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9/26 - Today, we explored the so-called Manzana de la Discordia,  the Block of Discord.

It is the most famous collection of modernist buildings sharing the same facade in Barcelona.

This is the block located in Passeig de Grācia between calle Aragķ and calle Consell de Cent,

and it is a fine display of the contrasts between the different architectural trends of the day.

Besides the architecture, which includes Casa Mila and the three "casas" making up the

Block of Discord, some of Barcelona's finest stores are on this avenue.

Fine architecture and fine shopping, even if it is just window browsing.

                   

ABOVE and BELOW - Most of the buildings on the Passeig de Grācia housed

upscale stores on the street level. Most of these photos show

the upper levels in order to admire the beautiful architecture,

as opposed to beautiful storefronts.

                   

                   

Passeig de Grācia is full of beautiful architecture but modernism is not limited to buildings

created by famous artists, several streetlamps and benches can be seen along the avenue.

It is therefore not uncommon for this stretch of the boulevard to be crowded with visitors.

                 

Even outside on the Passeig de Grācia Gaudi designed the hexagonal paving stones,

 the magnificent benches and street lamps. In 1984, UNESCO declared it

a World Heritage Site and in 1986 Caixa Catalunya acquired it.

                   

Today was all about architecture. Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) is considered

one of the great geniuses of universal architecture. He was fascinated by nature

and geometry and took advantage of all of the innovations of his time,

particularly in the use of certain materials such as iron.

Gaudi spearheaded Modernisme (Catalan Art Nouveau) architecture.

                             


The Casa Mila or La Pedrera, meaning Stone Quarry in Catalan, was Gaudí’s last civil work.

Completed in 1910, this apartment block, with its wonderful roof terrace topped with amazing

chimneys and delicate wrought ironwork, is one of the most emblematic of Gaudí’s works.

Apart from the roof, other features that stand out are the curious iron structures

that support the circular patio, the wrought iron of the balconies,

and the design of doorknobs, handles, pulls, and peepholes.

                   

 Restored to its former glory in 1996 after years of decay, La Pedrera

now contains a museum dedicated to the architect.

ABOVE and BELOW - We enjoyed exploring the roof terrace.

                     

BELOW - Inside the walls of Casa Mila

                   

BELOW - Inside one of the apartments

                  

When Casa Batllķ was built many considered it to be revolting but today it is seen

as one of Gaudí's greatest treasures. All the defining elements of modernism

are included in this building. The entire facade and roof are covered with colourful,

ceramic mosaics. Wrought iron in strange shapes is used on the balconies

and the building's interior. It is almost impossible to find a straight angle

in the entire house. Gaudí’s imagination for this house ran riot with colours, materials

and almost impossible forms, which have become one of the city's trademarks.

                   

The mansions seem to be trying to outdo each other with creative twists,

colorful mosaics and unusual chimneys.

                   

BELOW left - A fountain at Placa Catalunya

BELOW middle - The Museu Nacional and its water cascades

BELOW right - The Magic Fountain


                   

The magic fountain of Montjuīc's first performance was on May 19, 1929 for the Barcelona International Exhibition.

The designer Carles Buigas submitted his plans one year before the exhibition

and many thought that the project was too ambitious to be created, let alone completed on time.

Over 3000 workers were commissioned to work on the project and less than 1 year later the magic fountain was born.

In the 1980s, music was incorporated with the light show and the fountain,

along with the Museu Nacional, was completely restored prior to the

1992 Summer Olympics, held at Montjuīc.

                   

The magic fountain is a spectacular display of colour, light, motion, music and water acrobatics -

if you mix all these elements together in just the right combinations, you end up with pure magic!

The magic fountain is a must see when you come to Barcelona and highly recommended.

                   

The project, consists of a series of cascades and fountains between the Palau Nacional -

the main exhibition center on the Montjuīc - and the Plaįa d'Espanya at the foot of the hill.

Thie area of the fountains is the yearly scene of a special music and fireworks spectacle on September 24,

the feast day of La Mercč (Our Lady of Mercy), Barcelona's patron saint.

We heard the fireworks from the Placa Catalunya, but couldn't get to them in time.