Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 11 - Barcelona!


Last day in Spain!
And we have come to the final day of our tour....tomorrow it's to the Barcelona Airport and back to sunny isle - Singapore.

Today's highlights include La Sagrada Familia, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Park Guell and Barcelona Pavillion!!! And of cos last minute shopping.

La Sagrada Familia


The Glory Facade in whitish colour - very new.
Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic Church designed by Antoni Gaudi and it's not completed yet! The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and started construction in 1882. Under Gaudi's hands, he transform the church combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Targetted for completion in 2026.

Although on the outside it looks old and worn, however when we stepped inside, WOW! it looks so white and pristine and very very new. The new parts can be seen as the whiter parts.

Gaudi designed the columns to mirror trees and branches, which were in his eyes God's creation. And our tour guide tells us that LED lights are being used here!



left: Back of the facade (4 apostles) which depicts the death of Jesus also known as the Passion Facade. It is known for its spare, gaunt and lacking of decoration.
right: currently the front facade (4 apostles) which depicts the Nativity of Jesus
Once the church is completed, the third facade which depicts the Glorification of Jesus shall be the main entrance to the Church.

some of the stained glass in the older parts of the church and to the right of the photo, notice the glass windows are clear? that's because they haven't finished them in stained glass yet!



after visiting La Sagrada, we had a quick tour of Casa Mila and Casa Batllo on the coach! How funny! anyway, we will be walking the premises later so we can take some photos.


Casa Mila- here's a close up on the beautiful balconies designed by Antonio Gaudi and Josep Maria Jujol.

Casa Batllo...wavy facade.


did you know that this building is so very close to Casa Batllo?
Exterior of Suites Avenue hotel designed by non other than Mr Toyo Ito himself!
and of cos Mr Ito explains that the concept behind his facade was his love for Gaudi's work ie wavy forms of Casa Batllo.

....then the coach went on to Montjuic.

Toyo Ito's Porta Fira towers...managed to catch a glimpse of it on the coach while we were on our way to Montjuic.

Agbar tower by Jean Nouvel can be seen from the viewpoint at Montjuic and even at Park Guell.




Palau Sant Jordi, Indoor Sporting Arena by Arata Isozaki

Montjuic Communications Tower by Santiago Calatrava

can you see Santa Caterina Market by Enric Miralles??? It has a colourful roof peeking out of the streetscape!

after visiting the old and new streets of Barcelona...it's time to hop onto our coach and head for our lunch destination at Olympic Harbour and who knows that we are in for more architecture feast!
~WEE!!!~
This sculpture by the famous American Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein was part of the rejuvenation project for the waterfront area previously known as Moll de la Fusta. Positioned to be visible from areas, this sculpture was inaugurated for the 1992 Barcelona games. Made of concrete and ceramics, it is the ceramic cladding that pays homage to Barcelona and its famous son Antoni Gaudí.
and we saw Torres Au Natural by Enric Miralles, also by Olympic Port on route to our lunch destination!
Olympic Harbour is where we had our lunch. We ate at a Chinese restaurant which has nothing much to boast about except that it's surrounded by amazing architecture!!! Just ascending the escalator to the restaurant, one can see....facing the sea port was Frank Gehry's Peix, a giant whale (The Fish) made by bronze on top of a building. See...the yellow coach in the foreground? that's our coach!

After lunch, our tour leader dropped the 5 of us at the city centre as we were not joining the optional tour to Monserat - Monastery in the mountains because wj and I were more interested in visiting Park Guell and Barcelona Pavilion.

and so we found Drassanes station and bought our $2 euro one way ticket down to Lessep to get to Park Guell! Each stop was about 2 mins distance so there were a total of 4 stops to get to Lesseps which was pretty fast! we reached there in no time at all!

From the station, there were visible road signs leading you to Park Guell, so just follow those blue signs! Walk from Station takes about 20mins or so. And the last league reaching Park Guell is up a slope road filled with souvenir shops.

and we made some souvenir buys too!

Park Guell - Antonio Gaudi (1914).
Free admission, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site under "Works of Gaudi"


Doric columns support the roof of the lower court which forms the central terrace, with serpentine seating round its edge.

The unique shape of the serpentine bench enables the people sitting on it to converse privately, although the square is large. The bench is tiled and in order to dry up quickly after it rains, and to stop people from sitting in the wet part of the bench, small bumps were installed by Gaudí.


Bird nests built by Gaudí in the terrace walls. The walls imitate the trees planted on them.

Casa Martí Trias i Domènech while the one in pink is the Gaudi House of Museum.
Colonnaded footpath under the roadway viaduct, with external columns sloping to take the diagonal thrust from the vault supporting the road.



the 2 "Ginger Bread Houses" at the entrance of Parc Guell....i'm sure Hanzel and Gretel will definitely approve Gaudi's work of art.


Gaudí's multicolored mosaic dragon fountain at the main entrance - a famous mascot which every tourist must take upon visiting the park.




Barcelona Pavilion - Mies Van der Rohe
it was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. Well-known for its simple form and extravagant materials such as marble and travertine. The entire building rests on a plinth of travertine.
Other unique features besides it's "floating" form are the exotic materials - plates of high-grade stone materials like veneers of Tinos verde antico marble and golden onyx as well as tinted glass of grey, green, white as well as translucent glass, act as spatial dividers in the pavilion.


Alba by Georg Kolbe
spaces that flows seamlessly between inside and outside.







Casa Mila - 1984

Casa Batllo - 1906
was a building restored by Antoni Gaudi and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the 1877. It is also known as the House of Bones as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality.

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