Construction of the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família began in 1882, more than a century ago. The temple is still under construction, with completion expected in 2026.
It is perhaps the best known structure of Catalan Modernisme, drawing over three million visitors annually. Architect Antoni Gaudi worked on the project until his death in 1926, in full anticipation he would not live to see it finished.
The Barcelona Football Club offers you the opportunity to visit its mythical stadium: Camp Nou.
After the Sagrada Familia, the Camp Nou is undoubtedly the other temple of the city, the largest stadium in Spain and Europe.
Antoni Gaudí, Catalan in full Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, Spanish Antonio Gaudí y Cornet, (born June 25, 1852, Reus, Spain—died June 10, 1926, Barcelona), Catalan architect, whose distinctive style is characterized by freedom of form, voluptuous colour and texture, and organic unity.
Gaudí worked almost entirely in or near Barcelona. Much of his career was occupied with the construction of the Expiatory Temple of the Holy Family (Sagrada Família), which was unfinished at his death in 1926.
"With its undulating façade and surrealist sculptural roof, Antoni Gaudi’s Casa Milà appears more organic than artificial, as if it were carved straight from the ground. Known as La Pedera, the quarry, the building was inspired by the Modernista movement, Spain’s version of Art Nouveau.. Constructed in 1912 for Roser Segimon and Pere Milà, the building is divided into nine levels: basement, ground floor, mezzanine, main floor, four upper floors, and attic. The ground floor acted as the garage, the mezzanine for entry, the main floor for the Milàs, and the upper floors for rent.
The building surrounds two interior courtyards, making for a figure-eight shape in plan. On the roof is the famous sculpture terrace. Practically, it houses skylights, emergency stairs, fans, and chimneys, but each function’s envelope takes on an autonomously sculptural quality which has become a part of the building itself."
"La Barceloneta was practically uninhabited until the mid-eighteenth century. In 1754, fishermen living in neighboring areas slowly but surely began to populate this part of town due to its closeness to the sea.
Although La Barceloneta has been renovated and is now rather modern, it has somehow maintained its unique charm. Its narrow streets and its darkened façades due to the air spiked with sea salt have made it one of the city’s most popular zones. Travelers that explore this area will breath in a peaceful atmosphere that smells of the Mediterranean Sea and will notice that it is unique compared to the rest of the city."
"La Rambla is a tree-lined boulevard featuring a wide array of architectural delights, beautifully decorated flower stalls and particularly talented (and certified) human statues. Foodies will definitely enjoy the tapa joints at Mercat de la Boqueria, considered by many to be the best gourmet food market in Europe.
It is infamous for the incredible numbers of both pickpockets and tourist-first restaurants serving mediocre paella, but there is plenty to see and appreicate. Linking Plaça de Catalunya, the central square in Barcelona, with the old harbor, strolling La Rambla, or ramblejar, as the local people say, while admiring the imposing facades and doing some people watching, is something everyone should experience when visiting Barcelona."
"In 1928, a well-known landmark, called the Four Columns Monument, was destroyed in Barcelona on the orders of Dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera. This caused great anger among the Catalan community.
Carles Buigas, an architect from the Catalan region, envisioned and suggested the Fuente Mágica de Montjuic (Magic Fountain of Montjuïc) to replace the earlier monument. The timing of the 1929’s World’s Fair, and Barcelona’s role in it, added another requirement for a landmark to be built. With only a year between the fountain’s plans being approved and the fair, many of Barcelona’s citizens felt that the Barcelona water fountain was too ambitious a project. But the fountain was completed in time, thanks to the hard work and commitment of 3,000 workers, and today is a real drawcard of, and for, the city."
Since 1997, the Palau de la Música Catalana has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The modernistic building is located in the northern part of the old town.
The concert hall of the music palace is particularly impressive. The architect was Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who built some important Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona.
Parc Güell is a park designed by Antoni Gaudí upon the request of Count Eusebi Güell, who wanted to build a stylish park for the aristocrats of Barcelona. The Count had planned to build a housing development that would take advantage of the area's views and fresh air; however, only two show houses were completed. Gaudí himself inhabited one of them, designed by architect Francesc Berenguer in 1904.
The house is now a museum showcasing some of Gaudí's work. The park is a common tourist attraction in Barcelona, and is known for its famous terrace and iconic entrance, flanked by two Gaudí buildings.
