Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (Catalan, 25 June 1852 – 10 June 1926) was an architect from Reus (Catalonia), who was the figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.

Much of Gaudí's work was marked by his big passions in life: architecture, nature, religion. Gaudí studied every detail of his creations, integrating into his architecture a series of crafts in which he was skilled: ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís, made of waste ceramic pieces.

After a few years, under the influence of neo-Gothic art and Oriental techniques, Gaudí became part of the Modernista movement which was reaching its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work transcended mainstream Modernisme, culminating in an organic style inspired by nature. Gaudí rarely drew detailed plans of his works, instead preferring to create them as three-dimensional scale models and molding the details as he was conceiving them.

Gaudí's work enjoys widespread international appeal and many studies are devoted to understanding his architecture. Today, his work finds admirers among architects and the general public alike. His masterpiece, the still-uncompleted Sagrada Família, is one of the most visited monuments in Catalonia. Between 1984 and 2005, seven of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Gaudí's Roman Catholic faith intensified during his life and religious images permeate his work. This earned him the nickname God's Architect and led to calls for his beatification

Gaudí's exact birthplace is unknown because no supporting documents have been found, leading to a controversy about whether he was born in Reus or Riudoms, two neighbouring municipalities of the Baix Camp district. Most of Gaudí's identification documents from both his student and professional years gave Reus as his birthplace. Gaudí stated on various occasions that he was born in Riudoms, his paternal family's village. Gaudí was baptised in the church of Sant Pere Apòstol in Reus the day after his birth under the name Antoni Gaudí i Cornet.

Gaudí had a deep appreciation for his native land and great pride in his Mediterranean heritage. He believed Mediterranean people to be endowed with creativity, originality and an innate sense for art and design. Gaudí reportedly described this distinction by stating, "We own the image. Fantasy comes from the ghosts. Fantasy is what people in the North own. We are concrete. The image comes from the Mediterranean. Orestes knows his way, where Hamlet is torn apart by his doubts." Time spent outdoors, particularly during summer stays in the Gaudí family home Mas de la Calderera, afforded Gaudí the opportunity to study nature. Gaudí's enjoyment of the natural world led him to join the Centre Excursionista de Catalunya in 1879 at the age of 27. The organisation arranged expeditions to explore Catalonia and southern France, often riding on horseback or walking ten kilometres a day.

Young Gaudí suffered from poor health, including rheumatism, which may have contributed to his reticent and reserved character. These health concerns and the hygienist theories of Dr. Kneipp contributed to Gaudí's decision to adopt vegetarianism early in his life. His religious faith and strict vegetarianism led him to undertake several lengthy and severe fasts. These fasts were often unhealthy and occasionally, as in 1894, led to life-threatening illness.

Gaudí attended a nursery school run by Francesc Berenguer, whose son, also called Francesc, later became one of Gaudí's main assistants. He enrolled in the Piarists school in Reus where he displayed his artistic talents via drawings for a seminar called El Arlequín (the Harlequin). During this time he worked as an apprentice in the "Vapor Nou" textile mill in Reus. In 1868 he moved to Barcelona to study teaching in the Convent del Carme. In his adolescent years Gaudí became interested in utopian socialism and, together with his fellow students Eduard Toda i Güell and Josep Ribera i Sans, planned a restoration of the Poblet monastery that would have transformed it into a Utopian phalanstère.

Between 1875 and 1878, Gaudí completed his compulsory military service in the infantry regiment in Barcelona as a Military Administrator. Most of his service was spent on sick leave, enabling him to continue his studies. His poor health kept him from having to fight in the Third Carlist War, which lasted from 1872 to 1876. In 1876 Gaudí's mother died at the age of 57, as did his 25-year-old brother Francesc, who had just graduated as a physician. During this time Gaudí studied architecture at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher School of Architecture, graduating in 1878. To finance his studies, Gaudí worked as a draughtsman for various architects and constructors such as Leandre Serrallach, Joan Martorell, Emili Sala Cortés, Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano and Josep Fontserè. In addition to his architecture classes, he studied French, history, economics, philosophy and aesthetics. His grades were average and he occasionally failed courses. When handing him his degree, Elies Rogent, director of Barcelona Architecture School, said: "We have given this academic title either to a fool or a genius. Time will show." Gaudí, when receiving his degree, reportedly told his friend, the sculptor Llorenç Matamala, with his ironical sense of humour, "Llorenç, they're saying I'm an architect now."

Gaudí's first projects were the lampposts he designed for the Plaça Reial in Barcelona, the unfinished Girossi newsstands, and the Cooperativa Obrera Mataronense (Workers' Cooperative of Mataró) building. He gained wider recognition for his first important commission, the Casa Vicens, and subsequently received more significant proposals. At the Paris World's Fair of 1878 Gaudí displayed a showcase he had produced for the glove manufacturer Comella. Its functional and aesthetic modernista design impressed Catalan industrialist Eusebi Güell, who then commissioned some of Gaudí's most outstanding work: the Güell wine cellars, the Güell pavilions, the Palau Güell (Güell palace), the Park Güell (Güell park) and the crypt of the church of the Colònia Güell. Gaudí also became a friend of the marquis
of Comillas, the father-in-law of Count Güell, for whom he designed "El Capricho" in Comillas.

In 1883 Gaudí was put in charge of the recently-initiated project to build a Barcelona cathedral called Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, or Sagrada Família).
Gaudí completely changed the initial design and imbued it with his own distinctive style. From 1915 until his death he devoted himself entirely to this project. Given the number of commissions he began receiving, he had to rely on his team to work on multiple projects simultaneously. His team consisted of professionals from all fields of construction. Several of the architects who worked under him became prominent in the field later on, such as Josep Maria Jujol, Joan Rubió, Cèsar Martinell, Francesc Folguera and Josep Francesc Ràfols. In 1885, Gaudí moved to rural Sant Feliu de Codines to escape the cholera epidemic that was ravaging Barcelona. He lived in Francesc Ullar's house, for whom he designed a dinner table as a sign of his gratitude.

