During a visit to Barcelona, you should take some time out to explore one of the most historic neighborhoods of this beautiful city. The Gracia district helps to bring the city’s personality to life.
Located in the northern part of Barcelona, until the mid 19th Century this particular neighborhood was, in fact, a small village located adjacent to the city. Yet although it may now have become integrated the area still retains a lot of the village vibe.
But as well allowing you to be able to see what the city was like a hundred years ago hidden within it are some real jewels. It is here where the roots of modernist culture began and which helped to shape various parts of the city and the region as a whole.
So why not take time out to discover more of the cultural side of this beautiful neighborhood. As you walk through the streets of Gracia you will see many symbols and buildings that all highlight Catalan Modernism.
The first such place is the Parc Güell. Originally the project was started by Antonio Gaudi (considered to be the father of modernism in Barcelona) however over time many other modernist artists have collaborated on the project. One such artist is Josep M Jujol who is the creator of the parks undulating benches, which are decorated using ceramic Trencadis.
Parc Güell owes it fame to the original construction where the materials seem to look as if they come straight from nature. The columns look like trees and its fountains are shaped like animals. In fact, throughout the park, Catalan’s modernist footprint can be found in every corner of it.
Related article: Gràcia – Districts of Barcelona
The next place to move on to that allows you to get a real sense of this part of the city’s culture is Casa Vicens. This is the first major work designed and then built to Antoni Gaudi’s specification. Originally built as a summerhouse for one of Barcelona’s most wealthy families it includes along with a house the garden. To the right of the gate, you are greeted with an amazing scene of palm leaves that have been masterfully created using wrought iron.
After wandering away from Casa Vicens take some time to head over to Placa Lesseps. Here is located Casa Ramos another modernist gem, but this time designed by the architect Jaume Torres. The front of this exquisite building is decorated with flowers and bees and other elements that honor the world in which we live.
Finally, during your exploration of this part of Barcelona make sure that you take the time to visit Casa Fuster. Okay, it may not look as impressive as others I have already mentioned and is also one of the lesser-known works by Lluis Domenech I Montaner. However, the undulating façade along with its large windows that have been decorated with natural motifs helps to give a clear vision of the Modernist Movement in Catalonia. Recently renovated the building is now home of one of Barcelona’s most luxurious hotels.