The neighborhoods of Barcelona – from La Sagrada Familia to Passeig de Gracia

The neighborhoods of Barcelona – from La Sagrada Familia to Passeig de Gracia

Ла Саграда Фамилия до Пасеч де Грасия / La Sagrada Familia to Passeig de Gracia

Here we are again on the streets of Barcelona! In the last post, we learned some basic and useful things about our stay in the Catalan capital. We walked out of La Ribera, through the Parc de la Ciutadella and the Arc de Triomf to Torre Agbar. Okay, we got it… If you missed it, here’s a link to it – The neighborhoods of Barcelona – from La Ribera to Torre Agbar“.

Today’s tour will be more lenient, with the opportunity to enjoy the small squares, beautiful facades and undoubtedly the biggest landmark of the city – La Sagrada Familia. As I have already mentioned, the walking tours in Barcelona are something great and today we will again avoid the use of public transport… But… if you don’t want to walk, the best option is to get on the subway. There are two lines to Sagrada Familia – the blue L5 and the purple L2.

To La Sagrada Familia

The distance from our hotel to La Sagrada Familia was about 3 km or about 40 min walk under the pleasant February sun… Walking through the streets of Barcelona is awesome! Palms, well-ordered cars and bikes, and never, but you’ll never see traffic jams, impatient drivers, or hearing deafening horns… Extremely well organized public transport and many bikes and wheels impressed me. Definitely this is among the city’s charm.

Let’s go back to our first goal of the day… It’s good to buy a ticket in advance… it’s even a obligatory! You can find information HERE. The price for the most used tours is 17 euro for the standard visit and 32 euro for the standard visit with climbing of the towers. I find it difficult to assess whether it is worth the more expensive ticket, I took advantage of the ordinary… But… in view of the interesting infrastructure of the buildings in this neighborhood (most of them square), it is probably impressive to look from above… Think about it when buying online because there is no way to pay for the towers on the spot…

So… Gaudí’s masterpiece is beforeus! Sagrada Familia becomes an unofficial symbol of Barcelona.Undoubtedly the most impressive work of Antonio Gaudi. The design consists of many details, starting from the facade, passing through the interior and finishing with the 18 towers… Surely, without telling you, you are aware that it is still being built! The huge hanging cranes over it have long since merged with its vision and are present in all the photographs from here. It is expected to be completed in 2026, one hundred years after Gaudi’s death. Soon the tower of Jesus Christ must be completed, which, with its 173 m, will turn the cathedral into the highest religious building in Europe.

The construction began in 1882 by Villar, but only a year later the plans for the church changed radically when Antonio Gaudi starts his work over it. Unfortunately, he managed to complete only one of the facades – “Nativity”. Subsequently, the second facade “Passion” was completed, the latest is not yet ready – “Glory”. The Eighteen Towers symbolize: The twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, one is for Virgin Mary, and the highest – Jesus Christ. The construction after Gaudi’s death is going very slowly… There are periods in which he has completely stopped. But today, thanks to numerous donations and advanced technologies, the completion of the Cathedral looks to be close…

Crossing the threshold we fall in a different dimension, on another planet or in another galaxy… It’s hard to describe… Everything is so strange and different, so unusual for a temple… It is said that Gaudi was completely influenced by the nature of building the inner columns. The columns themselves resemble trees, and he was so obsessed that in the slightest detail and detail he studied how the branches cling to the crown in nature.And in such details he has recreated it in the interior… And the light… It slips through many colorful windows… Large and in a variety of colors… Magicalis… The vast interior space can hold about 9,000 people! If you are lucky, you can hear music from an organ dripping between the roar of crushers and other tools.Let’s not forget that the temple is still half a building site…

In fact… La Sagrada Familia was started as a Roman Catholic church, later declared a cathedral, and since 2010 is already a basilica. So the Basilica is one of the most visited places in Spain! It would be nice to look at it from different points of view and a good spot for photos is the pond opposite the entrance. We had to wait a little to make a few photos because the Asian group was filming an advertising… A wonderful place to relax and enjoy the great view of the Sagrada and the cranes hanging over it…

