It was so weird, so fantastical, so beautiful. If a building was a mermaid, this is what it would look like. I just assumed this building was designed by a new contemporary, conceptual artist, but it wasn't. Casa Batllo was built in 1877 by architect Antoni Gaudi. If I was well versed in architecture I can go on about the influences of Catalan Modernisme, but I'm not, so I'll just say Gaudi designed buildings that are viscerally striking and are like a sugar rush when you first see it.
It almost seems like Gaudi is trying not to have any straight lines in his designs. The Casa Mila is a prime example of this. It's undulating lines is evident on the exterior and the interior, as well as with the furniture inside.
Of course, the Sagrada Familia is Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece. When Gaudi died in 1926, the Sagrada was only 20% completed. When we visited in 2000, it was still under construction. They expect to be completed by the year 2026, the centennial of Gaudi's death. It's hard to describe this church in layman's terms, there is so many symbolic meaning in every aspect of the church, from it's spires to the facade to the interior.
|Inside the Sagrada Familia|
|Rear facade of the Sagrada Familia|
If you ever get the opportunity to visit Barcelona, Spain, I would definitely recommend visiting as many of the Gaudi designed buildings as possible. They will blow your mind and allow you to see how far your imagination can take you.
(photos via Doe Deere Blogazine, John Dolan via Scent of a Passion, Sagrada Familia photos by Charmaine Yambao and Rose Wood)