Like all things which become indelibly connected to a blueprint in people’s minds, Barcelona’s architecture is automatically associated with Gaudi’s masterpieces. This seems rightly so, especially that this late 19th century architect and artist’s productions still represent a source of novelty in terms of design, space imagination, and construction techniques. 

Nevertheless, Barcelona is home to a rich architecture, stemming from its imperial and colonial past in which public buildings and sumptuous residences of wealthy families mirror the major architectural trends of the mid and later modernity such as classicism, Baroque, Rococo, Historicism, Eclecticism. These transnational styles are blended and spiced up with features of the Moorish style, which in the early 20th century became a true expression of a Barcelonian vernacular style. Indeed, the blend of classicism, Baroque or Eclecticism with Moorish features like lobe or angular arches, plants inspired design, as well as geometric lace-like patterns is a stunning example of the uniqueness of Barcelona’s architecture. 

Although this post wishes to draw attention on architectural features which are not mentioned in all guides of the city, since the former assume that the quintessence of the local architectural genius is expressed by Gaudi’s works, just like Vienna’s is expressed by Klimt, or Prague’s by Mucha (in fact not a coincidence the fact that all these artists represented Art Nouveau or Jugendstil, a wide success among the public at the time, given the richness of details, of the materials used-stained glass, fabrics, the dreamy quality of the themes), ironically it ends with one of Gaudi’s creations, even if a not very known one. The photos below represent Casa Vicens*, the first house built in the years 1883-1885, in Barcelona, by Gaudi. It is located somewhat further from the tourist attractions, as well as from the other well-known buildings signed by Gaudi, such as Casa Batllo or Sagrada Familia. It features very appealing Moorish details (arches, geometric shapes) attached to an otherwise arresting facade in terms of colours, shapes, and proportions. (accessed 31.10.2021)

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