While I was studying for the finals, I was dreaming about my travel to new places. Although the distressful process of Schengen Visa application, again I couldn’t resist to travel with a plane ticket offering 50% discount (keep the money that goes to sleep and journey less, spend more for eating and drinking). I packed my things, planned everything and called some friends to come with me and the plane was there ready to fly us to Barcelona, to the city of Gaudi, tapas and sangrias.
Our hostel was locating at the most touristic street called La Rambla. Everything was close enough to walk from the street, as everyone says, Barcelona is a walkable city but when you are really tired, you might prefer to use subway since it is really cheap and well connected to everywhere.
When you move from a neighborhood to another, architectural language and the feelings that environments make you experience change. Architecture shapes the space and people make that space living by putting their expressions to there and this is the most beautiful part about travelling. Catalan people are really friendly and energetic so we enjoyed every moment that we have spent there. Also everything that you see looks like filtered with a warm instagram filter so this yellowish atmosphere puts you in a nostalgic mood. After cold, dry and disturbing weather of Ankara, it was really good to see some palm trees near by the sea and we were really lucky to feel the sun and humidity in every parts of our bodies in the middle of winter.
The very next day, we jumped into the world of Gaudi and we have visited all of them one by one. It was really nice to see some works of art, I call them art because they are more thanarchitecture, that we have seen in the class as a subject to learn. If there were not an architect called Antoni Gaudi, would Barcelona be the same Catalan city that is desired to be visited by thousands of people every year? Architecture is another way to bring national identities into cities. Therefore, when you see a work of Art Nouveau, images of Sagrada Familia, or other works of Gaudi start to be appear in your mind and you suddenly remember Barcelona.Chimneys of Palau Güell by Antoni Gaudi
Here it is the most known building of Antoni Gaudi, Sagrada Familia. It was standing there, in front of me, very dominant. I wasn’t expecting to see it so suddenly because the district where it locates was quite modern when we compare with the Gothic Quarter. It was blocked with other tall buildings so when I was walking to there, there was no sign of it.
Uncompleted basilica is a sample of neo-gothic and art nouveau styles which are making the temple very unique. As you can imagine, Gaudi devoted his life to this project and spent more than 40 years.
Exterior of the building is dominating the surrounding by its 18 towers reaching to the sky. Every tower has different representations, one of them represents Jesus Christ and the others express the Virgin Mary, Gospels and 12 Apostles. Facades are covered with sculptural elements that both serve as structure and decoration. These sculptures are inspired from stories from the Bible. The angular formed Nativity Portal welcomes people to the interior. The interior has completely different atmosphere from the exterior. While exterior has frightening effect, inside of the church is more peaceful and fascinating by using of light and large spans between the columns. Piers locating in the nave and transepts start with polygonal geometries and continue with circular forms. There was an impression of a forest because of branching columns. I think the most enchanting part of the interior was the use of light. Sun light is filtered by stained glass so it is providing lots of different colours that create a photo shoot spot. We have spent nearly 30 minutes there to take our photos. If you want to visit there one day, I recommend that you should buy tickets online to skip the long lines.Of course, Barcelona is not only made out of Sagrada Familia. You can also visit Palau Guell, Park Guell, Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, Montjuic, Picasso Museum etc.You can search them online before you go. However, I really want to mention about the Gothic Quarter and El Born because they became my favorite districts in Barcelona. They were really alive both during the day and the night. Especially, at nights you can go there to find really nice pubs full of cheerful people. Catalan people know how to enjoy their lives. And one more reminder: DO NOT forget to eat tapas (the one prepared with yogurt, salmon and honey) at Quimet Quimet after 7 pm!
As an architecture student, I don’t have to like every piece of architecture that I have visited and experienced it. However, by travelling, I can see which kind of architectural languages that I like and do not like. Also I can have chance to learn their history, material and style in place. After every trip that I’ve completed, I find myself more. I hope that you can find enough time and energy to see the every part of the world.
My Wonderful Travelling Team