Today we took a walking tour of Gaudi architecture offered by Runner Bean. Like the street art tour, this is a “free” tour, meaning there is no fixed price. You pay your guide what you think the tour was worth. Both tours were excellent.
We met at Plaça Reial, just off Las Ramblas, the main walking route through Barcelona.
The square itself is beautiful. I asked about apartments here and our guide explained that this used to be an exclusive area, but not now. Too noisy and touristy, I guess.
I love all the little details.
The square contains the first and only Gaudi work commissioned by the city, the lamp posts.
The first Gaudi designed home we visited is called the Palau Güell. It was built for Gaudi’s patron, Eusebi Güell.
Impressive front doors.
Next we walked to the Block of Discard, which we visited earlier with Noelia. That name seems harsh to me. I like this block!
Often Gaudi’s work has symbolic meaning. There are competing theories about the symbols of Casa Batlló. One theory is that the entire building represents Carnival. The windows are masks, and the embedded decoration on the exterior is confetti.
Another theory is that the building represents the story of St. George and the dragon. In the story, a dragon lays siege to the city. At first, it takes all the cattle, but soon it develops an appetite for virgins. The city works out a way to placate the dragon by choosing a virgin by lottery each year. But when the princess’s name is drawn, the deal is off. Saint George slays the dragon, and wherever the dragon’s blood was shed, roses grew.
In this theory, the window decorations are the skulls, and the columns are the bones of the dragon’s victims. The crooked roof in the spine of the dragon, and the column with cross is the lance, piecing the dragon’s back.
Our next stop was Casa Milà. You’ve already seen it at the top of this blog. But I’m going to end here for today. Tomorrow Rita and Rebecca arrive, and we’re tired.