The 10 most emblematic buildings in Barcelona
Published on January 28, 2020 by Catalan Holidays
Barcelona is an incredible city, filled with contrasts and little corners to uncover. It is a wholly cosmopolitan city, clearly on a level with the greatest major European cities, such as London and Paris. Sometimes we are not aware of the magnitude of this city, of everything that it can offer us, and we prefer to go much further away when, without needing to hop on a plane and leave the country, we could enjoy a place with these extraordinary characteristics. Here we have, within the same city, mountains, ocean and an immense variety of urban places full of contrasts and famous architectural value, great beauty and attraction. Walking through the city of Barcelona means being constantly fascinated during your trip.
It is extremely complicated to merely stick to a limited series of key places that Barcelona can offer us, as they are innumerable. However, here we will leave a small sample of what the city can give us, with the 10 most emblematic buildings in Barcelona that you must not miss if you have the chance to visit the city.
- Sagrada Familia
- Casa Batlló
- La Pedrera
- Barcelona Cathedral
- Boqueria Market
- Santa Maria del Mar Church
- Sant Pau Hospital
- Temple of the Sacred Heart (Tibidabo)
- Liceu Opera
- Catalan Music Palace
- Bonus Track
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The Sagrada Familia
When we think about the city of Barcelona, most probably the image that immediately and initially comes to mind is, specifically, an image of the Sagrada Familia church. When we walk along the Ramblas or through any area where they sell tourist souvenirs, among the t-shirts, fridge magnets and all the souvenirs of the city, we will find nothing but Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia.
It is a World Heritage Site. Construction began on the basilica more than 135 years ago, and it is expected to be completely finished in the year 2026, which will be a historic milestone. Construction work has never stopped, and it has also always been faithful to Gaudi’s plans and intentions (he dedicated more than 40 years to the Sagrada Familia), even after the death of the amazing architect.
This is located in the so-called “Block of Discord”, which is between Aragón Street and Consejo de Ciento Street, in this section of the Passeig de Gracia and Ensanche, where it shares space with 4 other distinguished neighbours: Lleo i Morera House, Mulleras House, Bonet House and Amatller House.
All of these belong to the Catalan Modernism movement, with each one being by the most famous architects of the Modernist movement. Casa Batlló itself, just like the Sagrada Familia, is the work of the famous Antoni Gaudi. Big words, as if there is an architectural emblem of Barcelona, it is undoubtedly this great architect.
This is Casa Mila, built on the Passeig de Gracia; another of Gaudi’s works. Any one of Gaudi’s works is fit to be on any list of emblematic buildings, not just in Barcelona. The whole building is a work of art, and it is known by this name, La Pedrera or “stone quarry”, because of the appearance of its façade which imitates shapes from nature (which is really Gaudi’s style), far ahead of its time, supposedly a leap towards architectural modernity.
All of its style belongs to the Catalan Gothic period. Situated in the extraordinary Gothic Quarter and built between the 13th and 15th centuries; although its imposing façade was not finished until the beginning of the 20th century, based on the plans from previous centuries. However, not everything is focused on the main façade, if we go inside then everything is spectacular, and we can find ourselves spellbound with its multitude of elements, like the great organ from the 16th century, or its impressive stained glass.
Located in the Ramblas, it is one of the most famous markets in the world. It is not unusual to find tourists stopping to take photos of the stalls and everything that is offered on them: all kinds of meat, fish, seafood, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, beans, preserves, dried fruit… Furthermore, it has a wide offering of bars where you can try all the fresh and top-quality products in the market.
Santa Maria del Mar Church
The best representation from the Catalan Gothic period, of sober and horizontal appearance, it was built in the 14th century, and it can be presumed to have also been the main character of one of the most famous fiction books in recent years: Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonson Falcones.
Sant Pau Hospital
A project designed by the also-famous architect, Lluis Domenech i Montaner, it is a compendium of Modernist buildings that had served as a hospital until the expansion of the health complex. It is located in the dead centre of the city, and the Modernist part can be visited, which is in the process of restoration after the transfer of the hospital-related activity to the complex expansion.
Temple of the Sacred Heart (Tibidabo)
Located in the highest point of the city, in the Tibidabo mountains, and its construction dates back to the beginnings of the 20th century until the middle, and from the upper part of the temple, magnificent views of the whole city of Barcelona can be enjoyed.
This marvellous theatre, the Liceu Opera, is the oldest and most prestigious in the city. It is in the Ramblas, and since its beginnings it has housed, and continues to house, the most important and novel works of all time.
Catalan Music Palace
Constructed by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, it is a Modernist building which was originally built as the headquarters for the Orfeo Catala Choral Society. Furthermore, it is the only concert hall that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of course, the building is extremely beautiful, both inside and outside.
Barcelona is a city with an infinite number of marvellous buildings, so let’s briefly list here several others that must not be missed: Pedralbes Palace, Montjuic Castle, Parc Guell, the Mies Van der Rohe Pavillion (built in steel, glass and marble), Barcelona Franca Station (with a Modernist metallic structure), Nou Camp (essential for football lovers), and Casa Ametller (for the chocoholics).
Stay in a holiday home on the coast near Barcelona
Our recommendations are coastal accommodation near to the city of Barcelona. There are areas on the Catalan coast that allow you to be between the sea and the mountains at the same time as being near to the city of Barcelona.
On the other hand, have you thought of holiday rentals of houses with private pools y holiday rentals of houses that accept dogs or other pets. Through this link you have all our holiday homes in Catalonia.