Barcelona Architecture Walking Tours, Catalan Architectural Walks, Catalonia Guide
Barcelona Architectural Tours : Catalan Guides
Architecture Guides Catalonia, Spain – Building Walks for you Spanish visit
post updated 14 May 2023
Architecture Tours of Barcelona
Feedback from a recent Barcelona walking tour:
8 Jan 2013
“…..We hope to return to Europe again soon. We are convinced your individualized tours are the way to go. They give an in-depth knowledge which is so beneficial for experiencing another culture in a short visit. Thank you for all of your time and helping us plan our trip and connecting us with your guide.”
Barcelona Walking Tours : Referrals
Barcelona Architecture Tours – Information from our Guide
Barcelona is the second largest city of Spain, capital of Catalonia, economic, cultural and transport hub. With more then 3 million people it is one of the biggest metropolitan areas of South Europe.
Church of Santa Maria del Mar, 1329 – 1383:
The city is vibrant and dynamic. Mediterranean climate, high urban density, large number of foreigners are contributing to urban liveliness and cosmopolitan atmosphere. With more then 2000 years of the history and with prosperous contemporary development Barcelona is the link between past and future. Art and architecture of different periods are fused together.
Barcelona Cathedral, 13th – 15th century
Neogothic façade 19th – 20th century:
Some of the most interesting things to see in Barcelona are its significant medieval heritage, extravagant buildings of Modernisme style (local version of Art Nouvo) by architects like Josep Puig or Lluís Domènech and the best known original and ingenious works of Antoni Gaudi, like Sagrada Familia, Pedrera, Casa Batllo, etc.
Palau de Generalitat, 1410 – 1619
In the last few decades Barcelona went through extensive urban reforms: old districts were remodeled, new ones created together with large infrastructural projects, new public spaces and 5 km of waterfront. The city become a stage for contemporary prominent architects like Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Santiago Calatrava, Herzog & de Meuron, Richard Rogers, Enric Miralles, Carlos Ferrater, Ricardo Bofill, Rafael Moneo, Richard Meier, Álvaro Siza, Frank Gehry, Arata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, FOA, David Chipperfield, EMBA, Josep Lluís Mateo, Josep Llinás, b720, etc.
Palau de la Música Catalana, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, 1905 – 1908:
Barcelona is inspirative, mystic, original and futuristic. Beautiful buildings, dynamic public spaces, Mediterranean see and adjacent mountains create a unique place.
Santa Catarina Market, 19th century
Redevelopment, EMBT – Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, 1997 – 2005:
Font de la Cascada, (Waterfall Fountain), Josep Fontseré i Mestres, 19th century Parc de la Ciutadella:
Barcelona Walking Tours
Barcelona Architecture Walking Tours
Map of the city:
Walking tour: OLD CITY
Roman excavation, prominent medieval city, 19th century touch, contemporary renewal
Castell dels Tres Dragons (Tree Dragon castle), Lluís Domènech i Montaner, 1887 – 1888
Parc de la Ciutadella:
Ciutat Vella(old city) of Barcelona is one of the biggest in Spain. It is a labyrinth or narrow streets and squares imbued with legends and secrets. It is well known for its Romanic and Catalan Gothic architecture, with the best preserved civic medieval buildings in Europe. Medieval city rose on the top of the Roman city of Barcino. Ancient fragments and footprints are still readable in nowadays city. It is a real travel through time: Royal complex, elegant palaces, Jewish Quarter, some of the first works of Gaudí and emblematic contemporary buildings designed by prominent architects, like Enric Miralles, Richard Meier, Lluis Mateo, etc.
Arc de Triomf (triumphal arch), Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas, 1888:
Taking this tour you will be inspired by fusion of art, architecture, customs, legends, history, old crafts and sounds.
Walking tour: CREATIVE FREEDOM vs RATIONAL FUNCTIONALISM:
Catalan architectural style Modernisme within urban plan of Eixample
Golden Square, district alongside the main avenue Paseo de Gracia, was a stage for 19th century Catalan bourgeoisie to express their wealth and artistic taste through original, authentic local style Modernisme. Extravagant urban palaces are characterized by curved lines, symbolical references, rich sculptures mixture of colors and materials. Each architect had personal recognizable style, while Gaudí moved one step further creating his own art.
Creativeness of Modernistas is contrasting to rational, functional and futuristic urban design called Plan Cerdà. It is 19th century urban project, designed by engineer Ildefons Cerdà, with the goal to merge Barcelona with its surrounding towns. Project is very advanced for its time and one of the most important urban projects in Europe.
This tour has over 20 impressive buildings including some of the most important works of Gaudí. It is a story about the two contrasting and complementary philosophies – Modernisme and Plan Cerdà. You will enjoy in extravagant decorations and rational engineering.
