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Why I loved Barcelona – The Architecture

Before visiting Barcelona myself, it had always been the place everyone’s been to many times and everyone swears by it. Most of my friends were singing praises because of the awesome party places and the dreamy Spanish guys. 

My mind immediately associated it with the Sak Noel tune called ‘Loca People’ which I was listening to all day and all night for a few months during uni. The lyrics goes “When I went to Spain and saw people partying I thought to myself WTF”. If you like electro that is so rubbish it gets stuck in your head indefinitely, check out the music video on youtube.

Obviously I came back with a lot more than ‘wow it’s a great place to party’, however, we did go out almost every evening as our hotel was on a lively pedestrian street with cosy bars. The food, the history and the tapas bars were awesome. Greg had a conference for a couple of days and I joined him 3 days later. It was the beginning of August, so the place was crowded and hot, next time I’d visit in September. It was the first time I was out of uni and was working full-time, which meant this was not exactly a budget trip. It was not luxury either as we were saving up for our wedding, but it was not our usual ‘sticking to an extreme budget’ style. It made the experience a bit more comfortable, but a lot more dull. Adventure and budget travel, those are my things. Barcelona was breathtaking though. Here is why!

Bold and unique. And totally awesome. If Barcelona was a living person, I would definitely think they are extremely charismatic and badass. I loved the contrast and diversity. You’d think it gets chaotic but it doesn’t. The reason for that is everything is pure quality. Whatever they do, they do it brilliantly. Gaudí’s Sagrada Família which is absolutely jaw-dropping inside-out. And no people, it is not a cathedral, it is a church. The gothic Barcelona Cathedral is something else totally. More on that below. DSC_0500

Oh my God. I mean… Look at that DETAIL!

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I can totally understand why the building process was/has been so slow. Even me, who barely knows anything about architecture – can see how complex it is, just by looking at it.

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Building of this masterpiece has been ongoing as when Gaudí was hit by a tram and died in 1926, only a third of it was ready. Most of the designs were set on fire during the Spanish Civil War (is there anything that didn’t go wrong when building this church?!) so I am sure it is difficult to come up with the exact method and style. Gaudí was indeed a freakin’ genious. It reminds me of the story of the Mathematical Bridge in Cambridge. How Newton put it together without using any nuts or bolts, then some students took it apart and they couldn’t figure out how to put it back together. So eventually they had to use nuts and bolts.

You can clearly see the difference between the original, older and new designs.

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One tip though: we did pay to get up to the towers. It was not worth it, you couldn’t really see that much. If there was a tower nearby to see Sagrada Família from, that would be a different story.

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Moving on from Gaudí.

The style of Catalan Modernism runs through the whole city! I didn’t know this is what this movement is called but I completely fell head over heels in love with it. I love how different it is from anything else you see in Europe.

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Then there were some awful contemporary ‘art’- things. This is my ‘what the hell’ face 🙂

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The cathalan gothic style Basílica Santa Maria del Mar

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And the purely gothic Barcelona Cathedral from the 4th century

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Random geese in the gardens of the Cathedral… as you do 🙂

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