Architectural icons of Barcelona

Barcelona contains everything that a city could want, an urban centre full of shops, large parks, historic and modern buildings and a nearby beach. The beauty of the city is undeniable. One of the most important qualities of Barcelona is the richness of its architecture, from remains of Roman settlements, through modernist buildings, constructions for the 1992 Olympic Games, to the latest architectural models.

Camino hacia el cielo en Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo

If there’s a representative building in Barcelona that is known all over the world, it’s La Sagrada Familia. This work of Antoni Gaudi shows the culmination of his art, with the crypt and the apse in neo-gothic style, with the design of the rest of the temple using organic forms. Despite being one of the architect’s best-known works, it’s still unfinished. Other important buildings of the same author are the Park Güell, La Pedrera or Casa Batlló, all of them recognised by their peculiar style in which the curved line is the main character. Undulations, over-decoration, organic and vegetable shapes are the main characteristics of the work of Gaudi and also of all modernism.

casa batllo mar azul

Casa Batllo mar azul

One of the best examples of Gothic architecture in Barcelona is the monastery of Santa María de Pedralbes. Originally, surrounded by a wall but now only two towers and two access doors are conserved. Now, a museum housing collections from Barcelona City’s History Museum, sitting in a three-storey building around a cloister full of trees and fountains.

Another great example of gothic architecture is found in the Barri Gòtic, and the Cathedral of the Santa Cruz and Santa Eulalia of Barcelona. Built between the 13th and 15th centuries on earlier temples, it has got a cloister that encloses the Well of the Geese, a place where thirteen geese live in honor of the saint, and the neo-gothic façade is one of its most peculiar elements. The cathedral is vaulted over five aisles, and the outer two are divided into chapels. It’s dedicated to Santa Eulalia, who supposedly died by impalement in the Baixada de Santa Eulalia.


A different building that is well known in Barcelona is the Torre Agbar. This 34-storey skyscraper is 145 meters high and it was designed by the architect Jean Nouvel in collaboration with b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos. The author was inspired by Gaudí and the Sagrada Familia, but also by the pinnacles of the mountain of Montserrat. One of the most curious elements of the building is the luminous images that it makes with LED technology on its facade at night.

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