It’s one of Spain’s most popular city break destinations – and with good reason – but how much do you really know about Barcelona? You might be surprised…
1. It’s not all Gaudí’s handiwork
Most people come to Barcelona to feast their eyes on Antonio Gaudí’s modernist masterpieces, but few realise that some of the city’s most famous sights were designed by a different architect altogether – who has been totally eclipsed by Gaudí.
Josep Maria Jujol, Gaudí’s design partner, rarely receives credit for the famous mosaic benches of Park Güell, the crazy ceramic facade of Casa Batlló, or the strange chimney sculptures of Casa Milà – which is a shame, because they’re all his work. Jujol was Gaudí’s design partner for a while, but he was also a successful architect in his own right. See some of his other creations here.
2. It has treasures galore
Most cities are lucky if they have just one Unesco-listed World Heritage Site. Barcelona, however, has nine such accolades – all for its inimitable modernist architecture.
Unsurprisingly, Gaudí’s (and Jujol’s) creations feature heavily: Park Güell and its ornate ‘palace’, Casa Milà (the world’s jazziest apartment block), and Casa Batlló among them. Special mention must go to La Sagrada Familia, the city’s iconic cathedral, which has a Unesco listing despite being wholly unfinished (more of this later). Other celebrated Gaudí works to make the cut include Casa Vicens (a private house – and currently for sale), and the crypt of the Church of Colonia Güell.