feature a helmeted lantern with dragon coiled around the base.
La Sagrada Familia
Carrer de Mallorca, 401, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
Now moving on to Gaudí’s masterpiece! La Sagrada Famila is probably his most famous piece of architecture, and it hasn’t even been completed yet. Gaudí abandoned other projects and devoted himself entirely to this piece of art until he sadly died at the age of 73. The Roman Catholic basilica is estimated to be complete in 2026.
Although the basilica is incomplete, you can still take a tour the church, and it attracts over 2 million visitors a year. To purchase tickets in advance online, check out THIS site.
Passeig de Gràcia, 43, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Casa Batlló is my faaaavorite of Gaudí’s work! Its design is so unique and unmistakable, it seems to be a building straight out of a fairytale. The building has irregular and oversized windows, with the exterior façade entailing of flowy stone work decorated with colorful mosaic tiles.
The roof is also quite elaborate, with a scale-like arched roof, similar to that of a dragon.And my favorite piece of the whole design is the bulbous, root-like tower, topped with a cross.
Casa Milà (aka La Pedrera)
Provença, 261-265, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
Casa Milà is actually an apartment complex, combining two buildings, with a hollowed out interior. The building is 9-stories high, and the exterior façade is similar to Casa Batlló, in that it is designed with a similar flowy, curvature to the building.
The most note-worthy feature, however, is the roof. The stepped roof consists of six skylights and 28 chimneys that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The chimneys have a soldier-like look to them, and the roof is commonly called the “garden of warriors” because the chimneys appear to be protecting the skylights.
Palau Güell (Güell Palace)
Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
In the heart of Barcelona just off la Rambla, this urban palace was designed and built for Spanish entrepreneur, Eusebio Güell at the beginning of Gaudí’s career. Due to the pair having many common interests, this project become one of many collaborations, as they continued to be lifelong friends.
The home was designed to be a functional palace, centered around the main room for entertaining high society guests. Complete with two arched front iron gates to welcome horse-drawn carriages, the building’s design exemplifies the art nouveau style.
And true to the wonderfully quirky appeal of Gaudí’s designs, the rooftop chimneys represent his signature technique of using colorful mosaic ceramic tiles to decorate his work.
08024 Barcelona, Spain
Ah, Park Güell, welcome to one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks. You simply cannot visit Barcelona without seeing Gaudí’s most colorful and playful masterpiece. It seems as if Gaudí’s imagination was allowed to run rampant, and the result culminated in the creation of this fascinating public park. Featuring gardens, winding pathways, fountains, pavilions, sculptures, and much, much more – Park Güell is designed with such complexity and intricate details, it would take many visits to truly absorb it all.
For more detailed information check out my post on Park Güell!
Carrer de Casp, 48, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
A bit conventional for a Gaudí design, this building has an elegant and baroque feel to it. The main features of the building are the wrought iron balconies bulging out from the exterior façade and the dramatic double gaple at the top.
There are many more Gaudí designs around peppered around Barcelona (large and small), but these will definitely keep you busy during your visit!
Feature photo by Víctor Manuel Rodríguez Romero.
Over to you! Which is your favorite Gaudí masterpiece?