The 1888 World Fair was one of the era's major events in Barcelona and represented a key point in the history of the Modernisme movement. Leading architects displayed their best works, including Gaudí, who showcased the building he had designed for the Compañía Trasatlántica (Transatlantic Company). Consequently he received a commission to restructure the Saló de Cent of the Barcelona City Council, but this project was ultimately not carried out. In the
early 1890s Gaudí received two commissions from outside of Catalonia, namely the Episcopal Palace, Astorga and the Casa Botines in León. These works contributed to Gaudí's growing renown across Spain. In 1891, he travelled to Málaga and Tangiers to examine the site for a project for the Franciscan Catholic Missions that the 2nd marquis of Comillas had requested him to design.

In 1899 Gaudí joined the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc (Saint Luke artistic circle), a Catholic artistic society founded in 1893 by the bishop Josep Torras i Bages and the brothers Josep and Joan Llimona. He also joined the Lliga Espiritual de la Mare de Déu de Montserrat (spiritual league of Our lady of Montserrat), another Catholic Catalan organisation. The conservative and religious character of his political thought was closely linked to his defence of the cultural identity of the Catalan people.

At the beginning of the century, Gaudí was working on numerous projects simultaneously. They reflected his shift to a more personal style inspired by nature. In 1900, he received an award for the best building of the year from the Barcelona City Council for his Casa Calvet. During the first decade of the century Gaudí dedicated himself to
projects like the Casa Figueras (Figueras house, better known as Bellesguard), the Park Güell, an unsuccessful urbanisation project, and the restoration of the Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca, for which he visited Majorca several times. Between 1904 and 1910 he constructed the Casa Batlló (Batlló house) and the Casa Milà (Milá house), two of his most emblematic works.

As a result of Gaudí's increasing fame, in 1902 the painter Joan Llimona chose Gaudí's features to represent Saint Philip Neri in the paintings for the aisle of the Sant Felip Neri church in Barcelona. Together with Joan Santaló,
son of his friend the physician Pere Santaló, he unsuccessfully founded a wrought iron manufacturing company the same year.

After moving to Barcelona, Gaudí frequently changed his address: as a student he lived in residences, generally in
the area of the Gothic Quarter; when he started his career he moved around several rented flats in the Eixample area. Finally, in 1906, he settled in a house in the Güell Park that he owned and which had been constructed by his assistant Francesc Berenguer as a showcase property for the estate. It has since been transformed into the Gaudí Museum. There he lived with his father (who died in 1906 at the age of 93) and his niece Rosa Egea Gaudí (who died in 1912 at the age of 36). He lived in the house until 1925, several months before his death, when he began residing inside the workshop of the Sagrada Família.

An event that had a profound impact on Gaudí's personality was Tragic Week in 1909. Gaudí remained in his house in Güell Park during this turbulent period. The anticlerical atmosphere and attacks on churches and convents caused Gaudí to worry for the safety of the Sagrada Família, but the building escaped damage.

In 1910, an exhibition in the Grand Palais of Paris was devoted to his work, during the annual salon of the Société des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Society) of France. Gaudí participated on the invitation of count Güell, displaying a series of pictures, plans and plaster scale models of several of his works. Although he participated hors concours, he received good reviews from the French press. A large part of this exposition could be seen the following year at the I Salón Nacional de Arquitectura that took place in the municipal exhibition hall of El Buen Retiro in Madrid.

During the Paris exposition in May 1910, Gaudí spent a holiday in Vic, where he designed two basalt lampposts and wrought iron for the Plaça Major of Vic in honor of Jaume Balmes's centenary. The following year he resided as a convalescent in Puigcerdà while suffering from tuberculosis. During this time he conceived the idea for the facade of the Passion of the Sagrada Família. Due to ill health he prepared a will at the office of the notary Ramon Cantó i Figueres on 9 June, but later completely recovered.

The decade from 1910 was a hard one for Gaudí. During this decade, the architect experienced the deaths of his niece Rosa in 1912 and his main collaborator Francesc Berenguer in 1914; a severe economic crisis which paralysed work on the Sagrada Família in 1915; the 1916 death of his friend Josep Torras i Bages, bishop of Vic; the 1917 disruption of work at the Colonia Güell; and the 1918 death of his friend and patron Eusebi Güell. Perhaps because of these tragedies he devoted himself entirely to the Sagrada Família from 1915, taking refuge in his work. Gaudí confessed
to his collaborators:

My good friends are dead; I have no family and no clients, no fortune nor anything. Now I can dedicate myself entirely to the Church.

Gaudí dedicated the last years of his life entirely to the "Cathedral of the Poor", as it was commonly known, for which he took alms in order to continue. Apart from his dedication to this cause, he participated in few other activities, the majority of which were related to his Catholic faith: in 1916 he participated in a course about Gregorian chant at the Palau de la Música Catalana taught by the Benedictine monk Gregori M. Sunyol.

On 7 June 1926, Gaudí was taking his daily walk to the Sant Felip Neri church for his habitual prayer and confession. While walking along the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes between Girona and Bailén streets, he was struck by a passing tram and lost consciousness. Assumed to be a beggar because of his lack of identity documents and shabby clothing, the unconscious Gaudí did not receive immediate aid. Eventually a police officer transported him in a taxi to the Santa Creu Hospital, where he received rudimentary care. By the time that the chaplain of the Sagrada Família, Mosén Gil Parés, recognised him on the following day, Gaudí's condition had deteriorated too severely to benefit from additional treatment. Gaudí died on 10 June 1926 at the age of 74 and was buried two days later. A large crowd gathered to bid farewell to him in the chapel of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the crypt of the Sagrada Família. His gravestone bears this inscription:

Antonius Gaudí Cornet. Reusensis. Annos natus LXXIV, vitae exemplaris vir, eximiusque artifex, mirabilis operis hujus, templi auctor, pie obiit Barcinone die X Junii MCMXXVI, hinc cineres tanti hominis, resurrectionem mortuorum expectant. R.I.P.
(Antoni Gaudí Cornet. From Reus. At the age of 74, a man of exemplary life, skilled craftsman of wonderful works, creator of temples, died a pious in Barcelona on 10 June 1926, from the ashes of this great man, the resurrection of the dead is waiting. Rest in peace.)