Gracia

It is time to head to the upper side of Passeig de Gracia, the former village of Gracia. And although today it is located in Eixample, the heart of Barcelona and the location of many fashionable bars and restaurants, here is preserved the charm of the provincial spirit. The beautiful squares and narrow, quiet streets are in unstinting contrast to the shimmering and noisy Eixample. The distance from the Sagrada Familia is about 30 minutes walk. You can stroll along the narrow street of Carrer de Torrijos, right up to the small square Placa de la Virreina. The beauty of this place lies in its squares…

We take on the Carrerd’Astúries… This street will change first a small square, then a variety of fashion boutiques, while at the end, just before flowing into the lively Carrer Gran de Gràcia, does not reveal its full beauty… The facades of the buildings on the last pedestrian street are impressive… And naturally, on the terraces, you will find it difficult to see the Spanish flag, even impossible… there is only the Catalonian…

Before we finish the village, we have two very important places… The first is Placa del Sol – the unofficial center of Gracia. The square is a favorite meeting place for people of all ages. You will see them seated not only in cafes but also on the ground. This place is perfect for cool sangria. But… we chose the next… Just about 300 meters away is another charming square – Plaça de la Vila de Gràcia! Our choice for sangria has been precisely that of it! Slightly shaded by the previous one, and at its center a 33-meter observatory rises, dating back to 1862. Whoever you choose from the two… you will not be wrong…

On Passeig de Gracia…

After refreshing sangria it is time for a little culture… We’re going to the so-called “Casas”… or houses. Before going down Passeig de Gracia to the famous buildings, there is one and where we were now… This is the first house that Gaudi builds – Casa Vicens. The building has been open very recently to visitors since it has long been a private home. During my visit, the facade and the house itself were still being restored. We can now head to the famous boulevard…

Casa Comalat is the first of several interesting buildings on the boulevard. It is still at its beginning, slightly to the side. The facade is very interesting, especially ceramic decorations. An impression is made by the curves of the entire building and the interesting ground floor, which leads to Gaudi style comparisons at Casa Batlló.

Here that it is time for Gaudi’s masterpiece – Casa Mila! The building is perhaps the second most famous creation of the modernist after La Sagrada Familia… He is commissioned to build an apartment building by industrialist Pere Milà, who was delighted by Casa Batlló. Well… surely the end result has exceeded his expectations… Yes, it’s not as colorful as Battle, but it’s certainly unique. It’s called La Pedrera because it’s like a carved rock! There is also a comparison that looks like the facade is the collision of a cliff with the ocean… The twisted iron balconies in strange forms have become a symbol of the building. Also the chimneys… But in order to get to them you have to go in and pay the fee… As I mentioned in the previous post, the fees in Barcelona are not cheap… And this place is no exception. The regular ticket price is 22 euro! We wonder a lot… whether to go to Casa Mila or Casa Batlló… and finally the second one prevails… we go on to it!

You can not confuse it… the tail of people waiting to come in is always big… Casa Batlló was the house of the industrialist Josep Batlló, who wanted to stand out with a sophisticated building and assigned this task to Antonio Gaudi. Here I will put something… most of the buildings on the boulevard are the work of the Modernist movement, which originated at the end of the nineteenth century in Barcelona, “Modernisme” or “Catalan modernism”. Weak industrialists are giving young and up-and-coming modernist architects to build houses in the newly-developed Eixample neighborhood. Well, Casa Batlló is surely among the best… Although Gaudi does not build it… he uses the existing building by making it unrecognizable. For most people, the details of his creation are again borrowed from nature – balconies resembling skulls, columns like bones, dragon roofs and more…

Here we have already entered… the entrance is about 25 euros (can be bought online in advance) and on-site you get an audio video guide. Pretty innovative and helps you imagine everything in detail! The blue internal facades are amazing! You will learn how Gaudi has used the natural light as much as possible and you will go to the roof… in the dragon’s lair… This is one of the most expensive museums in Barcelona, ​​but it is worth it.

We are now at the end of our walk through the famous Passeig de Gracia… We may still admire two buildings made by other famous architects – the fabulous Casa Amatler of Puig i Cadafalch and the sophisticated Casa Lleó Morera of Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The Boulevard ends with the beautiful fountain! From here to late evening… a lazy and peaceful walk along La Rambla, pleasant music and a cocktail in hand at a beach bar…

2019-03-04T09:05:03+00:00