" FacebookTwitterEmailWhatsApp If you are planning a trip to Granada, grab a pen and paper and jot down Mirador de San Nicolás as a must-see. There are many reasons why this is one of Granada’s most emblematic spots, and deservedly so. The church exudes history on every side, and romantic buffs can take in one of the most spectacular sunsets from here. In fact, former U.S. President Bill Clinton rated the views from the overlook as one of the best in the world during his trip in the summer of 1997.
We recommend this stop for its stunning panoramic views of the city and this is everything you need to know before heading up to Mirador de San Nicolás."
"When Queen Isabella moved into Granada, she was a woman who had found her new home. She was determined to fix it up, to make it her own. Among the first things on her list was to make an addition to that new cathedral that was sitting on the old mosque. The add-on would be her very own chapel, not a little one either. It would be her Main Chapel. The Main Chapel was constructed at last by 1517. It was built in the new Isabelline style. It is a transition from Gothic to early Renaissance architecture. Isabella planned to stay. By royal decree the chapel was declared to be the future burial site for herself and King Ferdinand. The King did not object. The chapel is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. The interior is reminiscent of the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes in Toledo. It has four side chapels in the form of a cross and a Gothic vault. In the center of the transept are the tombs of Isabella and Ferdinand. The tombs are sculpted and raised.
Spoiler alert. The tombs are empty. The royal remains are actually in the crypt below. Since the church is still used for services, the crypt is not always open to visitors. The Catholic kings and queens are joined in this chapel. Their memorials mark the emergence of the coming power and glory of Spain and the brilliant renaissance of Europe."
The Sacromonte district is located on the Valparaiso hill of Granada and borders the north-east side of the Arab El Albaícin district. In the 15th century, a large group of Roma, or the Spanish gypsies (the Gitanos) situated themselves here. They created houses by making cave homes in the hills; the Sacromonte district owes its fame to these houses.
In the 15th century, the Valparaiso hill received the status of holy mountain, because people believed the caves in the hill contained the remnants of the city's patron saint, San Cecilio. The literal meaning of Sacromonte is therefore holy mountain.
"The Alhambra in Granada, Spain, is distinct among medieval palaces for its sophisticated planning, complex decorative programs, and its many enchanting gardens and fountains. Its intimate spaces are built at a human scale that visitors find elegant and inviting.
The Alhambra, an abbreviation of the Arabic: Qal’at al-Hamra, or red fort, was built by the Nasrid Dynasty (1232–1492)—the last Muslims to rule in Spain. Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr (known as Muhammad I) founded the Nasrid Dynasty and secured this region in 1237. He began construction of his court complex, the Alhambra, on Sabika hill the following year."
"Madrid is home to some wonderful examples of cast-iron architecture. One of the most striking is the Glass Palace which is located in El Retiro Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally built in 1887 as a greenhouse to showcase flora and fauna as part of an exhibition on the Philippines, then a Spanish colony. Today it is owned by the Reina Sofía Museum which uses it all year round as a venue for hosting temporary exhibitions.
It was designed in the late 19th century by architect Ricardo Velázquez Bosco. He modelled it on Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace which had been erected in Hyde Park (London) back in 1851. The structure made of glass plates and cast iron sits on a brick base decorated with ceramic tiles by Daniel Zuloaga (the renowned Spanish ceramist whose tiles can also be found on the façade of the nearby Velázquez Palace and covering the dome of the Church-Convent of Santa Teresa). The palace, which was restored in 1975, is surrounded by horse chestnuts. It stands next to a small pond filled with ducks and geese, just a stone’s throw from the Velázquez Palace, which is also used by the Reina Sofía Museum for temporary exhibitions."
Puerta del Sol, main plaza of Madrid, Spain. It was reputedly named for a gate (puerta) that stood there until 1510 and had on its front a representation of the sun (sol).
Throughout Madrid’s history the square has been the focal point of transportation and of intellectual and economic activity. It was the first part of the city to be equipped with modern conveniences (electric lights, streetcars) and is the site of a New Year’s celebration similar to that of St. Mark’s Square, Venice.
The Prado’s building had its start in 1785 when Charles III commissioned the architect Juan de Villanueva to design a natural science museum.
The construction of the Neoclassical-style building was interrupted during the Napoleonic Wars, but it was completed under Ferdinand VII in 1819 and was opened to the public as the Royal Museum of Painting. In 1868 it became the National Museum of the Prado after the exile of Isabella II, who had enlarged the collection with paintings from the royal palaces and the Escorial.
