Gaudi. When he graduated from Architecture School, the school director said he’s either a fool or a genius. We all know now how he turned out.





Sagrada Familia is in everyone’s list when visiting Barcelona. Gaudi’s spirituality, religiosity and love for the environment manifest in all his works. His understanding of nature and how he integrated it into his art or his architecture is simply beyond imagination. Unfortunately, Gaudi never taught nor left any written documents of his work.





Inside the Sagrada Familia, one senses Gaudi’s religiosity most profoundly. While his work remains unfinished to this day, this genius spent over 40 years on the Sagrada Familia until his tragic death in 1926. From a well-groomed “man-about-town” given to gourmet tastes, Gaudi’s last few years were marked by frugality. When he was accidentally hit by a tram while crossing a street and lost consciousness, he was mistaken for a beggar and was not given immediate medical attention. Such a sad ending for a man whose works now give Barcelona unparalleled pride.






And the details. All of 18 towers representing the 12 apostles, 4 evangelists, Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. The Nativity facade and all its statues. Inspired by the organic shapes of nature, the interiors integrated Gaudi’s architecture with other crafts where he gained skills like ceramics and stained glass. This modernist style also finds expression in Casa Battló, La Pedrera and Park Guell, to name a few.







Gaudi’s style is so distinct, so seemingly unrestricted to a point of flamboyance. You don’t need a tour guide to spot a Gaudi when walking the streets of Barcelona. Casa Batlló is a prime example of Gaudi’s art. The “wavy” structures, ceramic-filled towers, stained glass windows framed by intricately-designed ironworks.. For sure, Gaudi raised a lot of eyebrows during his time!







And then there’s Park Güell. Like a fantasy land with all those vibrant colors! My only regret when I visited the park was that I didn’t go much earlier. The crowd was so thick it diminishes one’s delight over this lovely park. Nearly all benches were taken. The grand staircase is so thick with tourists snapping photos of the dragon which has since become a Barcelona landmark.






There’s so much more of Gaudi in Barcelona. But be warned. There are long lines. I strongly advise you go early to the Park one morning. Line up early for either Casa Battlló or La Pedrera the next morn. You can fill up the remainder of each day with “non-Gaudi” activities such as Las Ramblas, La Boqueria, Port Véll, Fundacio Joan Miro, Olympic Site, etc.