During this three hour tour through the heart of Barcelona, we’ll introduce the fantastic architecture of Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona’s most important architect, and situate his work within the context of Catalan society at the time. Besides visiting some of Gaudí’s most important works, we’ll look broadly at how Barcelona expanded in the late 19th and early 20th century and became a breeding ground for the modernist movement and, eventually, such luminaries as Miro and Picasso.
We’ll begin by looking at the history of Barcelona and the growth of the city, introducing the urban planner Ildefons Cerda whose “enlargement” (example in Catalan) in 1859 laid out the modern city, much as Baron von Haussman did for Paris some years later. With this architectural context as a backdrop, we’ll make our way through the heart of the city to see two of Gaudi's masterpieces: the Casa Batllo on the Manzana de la Discordia, and Casa Milá. We will spend concerted time inside of Casa Mila and on its famous roof, picking our way through the thorough Gaudi museum inside.
During the course of this walk we’ll also look at the works of some of Gaudí’s followers and rivals, including buildings by Puig i Cadafalch. Although few of these artists are known outside of Barcelona, their work had a significant influence on Gaudi and represent the artistic context he was working within.
As we move through the physical city, through history, and through the aesthetic evolution of Barcelona we’ll look at how Gaudi's buildings fight against the modern grid and try to neutralize it in a fantastical way that borders on the absurd. We’ll learn to see his work in a new light and contextualize it within the history of the city.
If booked privately, it is possible to include a visit to Parc Güell on this walk, which extends the duration to five hours. Parc Güell affords great views over the city and is a major work by Gaudí in its own right. As of October 2013, Parc Güell charges a small entry fee.
|Duration: 3 hours|
|Venues: Casa Mila|
Holding a Bachelor of Arts from the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, and specialized in applied art in the Accademia di Belle Arti of Rome, Aya Eliav, a native Israeli, is currently based in Barcelona where she continues work as a multimedia artist and exhibiting in solo and group exhibitions in different parts of the world. Aya has a large experience of teaching art and was previously been holding walks for Context in Rome, where she has been living for several years.
Sonia is currently working on her PhD in art history and archaeology at Columbia University. She specializes in Greek art and archaeology, but also has a strong interest in Etruscan art. Sonia is a practicing archaeologist and has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Italy (Sicily and Tuscany) and Spain. She has taught at Barnard College and Columbia, and is writing her dissertation on Ampurias, a Greek settlement in Spain.
A native of Barcelona, Biel has recently obtained his degree in art history from the University of Barcelona where he wrote his thesis on Catalan artists. He is active in the Barcelona arts scene, and as a Catalan he has tremendous knowledge of the region's history and culture.
Santiago (Santi) is an art historian who obtained his PhD on Barcelona's cathedral during the Baroque period. He is widely published in Italian, Spanish, and English in a broad range of academic periodicals, and has taught numerous classes on Renaissance and Baroque art history, Spanish painting, urbanism and architecture, and such artists as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He currently works as an associate professor of art history at the University of Barcelona. In addition to teaching and writing, Santi has worked as a researcher for a well-known antiques dealer in Barcelona and as a lecturer on Gaudi, Domenech I Montaner, and other modernists in Barcelona.
Celia is an architect and PhD candidate in architectural theory and history while she teaches as an associate professor at the Barcelona School of Architecture. She has worked as a freelance researcher and investigator on Catalan art and architecture before the Civil War for various museum exhibitions, including the Picasso Museum in Barcelona and the Reina Sofia in Madrid. She is an enthusiast on architecture and history and loves to discover new and interesting things every day; luckily Barcelona has a lot of secrets and surprise to offer. She was an exchange student at Waseda University in Tokyo, and is a big fan of Japanese culture and architecture.
A native Catalan, Albert has been a passionate traveler since living abroad with his family as a child. This led him to pursue a career in cultural tourism. He is a licensed local guide, specializing in developing unique experiences in both Barcelona and further afield around Catalonia.
Bernat is a native Catalan architect who specializes in the preservation and rehabilitation of old houses and buildings. He obtained his degree at the Barcelona School of Architecture and was an exchange student at the University of Texas. Possessing a deep understanding of architecture and the cultural forces that drive it, Bernat is a true native and lover of Barcelona and her built environment. He spends his spare time strolling through the offbeat neighborhoods of this amazing city.
Born and raised in Barcelona, Oriol studied tourism and medieval history, eventually obtaining a Ph.D. in medieval christian sermons and preaching in the Crown of Aragon (XIVth-XVth centuries). His Ph.D. research has afforded him a great understanding of the cultural, political, and religious life of Barcelona in the Middle Ages and its relations with other cities and Kingdoms, in addition to the roots of Catalan identity and its evolution over time. He is acutely aware of how Barcelona has changed and adapted to the 21st century while trying to keep its personality and identity. In addition to working as a docent, Oriol teaches secondary school social sciences.