Another ‘rambal’ as they call strolling around Barcelona. And it’s difficult to go for a stroll without seeing evidence of one of the great architects of the world – Antoni Gaudi. I decided instead of giving a layman’s interpretation of his work, I would google some pieces that I thought may be of interest to some and add a few of my photos.

As Catalonia grew in wealth and power around the mid-19th century, the region strove to re-establish its national identity, separate to Castilian Spain, firstly by restoring its language (after 150 years of oppression), but equally by a conscious injection of modern ideas designed to invigorate and lift Catalan society and culture as it approached the 20th Century. The Renaissance’s main vehicle was Modernisme, which is simply the Catalan word for ‘Modernism’ and refers to the region’s cultivating of fin-de-siecle ideas and trends from the Art Nouveau movement.

The world’s most famous architect took the tenets of Modernisme to daring extremes and developed a style unmistakably his own, from the sinuous facades of La Pedrera to the impossibly grandiose La Sagrada Familia, where Mother Nature is mimicked in virtually every brick. Many derided Gaudi for his ostentatious bad taste at the time, but when he was struck down by a tram aged 74 the whole of Barcelona attended his funeral. Eusebi Guell was his patron in the early days and works like the Guell Palace and Park Guell are a lasting tribute to their partnership. Later La Sagrada Familia came to dominate Gaudi’s life, as the intensely pious architect lived out his final years in the church’s crypt working on a project which is still unfinished to this day. (There is hope the church can be completed for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death).

Today, as we rambal’d around this world famous building, I thought that Gaudi might look down, and wonder, how he could use the towering cranes and smothering scaffolding to enhance his work in a permanent way.