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Postcard from Barcelona: Gaudi Architecture and a Fantastic Waterfront

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Dear Luke and Leia,

Today we were in Barcelona, Spain, famous for its Gaudi architecture and a fantastic waterfront area on the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona is the capital city of the Catalonia region with a good deep water port and a wonderful history. We began with a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour to get a better idea of the layout of the city and what she has to offer.

Casa Mila by Gaudi
Casa Mila by Gaudi

Gaudi Buildings

No, that's not a misspelling of gaudy: Antoni Gaudí was a famous architect in Barcelona. The first thing we noticed on our ride was these very odd buildings, bright and colorful yet strangely shaped with wavy lines and deep curves. Reminded us of the “tequila building” (F&F Tower) in the banking district of Panama City, Panama. Did Gaudi have one too many glasses of tinto de verano while designing?

Gaudi's theory was that “Color in certain places has great value of making the outlines and structural planes seem more energetic.” He also said, ”Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.” So I guess it wasn’t Spain's great wine that led to the curving and winding facades, it was actually planned. It would seem that he succeeded in bringing energy and nature of the creator to the aspects of his buildings, which is why Gaudi’s buildings have earned UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

Casa Batlló by Gaudi
Casa Batlló
Details of Case Mila in Barcelona by Gaudi
Details of Case Mila in Barcelona

Sagrada Familia

The official name of this Gaudi masterpiece is The Basilica I Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia. That is a mouthful, but the building itself is more than an eyeful. From the time we first started planning this 6-week adventure to see the highlights of Europe, the Sagrada Familia stood out as a place I wanted to see. The building is based upon the traditions of Gothic and Byzantine cathedrals with eighteen towers; the twelve towers above the apse represent the twelve apostles from scripture.

Tip: Be sure to buy your tickets ahead of time to avoid the long ticket line.

Sagrada FamiliaSagrada FamiliaSagrada Familia

Two different eras of construction of La Sagrada Familia
Two different eras of construction of La Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia interior

Altar inside the Sagrada Familia

Inside the Sagrada Familia

Elsewhere around Barcelona

Walking and riding around Barcelona we immediately noticed a liveliness to this enchanting city that seemed more present here than elsewhere. We loved the Mediterranean climate with beautiful plants and trees. The streets were bustling with activity and even the buildings outside of those designed by Gaudi added to the energy.

Placa de Catalunya, Barcelona
Plaça de Catalunya
Casa de Punxes, Barcelona
Casa de Punxes, Barcelona
La Rotonda, Barcelona
La Rotonda
Joan Miro Museum Barcelona Spain
Joan Miro Museum
Beauty of the Mediterranean flora and fauna
Beautiful Mediterranean flora and fauna
Plaza Spain, Barcelona
Plaza Spain

Barcelona, SpainBarcelona, Spain

La Rambla del Mar, Barcelona's waterfront

We would have to say the district with the most energy was the waterfront area. The city's main party street, Las Ramblas, empties into the waterfront district and yet it must have spilled the party atmosphere right across the beautiful footbridge into La Rambla del Mar (Rambla of the Sea). This area of Barcelona is best visited at night as the lighting brings the energy of Barcelona to a peak and is a great place for guests to enjoy beautiful scenery and delicious foods.

Marina in Barcelona
Street food in front of the marina in Barcelona
Walkway on La Rambla del Mar, Barcelona
La Rambla del Mar
Barcelona marina light at night
Barcelona marina light at night
Night at La Rambla de la Mar, Barcelona
Night at La Rambla del Mar, Barcelona

Well kiddos, it is time we find a restaurant and enjoy the evening with some fine Catalonian foods and the beautiful sights Barcelona has to offer. Guess where we'll be eating?


Nana and Pap


Written by Dan

Professional photographer specializing in street, food and travel shots at As We Saw It travel blog. Enjoys catching children at play, showing their innocence in every situation … we all can learn that, to be content with what our Father in heaven has provided. Photography is unique in that it captures light in all forms, and since the Bible says YHVH (God) is light, photography captures Him in many forms.

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14 thoughts on “Postcard from Barcelona: Gaudi Architecture and a Fantastic Waterfront

  1. How not to love Gaudi’s works? His works are great but learning more about him is fascinating too. I was impressed when I visited La Pedrera. He touched all details of the design. Nothing was ordinary. Even a door or window frame is different from what you are used to see. Then, the construction of the Sagrada Famila continues with his instructions (he left the design). He was able to calculate a lot of very complicated things before the computer era.

    1. The more we learn about Gaudí the more astonished we are by his creativity and brilliance. I sometimes wonder how easy it would be to live with such a visionary. The man was a genius in the true sense of the word.

  2. I love Barcelona and can’t wait to go back again in June…but this time I’ll be accompanying my son’s school trip….Barca with 50 ten year olds, what do you think?!!! It’s going to be different and probably not quite as satisfying as your trip. I love all you photos of less known places.

    1. Yikes! You really will have an adventure! I know it’s highly unlikely but … wouldn’t it be great if you could impart an appreciation of Gaudi’s genius in kids that age? It would completely transform their experience there.
      Oh, well. We can dream, right?

  3. Ah, you have some terrific pictures from Barcelona, Dan. Isn’t this a great city? I visited Casa Mila some years ago and I thought it was amazing. Somehow, Gaudi’s architectural style reminds me of Hansel and Gretel story and their gingerbread house. I always imagined the gingerbread house looking like that. Funny, isn’t it?

    1. Not so funny actually; we thought just the same thing when we first saw Parc Guell, Anda. Good thing there was no witch outside. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll have the time to see it when we return. Did you have an opportunity to spend any time there?

  4. Truly, Barcelona is one of my favorite cities. Gaudi is partly to blame for that, but once setting foot in the city, I fell completely in love with the atmosphere, the food, the people….and the seaside Barceloneta neighborhood didn’t hurt! Great photos, which bring back great memories! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Barcelona is such a unique city, isn’t it, Rob? We were flabbergasted at how different it is from Miami. Both have a lot to offer but there’s something about a city with a beach….

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