"Home to the Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII, Madrid's Royal Palace takes us on a journey through the history of Spain. Though it is no longer the royal family's home, it continues to be their official residence. Long before Madrid became the capital of Spain, Emir Mohamed I chose Magerit (the city's Arabic name) as the site for a fortress to protect Toledo from the advancing Christians. The building was eventually used by the Kings of Castille until finally becoming what would be known as the Antiguo Alcázar (Old Fortress) in the 14th century. Charles I and his son Philip II turned the building into a permanent residence for the Spanish royal family. However, in 1734 a fire burnt the Palace of Los Austrias to the ground, and Philip V ordered the construction of the palace that stands today. Following the untimely death of Filippo Juvara, the architect originally commissioned to design the palace, it was his pupil Juan Bautista Sachetti who eventually drew up the final plans. Seventeen years passed between the laying of the first stone in 1738 and final completion of the work commissioned by Philip V. However, it was Charles III (known as the ""Mayor of Madrid"" due to the large number of reforms and initiatives that he undertook in the city) who became the first monarch to occupy the new building. His successors Charles IV (responsible for the creation of the Hall of Mirrors) and Ferdinand VII added many decorative details and furnishings, such as clocks, items of furniture and chandeliers.
The palace, inspired by sketches made by Bernini for the construction of the Louvre in Paris, is built in the form of a square and looks out over a large courtyard with galleries and a parade ground. The decoration of the palace's rooms and their layout has gradually changed over the years as the building has been adapted to suit the needs of its residents. It comprises over 3000 rooms, including: the Main Staircase, designed by Sabatini with over 70 steps; the Throne Hall featuring a ceiling painted by Tiepolo; the Hall of Halberdiers, which Charles III turned into the Guards Room; the Gasparini Room, with its grand 18th century decoration on a floral theme; the Royal Chemist's with natural medicine cabinets, ceramic pots made by the La Granja factory, and even prescriptions given to members of the royal family; and the Royal Chapel, which is home to a collection of string instruments made by the legendary Antonio Stradivari."
"Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Royal Alcázar of Seville (Real Alcázar de Sevilla) is the oldest royal palace in Europe that is still in use today. It dates back to the 11th century, when the Muslim authorities decided to build a fortress in a strategic location to protect the city. The grounds of the Royal Alcázar are made up of various palaces and gardens that were designed in different historical periods. That is why its architecture is so varied, combining Islamic, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic elements, as well as some of the finest examples of Mudéjar art, which is the product of both Islamic and Christian cultures. Patio del León Our visit to the Royal Alcázar in Seville begins in the Patio del León (Lion's Courtyard), which is reached by passing through the 12th-century Arab wall via the Lion's Door, or Puerta del León, so named because of the image of a lion on its lintel. To the left of this courtyard is the Sala de la Justicia (Hall of Justice) and the Patio del Yeso (Plasterwork Courtyard), which is our next stop. At the end are three archways set in the remains of an old section of wall from the Almohad empire, which formed part of the Royal Alcázar's defensive structure. This wall leads to the Patio de la Montería (Hunting Courtyard). Patio del Yeso The Patio del Yeso (Plasterwork Courtyard) is one of the few truly Islamic remains on the palace site. It was built in around the 12th century by the first Almohad caliph of Al Andalus, as the Iberian peninsula was known under Muslim rule. The pool in the middle of the courtyard is a homage to water—a recurring theme in Islamic palaces. The courtyard and the adjacent Sala de Justicia (Hall of Justice), are two of the oldest parts of the palace site. Sala de la Justicia This is the earliest Mudéjar building in the Royal Alcázar and was built in around the 14th century, at the time of Alfonso XI of Castile. It is a square-shaped room. The walls are decorated with traditional Islamic plasterwork featuring plant-like motifs and heraldic shields, while the wooden ceiling is adorned with latticework in the style of an Islamic qubba (tomb or shrine). Patio de la Montería The Patio de la Montería (Hunting Courtyard) is the Royal Alcázar's main courtyard, which leads to the palace buildings: the Mudéjar Palace, the Gothic Palace, and the Casa de la Contratación (House of Commerce). It is known as the Hunting Courtyard because it was where the royal huntsmen used to gather before each expedition. The facade of the Palacio del Rey Don Pedro (Palace of King Pedro), which resembles an enormous altarpiece, can be seen from the courtyard. The facade is split into three parts, and its decorative themes are Islamic, and Byzantine in parts. The Gothic Palace This palace (El Palacio Gótico) was built by Alfonso X of Castile, who was also known as Alfonso the Wise. He succeeded Ferdinand III, the Castilian king who conquered Seville in 1248. The palace that the Almohad caliphs had occupied was rather cramped and labyrinthine for the Castilian king's lifestyle and the needs of his court, so he ordered the construction of a Gothic palace inside the Real Alcázar. The Christian