Barcelona art and architecture

Your advantages with Rodamon

  • Barcelona art and architecture
  • Limitless Gaudí
  • Gothic stones and images
  • Modernisme – secret jewels
  • Montjuïc: Joan Miró/MNAC
  • Pablo Picasso

Barcelona grows in waves. Chaotic construction phases follow radical city extensions like the grid-based extension Eixample and the brand new, glossy Diagonal Mar neighbourhood. The reasons are diverse: Emergency situations, military defeats or cultural and sports events.

Our motivation is urban development. By referencing certain distinctive buildings we explain the social events in Barcelona starting with the 18th century: the Catalan parliament in the former arsenal of the citadel, which is today the city park, the Mies van der Rohe Pavillion on the exhibition grounds of the 1929 Universal Exposition, today Barcelona’s Trade Fair, the use of the grounds of the aborted 1936 People´s Olympiad for the successful Olympic Games in 1992, the old port and Barceloneta, Europe´s first social housing district.

We take you to the remains of a vanished city, the highlights of a real city and an embryonic utopian city. Barcelona sheds its skin and reinvents itself continuously.

4 hour guided tour by bike/ E-bike, private or public transport
Interior visits possible, entrance fees not included

Who is this man who has left behind miracles made of stone which seem to come straight out of a dream world? Who believed in this inexperienced architecture student and gave him the means to realise his projects?

We follow Gaudí´s stylistic development from his neo-Gothic and orientalist beginnings to his unmistakably monolithic late work, looking at his lesser known works: the Palau Güell of his patron, the Casa Calvet, his only award-winning building, Bellesguard, built above the residence of the last Catalan King, the horse stables at the entrance to the summer residence of the Güell family.

The final highlight is an interior visit to the crypt in the Güell workers colony, an experimental site for the construction of the Sagrada Familia.

We focus on hidden details which are part of the language of symbols in which the architect and the client communicated. Highly specialized craftsmen have executed his projects – unrepeatable works of art which have gone far beyond the ideas of architecture.

8 hour guided tour using private or public transport
Entrance fees are not included

Barcelona has a vast, interconnected old town: the Gothic Quarter or Barri Gòtic. We begin with a foray through the real city made of stone which demonstrates the power and importance of medieval Catalonia: the Cathedral, The Kings Palace and Gothic Courtyards… Strange and interesting to see that Barcelona reinvented itself for tourism in the 1920´s and smartened itself up in a neo-Gothic fashion. Do you recognize the false old walls?

Half way through the day we take a break in a pretty cafe where we try pastry made by nuns according to a traditional recipe. “Holiness” tastes like a mixture of quince bread and delicate rose scent.”

Then we visit the National Museum where selected paintings help in explaining life in the city of the past: the stories of Christians, Jews, kings and city councillors, saints and wrongdoers.

4 hour walking tour using public or private transport
Entrance fees not included

Tip:

Do you already know the old city? You don´t fancy a museum visit? Why don´t you come with us to visit the Gothic nunnery of Pedralbes? Once outside the city, today it is situated in the most elegant residential area of Barcelona. Elisenda de Montcada, already the widow of a Catalan Count at the age of 35, retired there accompanied by aristocratic ladies, away from the dangerous Catalan Court.

Where stones become alive. The architecture at the turn of the century was first celebrated, then condemned and at the end rediscovered. Today many buildings of the Modernisme movement are world heritage sites. The spirit of Catalonia transformed into stone shows us that architecture can be political propaganda. The facades are gigantic calling cards which divulge the dreams and successes of their architects.

When in 1854 the wall surrounding the medieval town was finally pulled down, Barcelona blossomed. The hour of birth for the Eixample, the unique grid-based city extension, had arrived. Everybody wanted to attract attention; money was no object: ideal conditions for architects and highly specialized craftspeople.

Starting with the fabulous music palace, the Palau de la Música, we stroll through the Quadrat d’Or, the Golden Square with its extravagant city palaces built by Gaudí and his colleagues: enchanting entrances, wooden lifts, doorknockers in the shape of insects. We enter the living rooms of the rich, recover in quiet backyards and venture into the magic world of an Art Nouveau hospital built right in the middle of a thriving park.

Old pharmacies, bakeries and cafes take us closer to the life of the Barcelonese 100 years ago.

4 hour city tour by bike/ E-Bike, private or public transport
Interior visits possibe, entrance fees not included

Rarely has architecture and the land entered into such a happy alliance than on the slopes of the Montjuïc mountain.

Once a quarry, today the green lung of the city but also the mountain home of the cemetery and castle. The world exposition of 1929 with the Pavillion by Mies van der Rohe and the Spanish Village and then venue for the  Olympic Games in 1992.

The emphasis of this varied walk, however, is on the rich art collections.

You can choose a journey through time in the MNAC, from the Romanesque frescos (World Heritage Site) to the art of the Catalan avant-garde and furniture by Gaudí or dive into the magic world of Joan Miró for which the Mediterranean architecture of Josep Lluís Sert sets the frame.

We include a walk through gardens which were inspired by Moorish architecture and along the way we frequently look down onto the sprawling city and the sea.

4 hour walking tour also using public or private transport
Entrance fees not included

Tip:

On your way back to the city centre stroll through the traditional neighbourhood Poble Sec away from conventional tourism and enjoy your lunchbreak on the atmospheric Plaça del Sortidor.

In 1895, at the age of 13, Barcelona´s adoptive son Pablo Picasso comes to the city. We follow the tracks of the deep and productive interdependence between the artist and the Catalan capital.

Our biographical round tour starts at the Picasso museum, which is housed in five magnificent medieval palaces. The collection comprises works from Picasso´s early period and has a second emphasis, showing the series “Meninas” from his late work.

During a break in the artists cafe Els Quatre Gats we encounter memories of friends of the burgeoning Pablo from the Catalan avant garde scene. Our walk also takes us to everyday locations of Picasso´s life where we recognize motifs from his paintings.

We enter the atmosphere of a crisis-ridden, red Barcelona which inspired his blue period and Cubism.

4 hour walking tour
Entrance fees not included

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