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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 Gaudís 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 Gaudís 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. Gaudís 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.