Gaudí is usually considered the great master of Catalan Modernism, but his works go beyond any one style or classification. They are imaginative works that find their main inspiration in nature. Gaudí studied organic and anarchic geometric forms of nature thoroughly, searching for a way to give expression to these forms in architecture. Some of his greatest inspirations came from visits to the mountain of Montserrat, the caves of Mallorca, the saltpetre caves in Collbató, the crag of Fra Guerau in the Prades Mountains behind Reus, the Pareis mountain in the north of Mallorca and Sant Miquel del Fai in Bigues i Riells.

Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia (Spain), and the second largest city in the country, with a population of 1,620,943 within its administrative limits. The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea. It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 metres (1,680 ft)).

Founded as a Roman city, in Roman times, Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is today one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe (Iberian Peninsula), 24th in the world (after Zürich, before Frankfurt) and a financial centre (Diagonal Mar and Gran Via). In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $171.0 billion; it is lagging Spain on both employment and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, but it has since been in a full recession with declines in both employment and GDP per capita, with some recent signs of the beginning of an economic recovery. Barcelona is a transport hub with one of Europe's principal seaports, an international airport which handles above 35 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.

The name Barcelona comes from the of Latin, Barcino. Some sources say that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, who was supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC.

Barcelona name is sometimes abbreviated as 'Barna'. Nowadays, foreign people sometimes mistakenly refer to Barcelona as 'Barça', the popular name of the F.C. Barcelona sports club. Some people (mainly in Spanish/Catalan) also use 'BCN', often written 'Bcn', which actually corresponds to the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat
. The city is also referred to as the "ciudad condal" in Spanish and "ciutat comtal" in Catalan, owing to its
past as home to the Count of Barcelona.

The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC.

In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco (modern Tarragona), but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba survive.

Some important Roman ruins are exposed under the Plaça del Rei, its entrance located by the city museum (Museu d'Història de la Ciutat); the typically Roman grid plan is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic ("Gothic Quarter"). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, becoming for a few years the capital of all Hispania. After being conquered by the Arabs in the early 8th century, it was conquered in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis, who made Barcelona the seat of the Carolingian "Hispanic March" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona.

The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia. In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged in dynastic union by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon, their titles finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon, which conquered many overseas possessions and ruled the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the 13th century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline. The Bank of Barcelona, probably the oldest public bank in Europe, was established by the city magistrates in 1401. It originated from necessities of the state, as did the Bank of Venice (1402) and the Bank of Genoa (1407).

In the 18th century, a fortress was built at Montjuïc that overlooked the harbour. In 1794, this fortress was used by the French astronomer Pierre François André Méchain for observations relating to a survey stretching to Dunkirk that provided the official basis of the measurement of a metre. The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799. The Napoleonic wars left the province ravaged, but the postwar period saw the start of industrialization.

During the Spanish Civil War, the city, and Catalonia in general, were resolutely Republican. Many enterprises and public services were "collectivised" by the CNT and UGT unions. As the power of the Republican government and the Generalitat diminished, much of the city was under the effective control of anarchist groups. The anarchists lost control of the city to their own allies, the Communists and official government troops, after the street fighting of the Barcelona May Days. The fall of the city on 26 January 1939 caused a mass exodus of civilians who fled to the French border. The resistance of Barcelona to Franco's coup d'état was to have lasting effects after the defeat of the Republican government. The autonomous institutions of Catalonia were abolished, and the use of the Catalan language in public life was suppressed. Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war. The result was a large-scale immigration from poorer regions of Spain (particularly Andalusia, Murcia and Galicia), which in turn led to rapid urbanisation. Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games in 1992, which helped revitalise the city.

Sagrada Família church, Gaudi's masterpiece. The Barri Gòtic (Catalan for "Gothic Quarter") is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernista architecture (related to the movement known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. Several of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city.
His best-known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations. As of 2007, completion is planned for 2026.

Barcelona was also home to Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. Designed in 1929 for the International
for Germany, it is an iconic building that came to symbolize modern architecture as the embodiment of van der Rohe's aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details." The Barcelona pavilion was intended as a temporary structure, and was torn down in 1930 less than a year after it was constructed. A modern re-creation by Spanish architects now stands in Barcelona, however, constructed in 1986.

Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture, the first (and as of 2012, only) time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect.

Historic buildings and monuments

Barcelona Cathedral Sagrada Família, the international symbol of Barcelona. Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, included in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1997. Works by Antoni Gaudí, including Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Casa Vicens, Sagrada Família (Nativity façade and crypt), Casa Batlló, Crypt in Colonia Güell. The first three works were inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1984.
The other four were added as extensions to the site in 2005.

The Cathedral of St. Eulalia. Church of Santa Maria del Mar (Gothic). Gothic church of Santa Maria del Pi. Church of Sant Pau del Camp. Palau Reial Major, medieval residence of the counts of Barcelona and the Kings of Aragon. The Columbus Monument. The Arc de Triomf, a triumphal arch built in 1888.

The Barcelona metropolitan area comprises over 66% of the people in one of the richest regions in EuropeCatalonia, with a GDP per capita amounting to €28,400 (16% more than the EU average). The Barcelona metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $177 billion, equivalent to $34,821 in per capita terms (44% more than the EU average) making it the 4th economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world in 2009. Barcelona city had a very high GDP of €80,894 per head in 2004, according to Eurostat. Furthermore, Barcelona was Europe's fourth best business city and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year as of 2009.

Barcelona is the 14th most "livable city" in the world according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index.

Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that the region was one of the earliest to begin industrialization in continental Europe, beginning with textile-related works from the mid-1780s but really gathering momentum in the mid-19th century, when it became a major centre for the production of textiles and machinery. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history.

Barcelona is the 10th-most-visited city in the world and the third most visited in Europe after London and Paris, with several million tourists every year. With its Rambles, Barcelona is ranked the most popular city to visit in Spain.

Barcelona as internationally renowned a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas, one of the best beaches in the world, mild and warm climate, historical monuments, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, many good-quality hotels, and developed tourist infrastructure.

