What would we be without our history and heritage? Our identity, our culture and our traditions would be diluted in time, lost in the rumble of the forward-moving clocks. With this in mind, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, recognizes as World Heritage Sites the buildings, monuments and places that it deems as important to preserve from a cultural and historical standpoint. Out of the 1052 sites currently listed by the organization, 10 of them are in Barcelona, so if you’re staying in town, don’t miss the chance to visit them.
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The works of Lluís Domènech i Montaner
This Catalan art nouveau architect etched his name in history by dreaming up two of the most incredible buildings you’ll see in Barcelona:
Palau de La Musica Catalana – One of the most beautiful concert halls in the world, Palau de La Musica makes beautiful use of light and space to create a unique atmosphere for both visitors and performers.
Hospital de La Santa Creu i de Sant Pau – One of the biggest symbols of Catalan modernism, this Barcelona hospital harmonizes purpose and functionality with an admirably bold design.
Related article: Barcelona design tours
The works of Antoni Gaudí
One of the most famous architects in world history, it’s no wonder that seven of his Barcelona buildings have been distinguished by UNESCO as World Heritage sites.
Park Guell – From this park in upper Barcelona, you can not only enjoy some of the best views in the city, but you can also take a closer look into the history and legacy of Catalan modernist art.
Palau Guell – A simple glance at its doors is enough to get a “wow!” out of anyone. A work of truly luxurious imagination and one of the highlights of the city’s center.
Casa Milà – Straight out of the fantasy world, this building commonly known as La Pedrera (“the quarry”) was Gaudí‘s last civil work. Describing it is quite difficult, at it needs to be seen to be believed – with naturalistic inspiration and a masterful use of curves, the Catalan architect created perhaps the most outstanding building in the world.
Casa Batlló – Also located in the Gràcia neighbourhood, this renovated building with unique tracery and flowing stone work is the result of a collaboration between Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, another renowned Catalan architect.
Casa Vicens – It is one of the first ever art nouveau creations and the first house designed by Gaudí. This Grácia building played a crucial role in revolutionizing modern architecture.
La Sagrada Familia – The most famous church in not only Barcelona but Spain as a whole, it was undoubtedly Gaudí’s most ambitious work – construction started in 1882 and is only scheduled to be fully finished in 2026.
Crypt of the Colònia Güell – A precursor of La Sagrada Familia, the crypt of this Santa Coloma de Cervello church was revolutionary in its technical structure and is absolutely astonishing to look at.
Related article: Antoni Gaudi made history
Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí
Located in Alta Ribagorça, a region in the high Pyrénées, Vall de Boí contains a cluster of nine small villages that each have a Romanesque church. These are important vestiges of cultural exchanges during medieval times and also quite exquisite sights to behold, as each church is erected in the middle of what are otherwise untouched rural settings, creating a contrast that greatly enhances their grandiosity.
We hope you have time to visit each of these Barcelona buildings, as they are all remarkable symbols of the city’s history and culture.
Which UNESCO World Heritage site will you see first? Let us know in the comment box below. Have fun!
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