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If I won a lottery, I'd travel to Barcelona. Architecture
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If I won a lottery, I'd travel to Barcelona. Architecture

LEVEL 4 |

Let's discover the architecture of Barcelona together.

 

Written and voiced by Kirsten Colquhoun

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Architecture

Many people often wonder what they would do if they won the lottery. Not me. I know exactly what I'd do: I'd travel. If you've ever had the opportunity to go to Europe, I'm sure you would've thought about visiting Spain. If you've been lucky enough to go to Spain, I hope you had the chance to visit Barcelona because a visit to Spain would not be complete without a trip to Barcelona. Situated in the north-east of Spain, Barcelona has been quite touristy for many years, and it has consistently ranked among the top holiday destinations in the world. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, delicious food and its fascinating mix of architecture.

Simply wandering through the streets of the city will give you a sense of its history as well as a glimpse into the future. From the iconic La Sagrada Familia and the futuristic Torre Agbar to the Mercat de Santa Caterina with its colourful roof, Barcelona is a collection of weird and wonderful architectural delights. If you take a tour around the Old Town, you will no doubt be impressed by the dark gothic buildings and the beautiful old churches. Santa Maria Del mar is one such example which actually resembles a fortress more than a church. Sadly, the interior was destroyed by fire during the Civil War but the restoration has been completed since 1990. Now, when you step through the narrow, low doorway, you will be surprised by the tall pillars and the sheer size of the room itself, accentuated by the light through the stained-glass windows.

If you ride your bicycle along the promenade, you'll soon be staring in awe at Frank Gehry's Fish – a stainless-steel architectural piece that has no functional value whatsoever. But perhaps the best way to experience Barcelona in all its glory is to take a walking tour, which will give you the freedom to get off the beaten track and discover some hidden gems.

The highlight for any visitor to Barcelona should, of course, be a visit to the many breathtaking creations of the grandfather of Barcelona architecture: Gaudi. There is a number of his buildings dotted around the city, but he's most famous for the masterpiece of La Sagrada Familia. The four impressive towers can be seen from far away, but up close you will be dazzled by the intricate designs of the facades. It is possible to walk up a very narrow staircase to admire the central dome. Unfortunately, Gaudi died tragically before this impressive building could be completed. And therefore it remains unfinished to this day. If only Gaudi had had more time to finish this UNESCO World Heritage Site, surely it would be one of the great wonders of the world! Besides this monumental cathedral, though, there are other Art Noveau buildings such as La Pedrera and Casa Battlo, which are both definitely a must-see. La Pedrera is an 8-floor building (including attic/loft and garage) but without any load-bearing walls, while
Casa Battlo has curved balconies to imitate the movement of ocean waves.

Finally, just when you think you've seen it all, make a final stop at Park Guell. By this time, you'll have been walking for hours (days, even!) and you'll be wondering what more the city has to offer. Stepping into the park is like stepping into an eccentric wonderland of colour and fantasy. Spend some time admiring the many different creatures hiding around each corner. Relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the park. Even though there are so many gorgeous buildings to be seen around Barcelona, one thing is for sure, if you don't visit Park Guell, you'll definitely wish you had!

 

Vocabulary:

  • ranked among
  • sense of its history
  • glimpse into
  • futuristic
  • architectural delights
  • take a tour around
  • gothic
  • churches
  • pillars
  • sheer size
  • accentuated by
  • stained-glass
  • promenade
  • staring in awe at
  • stainless-steel
  • functional value
  • walking tour
  • off the beaten track
  • hidden gems
  • architecture
  • dotted around
  • masterpiece of
  • be dazzled by
  • intricate designs of the facades
  • dome
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • monumental
  • a must-see
  • park
  • gorgeous buildings