Passeig de Lluís Companys, urban promenade:
Model of Temple Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí, 1882 – present:
Aerial view of Eixample district (source: internet):
Walking tour: UNIVERSAL EXHIBITION OF 1888 & INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION OF 1929:
Big events as an opportunity to enhance the city by creating new districts and public spaces
Aerial view Spanish square, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Guillem Busquets and Antoni Darder, 1929:
Urban planners of Barcelona new how to use important events and large public investments to improve the city, enhance civic value and create new districts and public spaces. This tour shows two districts of Barcelona – parc Ciutadella and its surrounding area, built for the Universal Exhibition of 1888 and Spanish square with entrence to Montjuic, urbanized for the World Expo of 1929.
This is walking tour with short metro ride is a real trip through history of contemporary architecture. You can see a zone formally occupied by military fortress into one of the most vibrant urban parks, with elegant pavillons, fountains, sculptures, promenades, museums and Catalan Parliament. Some of the highlights are ecelctic architecture or original industrial heritage from early 20th century, bullfighting Arene redesigned by Richard Rogers, works of Arata Isozaki or German pavillon designed by Mies Van der Rohe, as one of the most important buildings of 20th century
The tour is ideal to learn about the origins of contemporary architecture.
Casa Milà (la Pedrera, The Quarry), Antoni Gaudí, 1905 – 1910:
Walking tour: MONTJUIC HILL TOUR:
Fusion of nature, sport, history and art + impressive view on the old city and its harbor
Montjuic is 184m high hill near Old city of Barcelona, important for the city from the ancient times. It was gradually transformed into recreational area containing different architectural and artistic monuments – Olympic complex with works of some of the well-known Spanish and international architects (Santiago Calatrava, Arata Isozaki, Josep Sert, etc.), several museums, 17th century fortress or varoius traditional and contemporary parks.
All of that is surrounded by Mediterranean greenery and impressive views of the city, old and new harbor or even airport. Tour is combination of pleasure walk, light hiking, enjoyable public spaces, lots of art and architecture from different periods.
Casa de les Punxes (Casa Tarrades), Josep Puig i Cadafalch, 1903 – 1905:
Streetlight, Paseo de Gracia, Pere Falqués i Urpí, 1906:
Casa Batlló, Antoni Gaudí, 1904 – 1906:
Port Vell (Old Harbour), aerial view:
Mapfre tower, Iñigo Ortiz y Enrique de León, 1991 – 1992
Hotel Arts, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1992 – 1994
Fish sculpture, Frank Gehry, 1992:
Bicycle tour: TRADITIONAL vs CONTEMPORARY BARCELONA
Industrial heritage from 19th century combined with emblematic contemporary architecture
Zone called 22@ is former industrial area, now being reformed as futuristic, sustainable city. It contains old villages incorporated into new city, 19th century industrial heritage, many vibrant public spaces, Olympic village, 5 km of beaches and works of some of the renowned architects (Herzog & de Meuron, Jean Nouvel, Enric Miralles, David Chipperfield, Carlos Ferrater, Frank Gehry, Rafael Moneo, Ricardo Bofill, Josep Llinás Carmona, Josep Lluis Mateo, etc).
Media-TIC, district of 22@, Cloude 9, 2009:
University Pompeu Fabra, renovation of old textile factory Ca l’Aranyó, Josep Benedito Rovira, 2004:
This is exciting, original and interesting tour with many things to see. You will get to know urban planning strategies, urban design concepts and public space policies used by urban designers of Barcelona to give a new life to formally neglected area. You will see why is this zone one of the most important projects of urban renewal nowadays in Europe.
Parc Diagonal Mar, EMBT – Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue, 1995 – 2002:
Bicycle tour: PUBLIC SPACE AND PUBLIC ART
Public space as an essence of Mediterranean culture – from ancient times till nowadays
You can learn a lot about Barcelona – its history, architecture, art, culture and identity – by seeing its public spaces and learning about them. This tour is about social meaning of public space, as well as about artist and architects who designed them. It will explain the role of public spaces for Catalan identity. Public space is important element of all Mediterranean cultures – alive and vibrant. Square, streets and parks was carefully designed in all periods, enriched by remarkable architecture and art.
This tour is a small trip through time – Forum of the 1st and 21st century – from Ancient Roman Forum of the 1st century, to contemporary public space Forum of Cultures of 21st century.
Urban furniture, beaches of Barcelona:
Bicycle tour: HIGHLIGHTS OF BARCELONA
The best Barcelona could offer in one tour – discover the most powerful, inspiring urban images
You can see some of the best architecture and public spaces of Barcelona in a most pleasant way – urban cycling. This tour depends a lot upon your taste, interests or previous experiences; it could be conducted in different ways and coined to fulfill your expectations, being a little bit of all other tours.
Barcelona Architectural Photos
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Barcelona Architecture Designs – chronological list
photo © Adrian Welch
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photo © AW
Barcelona Architecture Pictures
picture copyright AW
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