In Catalonia, industry generate 20.5% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of region, of which most (47,1%) is industries: energy, chemicals and metallurgy. Barcelona metropolitan area, in 1997 gathered 67% of total industrial establishments of Catalonia.

Barcelona has long been an important European automobile manufacturing centre. Today, the headquarters and a large factory of SEAT (the largest Spanish automobile manufacturer) are in one of its suburbs. There is also a Nissan factory in the logistics and industrial area of the city. The factory of Derbi, a large manufacturer of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, also lies near the city.

As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains very important. The region's leading industries today are textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic, printing, logistics, publishing, telecommunications and information technology services.

Barcelona has a well-developed higher education system of public universities. Most prominent among these is the University of Barcelona (established in 1450), a world-renowned research and teaching institution with campuses around the city. Barcelona is also home to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and the newer Pompeu Fabra University, and, in the private sector the EADA Business School founded in 1957, became the first Barcelona institution to run manager training programmes for the business community. IESE Business School, as well as the largest private educational institution, the Ramon Llull University, which encompasses internationally prestigious schools and institutes such as the ESADE Business School. The Autonomous University of Barcelona, another public university, is located in Bellaterra, a town in the Metropolitan Area. The Open University of Catalonia, a private Internet-centered open university, is also based in Barcelona.

The city has a network of public schools, from nurseries to high schools, under the responsibility of a consortium led by city council (though the curriculum is the responsibility of the Generalitat de Catalunya). There are also many private schools, some of them Roman Catholic. Most such schools receive a public subsidy on a per-student basis, are subject to inspection by the public authorities, and are required to follow the same curricular guidelines as public schools, though they charge tuition. Known as escoles concertades, they are distinct from schools whose funding is entirely private (escoles privades).

The language of instruction at public schools and escoles concertades is Catalan, as stipulated by the 2009 Catalan Education Act. Spanish may be used as a language of instruction by teachers of Spanish literature or language, and foreign languages by teachers of those languages. An experimental partial immersion programme adopted by some schools allows for the teaching of a foreign language (English, generally) across the curriculum, though this is limited to a maximum of 30% of the school day. No public school or escola concertada in Barcelona may offer 50% or full immersion programmes in a foreign language, nor does any public school or escola concertada offer International Baccalaureate programmes.

Barcelona cultural roots go back 2000 years. To a greater extent than the rest of Catalonia, where Catalonia's native Catalan is more dominant, Barcelona is a bilingual city: Catalan and Spanish are both official languages and widely spoken. The Catalan spoken in Barcelona, Central Catalan, is the one closest to standard Catalan. Since the arrival of democracy, the Catalan culture (very much repressed during the dictatorship of Franco) has been promoted, both by recovering works from the past and by stimulating the creation of new works. Barcelona is designated as a world-class city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network.

Catalonia is an autonomous community of Spain, designated a "nationality" by its Statute of Autonomy. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second largest city in Spain, and the centre of one of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe. It comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia, with the remainder now part of France. Catalonia borders France and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish regions of Aragon and the Valencian Community to west and south respectively. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish and Aranese (an Occitan dialect).

In the 10th century the eastern counties of the March of Gothia and the March of Hispania became independent from the Frankish kingdom, uniting as vassals of Barcelona. In 1137 Barcelona and Aragon formed the Crown of Aragon, and Catalonia became the base of Aragonese maritime power in the Mediterranean. Medieval Catalan literature flourished. Between 1469 and 1516, the crowns of Aragon and Castille united to form the Kingdom of Spain, while retaining their distinct institutions. During the Reapers' War (1640–52), Catalonia rebelled against Spain, becoming a republic under French protection. Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659, which ended the wider Franco-Spanish war, France retained the northern parts of Catalonia, mostly incorporated in the county of Roussillon. During the War of
the Spanish Succession (1701–14), the Crown of Aragon sided against Philip V of Spain, whose subsequent victory led to the abolition of Catalan institutions and the eventual imposition of the Spanish language in public life.

Despite the repression and the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars, Catalonia experienced economic growth and industrialization. During the second half of the 19th century, the region saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism, while several workers movements appeared. In 1913, the four Catalan provinces formed a Commonwealth, and with the advent of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–39), the Generalitat of Catalonia was restored. After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan institutions and banning the Catalan language again. During the 1950s and 1960s, Catalonia saw significant economic growth and became an important tourist destination, drawing many workers from across Spain and making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas. Since the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–82) Catalonia has recovered political and cultural autonomy and is now one of the most economically dynamic regions of Spain. The Catalan government has announced its intention to hold a referendum on possible independence from Spain in 2014.

Global City (also called world city or sometimes alpha city or world center) is a city generally considered to be an important node in the global economic system. The concept comes from geography and urban studies and rests on the idea that globalization can be understood as largely created, facilitated, and enacted in strategic geographic locales according to a hierarchy of importance to the operation of the global system of finance and trade.


The most complex of these entities is the "global city", whereby the linkages binding a city have a direct and tangible effect on global affairs through socio-economic means. The use of "global city", as opposed to "megacity", was popularized by sociologist Saskia Sassen in her 1991 work, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo though the term "world city" to describe cities that control a disproportionate amount of global business dates to at least the May 1886 description of Liverpool by The Illustrated London News. Patrick Geddes also used the term "world city" later in 1915. Cities can also fall from such categorization, as in the case of cities that have become less cosmopolitan and less internationally renowned in the current era.

Economic characteristics: Provide a variety of international financial services, notably in the FIRE industries, banking, accountancy, and marketing.

Cultural characteristics: Educational institutions; e.g., renowned universities, international student attendance, research facilities.

Barcelona–El Prat Airport (IATA: BCN, ICAO: LEBL) (Catalan: Aeroport de Barcelona – el Prat, Spanish: Aeropuerto de Barcelona-El Prat), simply known as Barcelona Airport, is located 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of the
centre of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, lying in the municipalities of El Prat de Llobregat, Viladecans, and Sant Boi.

