A strange marriage of Mudejar motifs and modernist design, Casa Vicens offers a fascinating insight into the architect Andoni Gaudi's influences when he began work as a young man.
Where: Carrer de les Carolines, Gràcia, Barcelona
Casa Vicens, Gaudí's First Building
Casa Vicens, though strikingly modernist in appearance, has neo-Moorish flourishes that wouldn't be out of place - well, nearly not, this is the incomparable Gaudí after all - on the facades of the Mudejar palaces of Andalusia. Particularly oriental-looking are the curving horseshoe arches, while there are also Persian and Byzantine details.
The chequerboard of tiles covering part of the walls apparently owe their existence to Gaudí being keen to pay homage to his patron, a ceramics tycoon called Manuel Vicens. The resulting effect is now seen on buildings all over Barcelona, but this was the original.
As well as the oriental influence and innovatory modernist details, look out for his riff on Gothic - a number of iron bats and reptiles, which look like modern-day gargoyles.
The building was Gaudí's first project as an architect and was undertaken in the mid-1880s. It's now a family residence, so you'll have to enjoy it from the outside.
How to Get There: Take the green line on the Metro to Fontana, and it's a ten minute walk up Gran De Gràcia and across Carrer de les Carolines.
Getting to Barcelona: Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport, and Renfe trains connect from all other major Spanish cities to Sants Estacio.