Saturday, February 20, 2010


Barcelona, which we visited as an extension with the VBT bicycling trip is a city of contrasts. It is also the city of Antoni Gaudi, the world renown architect of a century ago.

Our hotel, the Olivia Plaza Hotel in the center of the city was ultra modern.

La Pedera, an apartment complex, created by Gaudi between 1906 and 1910, and recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site, is almost indescribable for its beauty and ingenuity. Greatly influenced by nature, Gaudi designed his structure without a straight line. It is more of a sculpture than a building.

Visiting one of the apartments which acts as a museum of Gaudi's genius, one can appreciate his beautifully designed furniture, as the bed in this room.

The attic, open to the public, consists of a series of stone arches, which act as support for the structure.

There one can see models of the building and learn a bit of Gaudi's design methods.

Working before computers, Gaudi used small packets of lead weights hanging from string to figure structural strength. These he hung upside down and used mirrors to view the results.

The roof is an exuberant fantasy, the chimneys designing vanguard shapes remember warriors in a forest of surprising figures.

From on high one can see into the interior of the structure which is hollow allowing each of the apartments to enjoy daylight.

The stairway on the bottom floors is a path of beauty.

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