monarchs had a preference for high, airy spaces. It is worth noting that, at that time, Gothic art forms were closely associated with Christianity and the Crusades. Opting for this style symbolized the Christian West's triumph over Islam. The chapel in the Gothic Palace has medieval rib vaults and a Renaissance frieze that was added in the 16th century. The chapel is dominated by Diego de Castillejo's altarpiece featuring the Virgen de la Antigua (Virgin of Antiquity). It is a copy of the original altarpiece in the Chapel of the Virgen de la Antigua in Seville Cathedral. Patio del Crucero To the west of the Patio de la Montería (Hunting Courtyard), the Patio del Crucero (Courtyard of the Crossing) is part of what remains of the 12th-century Almohad palace. This courtyard had two levels: the lower part had a central pool, surrounded by galleries and sunken gardens (the summer gardens), while the upper part had two accessible walkways that crossed each other (the winter gardens). The lower garden was filled in after the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. The Palace of King Peter The Palace of King Peter (Palacio del Rey Don Pedro) is a significant piece of Mudéjar architecture in the Royal Alcázar. The Castilian monarch Peter I (also known as Peter the Cruel) understood and valued the Muslims' architectural legacy. He commissioned Arab and Berber artists and craftsmen from Toledo, Granada, and Seville itself to build a new palace in the traditional Mudéjar style, between 1364 and 1366. The Patio de las Doncellas (Courtyard of the Maidens) was the central public space in Peter I's palace, and is probably the best-known part of the entire Royal Alcázar. The courtyard harmoniously combines elements typical of a Castilian palace with the esthetic and privacy of Islamic design. During the reign of Philip II of Spain, the center of the courtyard was dominated by a fountain that was installed later on. The Salón de Embajadores (Hall of Ambassadors) is the most lavish of all the rooms in the palace. The impressive dome, built by Diego Ruiz in 1427, is a must-see. This little courtyard is known as the Patio de las Muñecas (Courtyard of the Dolls). It is believed that this part of the palace was a domestic courtyard used by the queen. Casa de la Contratación When the Catholic Monarchs established the Casa de la Contratación (House of Commerce) in the early 16th century to oversee trade with the Indies, the Patio de la Montería became a focal point for activity in the Royal Alcázar. The Casa de la Contratación moved to the southern side of the courtyard in 1504. It was set up to manage trade flows with the Americas, which had first been colonized 11 years earlier. The Casa de la Contratación remained part of the Royal Alcázar until 1717, when it was moved to Cádiz. It was established to promote and regulate navigation and trade with the Americas by supplying and equipping fleets, as well as inspecting and registering ships headed there. It also regulated emigration to the New World, took delivery of all the products coming back, and stored goods waiting to be shipped. The Gardens of the Royal Alcázar of Seville From a botanical point of view, the Royal Alcázar's gardens are like a planetary index, with over 20,000 plants that include at least 187 different species. They also represent almost 40% of the landscaped public spaces in Seville's historic center. Under Islamic rule, a large part of the Royal Alcázar was used as kitchen gardens and farmyards. As well as providing fresh food to members of the court, these spaces had an aesthetic function. Every detail was carefully planned to awaken the senses. They cultivated aromatic plants and scented flowers, grew trees to form geometric patterns, used the water pools as mirrors, and installed fountains and water spouts to create relaxing noises. These oasis-like gardens reflected the writings of the Koran, in which paradise is often compared to a garden. They also provided a pleasant space for quiet reflection. Following the Christian conquest and, in particular, after Charles V had become king, the layout of the old Islamic gardens began to change in line with the new tastes at court. Successive changes to the Royal Alcázar between the 17th and the 20th centuries created an historic site unlike any other in Europe. In it, nature and architecture combine to create a wide range of settings with influences as varied as Mannerism, Romantic Naturalism, Historicism, and English landscape gardening.
Credits: Story Text: Manuel Hurtado Image: Antonio del Junco This exhibition is part of the First Voyage Around the World project. Credits: All media The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions (listed below) who have supplied the content. Seville City Council Seville City Council Stories from Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT Seville in 1519 Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT Seville, 500 years later Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT The Royal Alcázar of Seville and the Americas Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT What Magellan and Elcano Didn't See: The Guadalquivir and the Atlantic Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT What Magellan and Elcano Didn't See: The Americas and Beyond Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT Life in Seville in 1519 Seville City Council ONLINE EXHIBIT A Collection of Beasts From The First Voyage Around The World Seville City Council Explore more RELATED THEME The First Journey Around The World Unravelling the complicated history, science and consequences of the first ever expedition around the world."
