Spain Recap: Barcelona – non food related stuff

It’s pretty clear I’m a foodie of sorts since at least 70% of the pictures I take are related to food. But I did do other things in Barcelona besides eat.  You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting Gaudí’s fanciful creations as well as those of his Art Nouveau contemporaries. According to wiki, the Barcelona was the center of the movement in Spain and it just oozes out of the city’s pores. That’s the most I’ll say about Art Nouveau because I don’t want start spouting off about stuff I know nothing about like a modern jackass.

Anyways, I’m crazy about Gaudí to put it mildly. In particular, I was mesmerized by Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gràcia.  That place is a happy marriage of whimsy and function. He worked in so many different textures and forms with such abandon that it was hard not to get caught up in the reckless joy of defiance against convention. I love organic shapes and curves and he integrated all of it into the building that it was almost impossible to find a 90 degree angle anywhere.  What I wouldn’t give to live there for a month. The building just left me speechless.

Casa Batlló facade at night

Casa Batlló facade at night

Casa Batlló inside

Casa Batlló inside

A stone’s throw away down the street from Casa Batlló is La Perdera, Gaudí’s other famous residential building. While it wasn’t as awe inspiring for me as Batlló, I loved the ironwork on the terrace. As I also love natural lighting in homes, both of the buildings are designed to bring in as much natural light as possible into every room.

La Perdrera

La Perdrera

Of course, we couldn’t miss La Sagrada Familia Church with its fanciful spires that reminded me of a Tim Burton movie. There was a lot of construction going on while we were there compared to when I first saw it years ago. I guess they found the funding and were able to move towards completing Gaudí’s final and most obsessed over opus.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

We also took a stroll in Parc Güell. If Hansel and Gretel were Spanish, then this is the wonderland that would have led them to the gingerbread house.

House at Parc Güell

House at Parc Güell

Another stop on the architecture tour was the Palau de la Música Catalana designed by Motaner. It’s more familiar to me as the one place where I got completely lost and for a good twenty minutes, I misplaced my ability to read a map. Twice! That Urquinaona metro stop is a dizzying merry go round that spits you out dazed and confused. But I digress. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside but the most fascinating piece was the sunburst stained glass in the ceiling that was concave like bell. I’ll have to defer to the following photo gleaned from wikipedia.

Palau de la Música

Palau de la Música

Also designed by Montaner was the Hospital de Sant Pau, which is still a working hospital. Like the Palau de la Música, he used a lot of ceramic objects as his decorative element. I noticed that ceramic roses were a recurring theme in the two buildings.

Hospital Sant Pau

Hospital Sant Pau

I was debating about writing a separate entry about our visit the Fundació Joan Miró on Mount Juic but then realized it would just be me blabbering like a lovestruck teenager at a loss for words. Oh my God, oh my God, he’s soooo cool.

I knew him as an oil and canvas artist and already liked his works, especially the shapes and lines he created. But I didn’t know that he was also a sculptor and weaver. Crazy multitalented. Wow Joan, I didn’t know you as much as I thought I did.  My enjoyment of his art is rooted in how the shapes please my eye and tickle my fancy.  To me, his art about people or birds or what not captures the essence of his subject, filtering out unnecessary detail and leaving the only shapes that matter.  And seeing it in sculptural form was just awesome.  It’s just different and cool. That’s probably the simplest way I can describe how I feel about his stuff.

Miró sculpture

Miró sculpture

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