The airport is the second largest in Spain behind Madrid Barajas Airport and 31st busiest in the world, and is the main airport of Catalonia. It is a main base for Vueling, a hub for Iberia Regional and low-cost giant Ryanair as well as a focus city for Air Europa. The airport mainly serves domestic, European and North African destinations, also having flights to Southeast Asia, Latin America and North America. The Airport was a hub for Spanair before it suspended services on January 27, 2012.

The Barcelona–Madrid air shuttle service, known as the "Puente Aéreo" (in Spanish), or "Pont Aeri" (in Catalan) literally "Air Bridge", was the world's busiest route until 2008, with the highest number of flight operations (971 per week) in 2007. The schedule has been reduced since February 2008, when a Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line was opened, covering the distance in 2 hours 30 minutes, and quickly became popular.

In 2011, nearly 34.4 million passengers used Barcelona Airport, a 17.8% increase compared with 2010, making it the 9th busiest airport in Europe. In 2013, Barcelona Airport handled 35,210,735 passengers, making it the only of the major airports of Spain to report an increase.

The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures - (Catalan: Fòrum Universal de les Cultures, Spanish: Fórum
Universal de las Culturas) was a 141-day international event that took place in the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB) and its surrounding venues, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from May 9 to September 26, 2004,
and was the first edition of the Universal Forum of Cultures.

The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures was organized by Barcelona's city council, the regional government (the Generalitat de Catalunya), the Spanish National Government and UNESCO. It was conceived by its prime mover (Pasqual Maragall i Mira, then Mayor of Barcelona) as a way of promoting the city's burgeoning tourist industry in the wake of the 1992 Olympic Games, which were also held in Barcelona. The forum was also politically useful, given the mayor's earlier failure to deliver on a 1996 promise to secure an international exposition for the city.

The official aims of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures included support for peace, sustainable development, human rights and respect for diversity.

The forum hosted more than 40 international conventions (participants included Juan Antonio Samaranch, Mikhail Gorbachev, José Saramago, Felipe González, Rigoberta Menchú, Angelina Jolie, Robert McNamara, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Lionel Jospin, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Romano Prodi and Salman Rushdie, among others), performances, markets, games, 423 concerts, 57 street performances, 44 theatre, dance and cabaret companies, 20 circus acts and over 20 exhibitions.

Josep Acebillo was named Director for Architecture and Infrastructures of the Forum. The events were held at the eastern end of Avinguda Diagonal, a main cross-city artery. The seaside area was developed to house the event. It covered 30 hectares between the Barcelona Olympic port and Sant Adrià de Besòs, and culminated the urban regeneration programme started for the 1992 Olympics. The new site comprises a convention center, central plaza, parks, auditoriums, a new port and a Forum Building (designed by architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron).

The central plaza and the open space surrounding forms a public area called Parc del Fòrum, and is now home to several massive events around the year, including the Primavera Sound Festival, Summercase, the Catalonia April Fair and the most popular concerts in La Mercè.

Catalan is a Romance language named for its origins in Catalonia, in what is northeastern Spain and adjoining parts of France. It is the national and only official language of Andorra, and a co-official language of the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community (where the language is known as Valencian, and there exist regional standards). It also has semi-official status in the city of Alghero on the Italian island of Sardinia. It is also spoken with no official recognition in parts of the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon (La Franja) and Murcia (Carche), and in the historic French region of Roussillon/Northern Catalonia, roughly equivalent to the department of Pyrénées-Orientales.

According to the Statistical Institute of Catalonia in 2008 the Catalan language is the second most commonly used in Catalonia, after Spanish, as a native or self-defining language. The Generalitat of Catalunya spends a part of its annual budget on the promotion of the use of Catalan in Catalonia and in other territories.

Catalan evolved from common Latin around the eastern Pyrenees in the 9th century. During the Low Middle Ages it saw a golden age as the literary and dominant language of the Crown of Aragon, and was widely used all over the Mediterranean. The union of Aragon with the other territories of Spain in 1479 marked the start of the decline of the language. In 1659 Spain ceded Northern Catalonia to France, and Catalan was banned in both states in the early 18th century. 19th-century Spain saw a Catalan literary revival, which culminated in the 1913 orthographic standardization, and the officialization of the language during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–39). However, the Francoist dictatorship (1939–75) banned the language again.

Since the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–1982), Catalan has been recognized as an official language, language of education, and language of mass media, all of which have contributed to its increased prestige. There is no parallel in Europe of such a large, bilingual, non-state speech community.

Compared to other Romance languages, Catalan dialects feature relative uniformity, and are mutually intelligible. They are divided into two blocks, Eastern and Western, differing mostly in pronunciation. The terms "Catalan" and "Valencian" (respectively used in Catalonia and the Valencian Community) are two names for the same language. Standard Catalan, a variety accepted by virtually all speakers, is regulated by the Institute of Catalan Studies (IEC).

Catalan shares many traits with its neighboring Romance languages. However, despite being mostly situated in the Iberian Peninsula, Catalan shows greater differences with Ibero-Romance (Spanish, Portuguese) in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar than it does with Gallo-Romance (French, Italian, Occitan, etc.).  These similarities are most notable with Occitan.

Catalan has an inflectional grammar, with two genders (masculine, feminine), and two numbers (singular, plural). Pronouns are also inflected for case, animacy and politeness, and can be combined in very complex ways. Verbs are split in several paradigms and are inflected for person, number, tense, aspect, mood, and gender. In terms of pronunciation, Catalan has many words ending in a wide variety consonants and some consonant clusters, in contrast with many other Romance languages.

By the 9th century, the Catalan language had developed from Vulgar Latin on both sides of the eastern end of the Pyrenees mountains and valleys (counties of Rosselló, Empúries, Besalú, Cerdanya, Urgell, Pallars and Ribagorça), as well as the territories of the Roman province and later archdiocese of Tarraconensis to the south. From the 8th century onwards, the Catalan counts had extended their territory southwards and westwards, conquering territories of the Iberian Pensisula to the Muslims, and bringing their language with them.

