We started off in the morning with a metro trip out to see the gurkin tower of Barcelona – Torre Agbar – which has some good reflections of buildings near by. We also came across an incredible market with miscellaneous goods on the top floor and a massive flea market below! Wow!
“Gaudi and Modernism” is the name of the Free Walking tour we took this afternoon, and as it turns out we spent much of the morning also strolling/walking the streets of the “modern” Barcelona – that is the planned section constructed at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. We learned today that the area was divided into equally sized plots or “mazanas” (I think 180 meters square) on which plain multi-storey villas were constructed. Each family then decorated the facade to their liking which often meant adding design or sculptures representing their business or their achievements.
From our arrival we have noticed how the buildings at the corners of the intersections or plazas are angled into the squares – they have 45 degree angles instead of 90 – providing much more light and space to the area. Evidently this was something that was planned, here in Barcelona, during the modernist times at the desire of the inhabitants.
Gaudi has, of course, had a huge influence on the city from sidewalk paving stones to houses commissioned throughout the city to the Basilica Sagrada Familia which, as we all know, remains unfinished to this day – 90 years after his death. The plan is for it to be completed by 2026, but I would say that is an optimistic goal. Evidently, in order to complete the entrance – according to his plans – it would require the closure of the street and the apartment building across the street would need to be demolished! The highest and largest tower is yet to be built and is designed to be 172.5 meters high. Cranes are still surrounding the constructions site and the area that I remember from 1972 is now in need of restoration!
It was a good day for being out on the streets and we clocked 18,842 steps/8.59 miles.