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Barcelona Architecture

Top Ten Buildings in Barcelona


With a unique landscape of Gothic churches, renaissance palaces and modernist monuments, as well as more recent feats of modern engineering, Barcelona is justly famous for her architecture. Alongside the jaw-dropping creations of Gaudi in Eixample and Gràcia are the equally memorable buildings of his contemporaries Domenech i Montaner and Puig i Cadafelch, must-sees for anyone interested in modernism. Meanwhile, the Gothic Quarter and El Born hide a wealth of outstanding medieval palaces and churches. Here are our top ten buildings in Barcelona...

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1. Gas Natural Tower

Gas Natural Tower
Arty Smokes Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Not everyone's cup of cafe con leche, this marvellous monstrosity in Barceloneta has a rather impressive five floor horizontal 'aircraft carrier' extension jutting out from a 22-floor, 90-metre tall tower.

2. Casa Milá

Casa Milá
DraXus Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

It's not as showy or colorful as its neighbour Casa Batllò, but Casa Milá's curving balconies imitating waves, seaweed-like decorative grilles riding them, as well as warrior chimneys standing guard on the rooftop, are arguably even more memorable.

3. Santa Maria del Mar Church

Santa Maria del Mar
Sebastian Niedlich Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Elegantly located in the heart of arguably the city's most alluring pedestrian area, Santa Maria's lofty stained glass windows pull the sun's rays into a mesmerizing vaulted ceiling.

4. Miró Foundation

Miro Foundation
Vincent Noel Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Even straight lines of whitewashed concrete can look good when expertly alligned by an architect such as Josep Lluis Sert. His Miró Foundation, a complex of bold white cubes overlooking the city from Montjuic's gardens, is a palace of purist light and shade.

5. Arenas Bullring

Arenas Bullring
Oh-Barcelona Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.es

Is it a bullring? Or a shopping centre? It's both. After many years looking folorn in its corner of Plaça Espanya, the famous Arenas bullring has been given a state-of-the-art makeover, complete with stunning futuristic rooftop terrace.

6. Casa Vicens

A portrait of the artist Gaudi as a young man. This house on a quiet Gràcia backstreet showcases the early influences that maketh the man; Mudejar, Gothic, Modernist, all crafted together in ebullient style.

7. Palau de la Musica Catalana

Palau de la Musica Catalana
Sebastian Niedlich Some Rights Reserved

From the stained glass cupola to the busts of famous composers, Domènech i Montaner's modernista opera house in Sant Pere rocks the senses.


Marcel Germain Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

One for Le Corbusier enthusiasts. Richard Meier's 1992 structure is a fitting temple for Barcelona's greatest modern art-ifacts.

9. Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia
Paula Funnell Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

It may be surrounded by cranes, scaffolding and workmen, but Gaudi's cathedral is still Barcelona's most emblematic architectural feat, thanks to its fusion of reverent avant garde and playful kitsch.

10. Casa Amatller

Casa Amatller
tetegill Some Rights Reserved http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

Joesp Puig i Cadafelch was the modernista behind this neo-Flemish townhouse. Casa Amatller is covered with sculptures by Eusebi Arnau and symbolic allusions to the Amatller family who commissioned it.

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