This process was given its definitive impetus with the separation of the County of Barcelona from the Carolingian Empire in 988 AD. By the 9th century, the Christian rulers occupied the northern parts of present-day Catalonia, usually termed "Old Catalonia", and during the 11th and 12th centuries they expanded their domains to north of the Ebro river, a land known as "New Catalonia". During the 13th century, the Catalans expanded to the Land of Valencia and across to the Balearic Islands and Alghero in Sardinia.

According to historian Jaume Villanueva (1756–1824), the first attested Catalan sentence is thought to be found in an 8th-century manuscript from Ripoll that has been lost. It was a whimsical note in 10th or early 11th-century calligraphy: Magister m[eu]s no vol que em miras novel ("my master does not want you to watch me, newbie").

During the 11th century, several feudal documents (especially oaths and complaints), written in macaronic Latin, begin to show Catalan elements, with proper names or even sentences in Romance. Of historical and linguistic importance is the Memorial of Complaints of Ponç I (ca. 1050–1060), featuring whole sentences in Romance. By the end of the 11th century, documents written completely or for the most part in Catalan begin to appear, like the Complaints of Guitard Isarn, Lord of Caboet (ca. 1080–1095), or The Oath of peace and truce of count Pere Ramon (1098). Catalan shares many features with Gallo-Romance, from France and Northern Italy. Old Catalan diverged from Old Occitan between the 11th and 14th centuries.

During the Low Middle Ages, Catalan lived a golden age, reaching a peak of maturity and cultural plenitude. Examples of this are the works of Majorcan polymath Ramon Llull (1232–1315), the Four Great Chronicles (13th-14th centuries), and the Valencian school of poetry culminating in Ausiàs March (1397–1459).

By the 15th century, the city of Valencia had become the center of social and cultural dynamism, and Catalan was present all over the Mediterranean world. The correlation between political splendor and linguistic consolidation was articulated through the Royal Chancery, which propagated a highly standardized language.

The outstanding novel of chivalry Tirant lo Blanc (1490), by Joanot Martorell, shows a transition from medieval to Renaissance values, something than can also be seen in the works of Bernat Metge and Andreu Febrer. During this period, Catalan was what Costa Carreras terms "one of the 'great languages' of medieval Europe". The flowering of the Renaissance was closely associated with the advent of the printing press, and significantly, the first book produced with movable type in the Iberian Peninsula was printed in Valencia in 1474: Trobes en llaors de la Verge maria ("Poems of praise of the Virgin Mary").

After the Treaty of the Pyrenees, a royal decree by Louis XIV of France on 2 April 1700 prohibited the use of the Catalan language in present-day Northern Catalonia in all official documents under the threat of being invalidated.

Shortly after the French Revolution, the French First Republic prohibited official use of, and enacted discriminating policies against, the nonstandard languages of France (patois), such as Catalan, Breton, Occitan, Flemish, and Basque.

The deliberate process of eradicating non-French vernaculars in modern France and disparaging them as mere local and often strictly oral dialects was formalized with Abbé Grégoire's Report on the necessity and means to annihilate the patois and to universalize the use of the French language, which he presented on 4 June 1794 to the National Convention; thereafter, all languages other than French were officially banned in the administration and schools for the sake of linguistically uniting post-Bastille Day France.

To date, the French government continues its policy of recognizing only French as an official language in France. Nevertheless, on 10 December 2007, the General Council of the Pyrénées-Orientales officially recognized Catalan as one of the languages of the department in the Article 1 (a) of its Charte en faveur du Catalan and seek to further promote it in public life and education.

Article 1: "The General Council of Pyrénées-Orientales officially recognizes, along with the French language, Catalan as a language of the department. (Le Conseil Général des Pyrénées-Orientales reconnaît officiellement, au côté de la langue française, le catalan comme langue du département)."

After the Nueva Planta Decrees, administrative use of Catalan, and Catalan language education, were also banned in the territories of the Kingdom of Spain. It was not until the Renaixença that use of the Catalan language started to recover.

In Francoist Spain (1939–1975), the use of Spanish in place of Catalan was promoted, and public use of Catalan was initially repressed and discouraged by official propaganda campaigns. The use of Catalan in government-run institutions and in public events was banned. During later stages of the Francoist regime, certain folkloric or religious celebrations in Catalan were resumed and tolerated. Use of Catalan in the mass media was initially forbidden, but was permitted from the early 1950s in the theatre. Publishing in Catalan continued throughout the dictatorship. There was no official prohibition of speaking Catalan in public or in commerce, but all advertising and signage had to be in Spanish alone, as did all written communication in business.

Following the death of Franco in 1975 and the restoration of democracy under a constitutional monarchy, the use of Catalan increased significantly because of new affirmative action and subsidy policies and the Catalan language is now used in politics, education and the media, including the newspapers Avui ("Today"), El Punt ("The Point"), Ara ("Now"), La Vanguardia and El Periódico de Catalunya (sharing content with El Periòdic d'Andorra, printed in Andorra); and the television channels of Televisió de Catalunya (TVC): TV3, the main channel, and Canal 33 (culture channel), Super3/3XL (cartoons channel) as well as a 24-hour news channel 3/24 and the sports channel Esport 3; in Valencia Canal Nou, 24/9 and Punt 2; in the Balearic islands IB3; in Catalonia there are also some private channels such as 8TV, Barça TV, Estil9 or Canal Català, in others. Furthermore, everywhere in the Catalan-speaking territories,

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral which must be the seat of a bishop. Construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 74 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família's construction progressed slowly, as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950s. Construction passed the midpoint in 2010 with some of the project's greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centenary of Gaudí's death.

The basílica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona, over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona's cathedral, over Gaudí's design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí's death disregarded his design, and the recent proposal to build an underground tunnel of Spain's high-speed rail link to France could disturb its stability.

Describing Sagrada Família, art critic Rainer Zerbst said, "It is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art" and Paul Goldberger called it, "The most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages."

Gaudí's original design calls for a total of eighteen spires, representing in ascending order of height the Twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, the Virgin Mary and, tallest of all, Jesus Christ. Eight spires have been built as of 2010, corresponding to four apostles at the Nativity façade and four apostles at the Passion façade.

