It's well known that Barcelona is a haven for those who love architecture, with some of the most famous buildings in Europe so easily recognised by many people. The city boasts 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with all but one of those being a building (the one that isn't is Park Güell). It's also no surprise that 7 of the 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Barcelona have been created by the hand of Antonin Gaudi. Gaudi was considered to be one of the most influencial figures in the Modernitsta movement, and even the other two sites not by Gaudi are Modernista buildings, too: Hospital Sant Pau and Palau de la Musica Catalana. So, what the devil is Modernista?
At a time where industry was flowing in Barcelona (cotton, fabrics, etc.) many of the wealthy folk of the city commissioned buldings to be built for them and their families. It seems like there was a competition for the wackiest buildings and designs with a disregard for uniformity and "fitting in" - hence the well known "manzana de discordia" or the Block of Discord which has the most remarkable display of buildings in such a small radius, and why today thousands of people flock to see such buildings as Casa Mila, Casa Battlò, Casa Viçens, Palau Güell, etc. etc.
However, the Modernista movement was not only reflexcted in buildings. Obviously art played a huge role in the movement, and sculptures, ornaments, furniture, etc. can all be considered to fall undert the same category. Until now, it's possibly been difficult to recognise just exactly what could be considered Modernista (unless you visit the period attic apartment in La Pedrera), so there's a good reason to be happy this weekend with the inauguration of the Museu del Modernisme which sets to showcase 400 different pieces displaying the disciplines within Modernism. The museum is located on Calle Balmes, number 48, which is a nice central location, and is sure to be a success for those wanting to expand their knowledge on the subject. From the Facebook page, the virtual images certainly look great, and I'll be popping along sometime soon to check it out as well.
Coming to Barcelona soon? Check out these self-catering apartments for a great alternative to hotels.