At the mention of bold and colourful Barcelona, thoughts turn to the architecture of Antoni Gaudi.
The instantly-recognisable fingerprints of Gaudi are all over this wonderful city, not the least being his unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia church.
But, there is also a lot more to the face of Barcelona, where the old and the new blend to create a remarkable atmosphere.
The city’s streets boast eye-catching traditional buildings, sometimes almost side-by-side with modern structures that, in turn, draw inspiration from the past.
For example, the history, beauty and culture along the Ramblas – Barcelona’s famous tangle of tree-lined malls and alleys – is something to behold. Here are some of our favourites:
House of Umbrellas
You’ll marvel at the colourful Casa Bruno Cuadros, which used to be an umbrella shop and has particularly delicate wall decorations.
We were told that this prominent building is known by locals as the Casa dels Paraigües (House of Umbrellas)
It was built in 1858 and remodelled with the current facade in 1883 by Josep Vilaseca Casanovas.
This striking building stands at the bottom of the Ramblas, in front of the Christophe Colombus Column.
In its Mediterranean surroundings, the army headquarters is one of several stately buildings in the in the Portal de la Pau square.
Cines Comedia (main photo)
Originally built in 1887 as a grand residential mansion in the heart of Barcelona, this building was converted into a theatre in the late 1930’s.
The architect for the conversion was Rodriguez Lloveras and the first performance in 1941 lasted for four days and celebrated the end of the Spanish Civil War.
In 1960, the theatre was converted into a cinema and three decades later, it became a five-screen complex.
Externally it hasn’t changed and is still an imposing building on a prime location in the heart of Barcelona. Internally it’s five screens have the latest technology.
Casa Lleo i Morera
This modernist building was designed by Lluis Domenech i Montaner in 1902 on Barcelona’s top shopping street, Passeig de Gracia.
Casa Lleo i Morera contains the upmarket store of luxury clothing and assessors brand, Loewe.
La Boqueria Market
Although not in a stately building, Barcelona’s La Boqueria Market, or Sant Josep, dates back to 1217, when tables were apparently installed near the old city gate to sell meat.
The markets lead to a series of quaint alleys, such as this one that leads to Bacardi Palace, a Colonial property built in the 1850s and housing centrally-located apartments.
The influence of Casa Milà
Many of the modern buildings in Barcelona clearly show the influence of Antoni Gaudi.
The wavy lines of this structure certainly stand out from its surroundings.
However, to the untrained eye, this design appears to owe much to one of the city’s most famous buildings, Gaudi’s famous Casa Mila – popularly known as La Pedrera.