"The Giralda is the bell tower of the Cathedral. It its day, it was the tallest tower in the world, standing at 97.5 m in height, in addition to being one of the most famous images of the city and Andalusia. The tower consists of two different but perfectly unified pieces, a perfect example of the crucible of cultures existing in the city. The Muslim body is the oldest part, started in 1184 by order of Abu Yaqub Yusuf to be the minaret of the Almohad mosque of Seville. A curious fact, the Giralda does not have stairs, but instead has 35 ramps wide enough to allow the Sultan to ascend mounted on horseback to see the beautiful view.
In the 17th century, the current Christian part, the bell tower that tops the tower, was added by the architect Hernán Ruiz. The top of the tower is the “Lily section” which has four jars of bronze lilies, one on each corner. And above this, there is still another section in a more Renaissance style. On December 29, 1928, it was declared a National Heritage site, added to the list of Heritage of Humanity sites."
The destruction of the Mercado de la Encarnacion in Seville left a huge void in the urban character of the city center which remained unfilled for over thirty years. The market enriched the city with life, and with its absence, the vitality of the Plaza de la Encarnacion was soon challenged by the negative implications of economic downturn.
In April of 2011, Jürgen Mayer Hand Arup teamed to complete their solution for Seville’s central square – an architecture that brings a contemporary spirit to such a historical and traditional space. Entitled Metropol Parasol, the massive timber structure (which is one of the largest timber structures built in the world) draws residents and visitors back to the city center as its striking aesthetic provides a variety of markets and restaurants bounded by the dynamic shape of the parasols. We enjoyed the video as it illustrates the impact architecture can bring economically and socially to enrich even one of the most established city centers in the world. The ability for the design team to look toward the future allows Seville to preserve its historic cultural prowress while not limiting itself for future greatness. Special thanks to Marina from Arup for sharing the video with us!
"The Plaza de España is a spectacle of light and majesty. Framed in the María Luisa Park, this plaza was designed by the great Seville architect Aníbal González as an emblematic space for the 1929 Ibero-American Expo. The result was a plaza-palace unique in the world. Its proportions are lavish. It has a total area of 50,000 square metres, without a doubt one of the most imposing plazas in Spain.
Along the entire perimeter of the plaza, there is a canal of 515 metres in length, which you can travel by boat, a truly romantic experience."
"One of Spain’s most atmospheric arenas, the Plaza de Toros Las Ventas has hosted everything from Beatles concerts to motocross competitions during its eight-decade history. But it is the controversial sport of bullfighting for which the stadium was built and is best known for, with aficionados of the activity hailing it as Spain’s “Bullfighting Cathedral”.
Located east of central Madrid, the Plaza de Toros features a wide public square with a bullfighting ring constructed in the Mudéjar (Moorish) style. Its coliseum-like arena can seat a little over 23,000 people, making it the largest bullring in Spain and one of the largest in the world. Bullfights regularly take place here during the season, which runs from mid-May to September, while daily fights occur during the week-long San Isidro festival, held each May. A visit to the Museo Taurino (Bullfighting Museum) at the back of the bullring offers a comprehensive look at the history and evolution of this divisive Spanish tradition."
The Cathedral of the archbishopric of Seville was built on the site where once a Moorish mosque, built by the Almohads, stood. This mosque was taken from the Moors in 1248 and was then used as a cathedral. In the 13th century, the mosque was destroyed, except for the Patio de los Naranjos (the orange court), and the Giralda tower. Construction of the cathedral began in 1403. The cathedral was finally completed in 1507.
Seville Cathedral was built in a five-aisled cruciform church with chapels. The cathedral is 127 metres long, 83 meters wide and 43 meters high.
"It is a watchtower located on the left bank of the Guadalquivir river, in the city of Seville, next to the bullring of the Real Maestranza. It is 36 metres tall. It closed the passage to the Arenal with a section of wall that united it with the Torre de la Plata, which formed part of the walls of Seville that defended the Alcazar. It is a tower formed by three sections. The first dodecagonal section was constructed between 1220 and 1221 by order of the almohade governor of Seville, Abù l-Ulà.
The second section, also dodecagonal, was constructed by Pedro I, the Cruel, in the 14th century. The upper cylindrical section completed the tower, being built in 1760 by the military engineer Sebastián Van der Borcht. It was declared an historical-artistic monument in 1931."