La Ciutat de Barcelona

IN THE CENTER OF THE CITY

A perfect destination for those who want to combine a vibrant culture, exceptional architecture, great beaches and nightlife. Barcelona is that and much more.

Among many tourist destinations, from Port Olímpic we recommend:

LA SAGRADA FAMÍLIA


The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (English: Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family), commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI. It is incorrect to refer to it as a cathedral as it is not the seat of a bishop. Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style—combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms.

Gaudí is original design calls for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. Eight spires have been built as of 2010, corresponding to four apostles at the Nativity façade and four apostles at the Passion façade. The Evangelists spires will be surmounted by sculptures of their traditional symbols: a bull (Saint Luke), a winged man (Saint Matthew), an eagle (Saint John), and a lion (Saint Mark). The central spire of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross; the spire is total height (170 metres (560 ft)) will be one metre less than that of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona as Gaudí believed that his creation should not surpass God is. The lower spires are surmounted by communion hosts with sheaves of wheat and chalices with bunches of grapes, representing the Eucharist. The completion of the spires will make Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world.

The Church will have three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the East, the Passion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South (yet to be completed). The Nativity Façade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence. The Passion façade is especially striking for its spare, gaunt, tormented characters, including emaciated figures of Christ being scourged at the pillar; and Christ on the Cross. These controversial designs are the work of Josep Maria Subirachs. The Glory façade, on which construction began in 2002, will be the largest and most monumental of the three and will represent one is ascension to God. It will also depict various scenes such as Hell, Purgatory, and will include elements such as the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família is construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War—only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project is greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026—the centennial of Gaudí is death Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said 'it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art' and Paul Goldberger called it 'the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.'


PARC GÜELL


Park Güell (Catalan: Parc Güell) is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district, nine metro stops away from our apartments. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It has an extension of 17.18 ha (0.1718 km²), which makes it one of the largest architectural works in south Europe. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Works of Antoni Gaudí'.

The focal point of the park is the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a more social atmosphere. Gaudí incorporated many motifs of Catalan nationalism, and elements from religious mysticism and ancient poetry, into the Park.

Roadways around the park to service the intended houses were designed by Gaudí as structures jutting out from the steep hillside or running on viaducts, with separate footpaths in arcades formed under these structures. This minimized the intrusion of the roads, and Gaudí designed them using local stone in a way that integrates them closely into the landscape. His structures echo natural forms, with columns like tree trunks supporting branching vaulting under the roadway, and the curves of vaulting and alignment of sloping columns designed in a similar way to his Church of Colònia Güell so that the inverted catenary arch shapes form perfect compression structures.

The large cross at the Park is high-point offers the most complete view of Barcelona and the bay. It is possible to view the main city in panorama, with the Sagrada Família and the Montjuïc area visible at a distance.


CASA BATLLÓ


Casa Batlló is a renowned building located in the heart of Barcelona and is one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces. Casa Batlló is a remodel of a previously built house. It was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that. Casa Batlló evokes the creativity and playfulness of Gaudí’s work through the incrassate facades and creative floors. Gaudí is assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Josep Canaleta and Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.

The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona. The building looks very remarkable — like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work. It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues. The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí is home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.


CASA MILÀ


Casa Milà and better known as La Pedrera (meaning the The Quarry), is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1906–1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is Catalan for promenade) in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows, designed largely by Josep Maria Jujol, who also created some of the plaster ceilings. The building did not respect the rules of conventional style, which made it the subject of criticism. The nickname 'La Pedrera' was assigned by citizens who disapproved of its heterodoxy.


PLAÇA CATALUNYA


Plaça de Catalunya, meaning in English 'Catalonia Square', located three metro stops away from our apartments, is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city (see Barri Gòtic and Raval, in Ciutat Vella) and the 19th century-built Eixample meet.

Some of the city is most important streets and avenues meet at Plaça Catalunya: Passeig de Gràcia, Rambla de Catalunya, La Rambla or Portal de l Àngel, in addition to Ronda de Sant Pere, Carrer de Vergara or Carrer de Pelai. The plaza occupies an area of about 50,000 square metres. It is especially known for its fountains and statues, its proximity to some of Barcelona is most popular attractions, and for the flocks of pigeons that gather in the centre.


BARRIO GÓTICO


The Gothic Quarter (Catalan: Barri Gòtic), is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. It stretches from La Rambla to Via Laietana, and from the Mediterranean seafront to Ronda de Sant Pere.

Despite several changes undergone in the 19th and early 20th century, many of the buildings date from Medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Remains of the squared Roman Wall can be seen around Tapineria and Sots-Tinent Navarro to the north, Avinguda de la Catedral and Plaça Nova to the west and Carrer de la Palla to the south. El Call, the medieval Jewish quarter, is located within this area too.

The Barri Gòtic retains a labyrinthine street plan, with many small streets opening out into squares. Most of the quarter is closed to regular traffic although open to service vehicles and taxis.


CATEDRAL DE BARCELONA


The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (Catalan: Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia), also known as Barcelona Cathedral, is the Gothic cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona. The cathedral was constructed from the 13th to 15th centuries, with the principal work done in the 14th century. The cloister, which encloses the Well of the Geese (Font de les Oques) was completed in 1448. In the late 19th century, the neo-Gothic façade was constructed over the nondescript exterior that was common to Catalan churches. The roof is notable for its gargoyles, featuring a wide range of animals, both domestic and mythical. It is a hall church, vaulted over five aisles, the outer two divided into chapels. The transept is truncated. The east end is a chevet of nine radiating chapels connected by an ambulatory. The high altar is raised, allowing a clear view into the crypt.

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