According to the 2005 Works Report of the project's official website, drawings signed by Gaudí and recently found in the Municipal Archives, indicate that the spire of the Virgin was in fact intended by Gaudí to be shorter than those of the evangelists. The spire height will follow Gaudí's intention, which according to the Works Report will work with the existing foundation.

The Evangelists' spires will be surmounted by sculptures of their traditional symbols: a bull (Saint Luke), a winged man (Saint Matthew), an eagle (Saint John), and a lion (Saint Mark). The central spire of Jesus Christ is to be surmounted by a giant cross; the spire's total height (170 metres (560 ft)) will be one metre less than that of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona as Gaudí believed that his creation should not surpass God's. The lower spires are surmounted by communion hosts with sheaves of wheat and chalices with bunches of grapes, representing the Eucharist.

The completion of the spires will make Sagrada Família the tallest church building in the world.

The Church will have three grand façades: the Nativity façade to the East, the Passion façade to the West, and the Glory façade to the South (yet to be completed). The Nativity Façade was built before work was interrupted in 1935 and bears the most direct Gaudí influence. The Passion façade was built after the project which Gaudi planned in 1917. The construction was begun in 1954, and the towers, built over the elliptical plan, were finished in 1976. It is especially striking for its spare, gaunt, tormented characters, including emaciated figures of Christ being scourged at the pillar; and Christ on the Cross. These controversial designs are the work of Josep Maria Subirachs. The Glory façade, on which construction began in 2002, will be the largest and most monumental of the three and will represent one's ascension to God. It will also depict various scenes such as Hell, Purgatory, and will include elements such as the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

The church plan is that of a Latin cross with five aisles. The central nave vaults reach forty-five metres (150 ft) while the side nave vaults reach thirty metres (100 ft). The transept has three aisles. The columns are on a 7.5 metre (25 ft) grid. However, the columns of the apse, resting on del Villar's foundation, do not adhere to the grid, requiring a section of columns of the ambulatory to transition to the grid thus creating a horseshoe pattern to the layout of those columns. The crossing rests on the four central columns of porphyry supporting a great hyperboloid surrounded by two rings of twelve hyperboloids (currently under construction). The central vault reaches sixty metres (200 ft). The apse is capped by a hyperboloid vault reaching seventy-five metres (250 ft). Gaudí intended that a visitor standing at the main entrance be able to see the vaults of the nave, crossing, and apse; thus the graduated increase in vault loft.

The columns of the interior are a unique Gaudí design. Besides branching to support their load, their ever-changing surfaces are the result of the intersection of various geometric forms. The simplest example is that of a square base evolving into an octagon as the column rises, then a sixteen-sided form, and eventually to a circle. This effect is the result of a three-dimensional intersection of helicoidal columns (for example a square cross-section column twisting clockwise and a similar one twisting counter-clockwise).

Essentially none of the interior surfaces are flat; the ornamentation is comprehensive and rich, consisting in large part of abstract shapes which combine smooth curves and jagged points. Even detail-level work such as the iron railings for balconies and stairways are full of curvaceous elaboration.

In 2010 an organ was installed in the presbytery by the Blancafort Orgueners de Montserrat organ builders. The instrument has 26 stops (1,492 pipes) on two manuals and a pedalboard.

To overcome the unique acoustical challenges posed by the church's architecture and vast size, several additional organs will be installed at various points within the building. These instruments will be playable separately (from their own individual consoles) and simultaneously (from a single mobile console), yielding an organ of some 8000 pipes when completed.

Construction on Sagrada Família is not supported by any government or official church sources. Private patrons funded the initial stages. Money from tickets purchased by tourists is now used to pay for the work, and private donations are accepted through the Friends of the Sagrada Família.

The construction budget for 2009 was €18 million.

The 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition (in Catalan: Exposició Universal de Barcelona) was Spain's first International World's Fair and ran from May 20 to December 9, 1888. It was also the first of the two held in Barcelona (the second one being in 1929).

Eugenio Serrano de Casanova tried to launch an exposition in 1886, and when that failed, the Mayor of Barcelona, Francesc Rius i Taulet, took over the planning of the project. The fair was hosted on the reconstructed 115-acre (47 ha) site of the city's main public park, the Parc de la Ciutadella, with Vilaseca's Arc de Triomf forming the entrance. More than 2 million people from Spain, the rest of Europe, and other international points of embarkation visited the exhibition, which made the equivalent of 1,737,000 United States dollars. The fair was opened by Alfonso XIII of Spain and Maria Christina of Austria. Twenty-seven countries participated, including China, Japan and the United States.

The piano manufacturer Erard sponsored a series of 20 concerts featuring Isaac Albéniz, a Catalan pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music idioms.

The main legacy of the 1888 World Fair is the Ciutadella Park: the World Fair served as the opportunity for Barcelona to rid itself of the hated citadel and transform it into a central park for the city's denizens. The entire Ciutadella Park in its present layout is a product of the World Fair, with its monumental fountain and small ponds, its Castell dels tres dracs (Castle of the Three Dragons) built by Domènech i Montaner to house the World Fair's café / restaurant, which later served to house the Zoology Museum, Hivernacle (Glasshouse or Greenhouse), the classicist Geology Museum and the Umbracle (a remarkable shaded structure for plants). Another product of the World Fair is the Modernista or Neo-Mudéjar Arc de Triomf (triumphal arch), the Fair's former gateway, presiding over Passeig de Lluís Companys. Other architectural details in the city bear witness to the passage of the World Fair as well.

The Columbus Monument (Monument a Colom), a 60 m (197 ft) tall monument to Christopher Columbus, was built for the exposition on the site where Columbus returned to Europe after his first voyage to the Americas. It was erected at the lower end of Les Rambles and remains standing today.

The 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (also 1929 Barcelona Universal Exposition, or Expo 1929, in Catalan: Exposició Internacional de Barcelona de 1929) was the second World Fair to be held in Barcelona, the first one being in 1888. It took place from 20 May 1929 to 15 January 1930 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was held on Montjuïc, the hill overlooking the harbor, southwest of the city center, and covered an area of 118 hectares (291.58 acres) at an estimated cost of 130 million pesetas ($25,083,921 in United States dollars). Twenty European nations participated in the fair, including Germany, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Romania and Switzerland. In addition, private organizations from the United States and Japan participated. South American countries as well as the United States were represented in the Ibero-Americana section in Sevilla.

The previous 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition had led to a great advance in the city's economic, architectural and technological growth and development, including the reconstruction of the Parc de la Ciutadella, the city's main public park. A new exposition was proposed to highlight the city's further technological progress and increase awareness abroad of modern Catalan industry. This new exhibition required the urban planning of Montjuïc and its adjacent areas and the renovation of public spaces, principally Plaça d'Espanya.

The exposition called for a great deal of urban development within the city, and became a testing-ground for the new architectural styles developed in the early 20th century. At a local level, this meant the consolidation of Noucentisme, a classical style that replaced the Modernisme (in the same vein as Glasgow Style / Art Nouveau / Jugendstil, etc.) predominating in Catalonia at the turn of the 20th century. Furthermore, it marked the arrival in Spain of
international avant-garde tendencies, especially rationalism, as seen in the design of the Barcelona Pavilion, created
by German Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The Exposition also allowed for the erection of several emblematic buildings and structures, including the Palau Nacional de Catalunya, the Font màgica de Montjuïc, the Teatre Grec, Poble Espanyol, and the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

The idea of a new exhibition began to take shape in 1905, promoted by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, as a way of bringing out the new Plan of links designed by Léon Jaussely. It was initially proposed that the Exposition should
be constructed in the area of the Besòs River, but instead, in 1913, planners selected Montjuïc as the site. While originally planned for 1917, the exposition was delayed due to World War I.

Puig i Cadafalch's project was supported by the Fomento del Trabajo Nacional, especially Francesc d'Assis, one of
its leaders, who took charge of negotiations with the various agencies involved in the project. Thus, in 1913 the organization created a joint committee for organizing the event, consisting of representatives of the National Labor Development and the City Council, be appointed commissioners of the organization Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Francesc Cambo and Joan Pitch i Pon.

In 1915, the committee presented a first draft by Puig i Cadafalch, which was divided into three specific projects, each commissioned to a team of architects. Puig i Cadafalch and Guillem Busquets reserved the area at the base of the mountain, Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Manuel Vega i March planned the area atop the mountain—designated the International Section, and Enric Sagnier and August Font i Carreras Miramar developed a Maritime Section.

The principal difficulty of the project was the amount of land required. The exposition would need at least 110 hectares, and the Barcelona City Council had only 26 by 1914. Thus, using an 1879 law, they resorted to land-expropriation. In 1917, development work began at Montjuïc, with assistant engineer Marià Rubio i Bellver.
Landscaping was done by Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, who was assisted by Maria Rubio i Tudurí Nicolau. Their design was distinctly Mediterranean, with classical influences, combining the gardens with the construction of pergolas and terraces. Likewise, a funicular was built to allow access to the top of the mountain, as well as an aerial tram, which connected the mountain with the Port of Barcelona. However, the aerial tram did not opened until after
the fair, in 1931.

Construction, while somewhat delayed, was completed in 1923, but the introduction that year of the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera delayed the actual exposition, which finally occurred in 1929, coinciding with the Ibero-American Exhibition in Seville. Also, the delay made obsolete the goal of promoting electrical industry, so that in 1925 the event was renamed the International Exhibition in Barcelona. The change of objective led to the reorganization of the exhibition, so that it was devoted to three aspects: industry, the sports, and art. In this new period, the organization fell into the hands of Pere Domènech i Roura, the Marquis de Foronda, and Director of Works.

Further development of the event allowed for a great stylistic diversity in the buildings of various architects, some loyal to the Noucentisme prevailing at the time, others reflecting recurring historicist and eclectic trends that persisted since the late 19th century, with particular influence from the Spanish Baroque, in particular the architecture of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia. Despite this diversity, most buildings—at least the official ones—had a common theme of monumentality and grandiosity. In contrast, buildings in the International Section, home to pavilions representing other countries and institutions, had a more contemporary aspect, parallel to the current
state of the art of the period. This particularly included Art Deco and rationalism.

The exposition was opened by King Alfonso XIII on 19 May 1929. Led by Mayor Darius Rumeu i Freixa, Baron de Viver, it was attended by some 200,000 people in the general public and by many Catalonian political, economic, and cultural figures, including the Prime Minister (and dictator) Miguel Primo de Rivera.

In terms of cost, the exhibition lost money, with a deficit of 180 million pesetas. Its success was relative; during the event the stock market crashed in New York, on 29 October 1929, which reduced the number of participants in the event. At the social level, it was great success as it allowed for a large influx of people and achievements for the city of Barcelona, especially in the fields of architecture and urbanism.

The Exposition Center, el recinte de l'Exposició, was built to designs by Puig i Cadafalch with two different types of buildings: palaces, the sections devoted to the official competition; and flags, representing countries, institutions and companies. The exposition's main axis began at the Plaça d'Espanya, where four large hotels were built, through the Avenue of Americas (now the Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina), which housed the grand buildings of the
Exposition, to the foot of the mountain, the site of the "Magic Fountain", the Palaces Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia, and a monumental staircase.

The Avenue of the Americas was decorated with numerous fountains, as well as glass columns—illuminated by electricity—designed by Charles Buïgas, which caused a great sensation. On both sides of the avenue were the main buildings of the Exposition: Palace of Costumes; the Palace of Communications and Transport; and the Palace of Metallurgy, Electricity and Locomotion. Today, these buildings are used as exposition spaces in the Barcelona Trade Fair. Along the avenue was Mechanics Square (now the Plaça de l'Univers), at the center of which stood the "Tower
of Light
", and the sculpture El Treball, de Josep Llimona.

The Plaça d'Espanya was included in Ildefons Cerdà's plan for the expansion of Barcelona, the Eixample. It was to
be a major point of communication in the route between Barcelona and the towns of Baix Llobregat. After a first
draft by the urbanized square Josep Amargós in 1915, the square was finally built to plans by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Guillem Busquets, and then finished by Antoni Darder i Marsa. It was fully complete by 1926. They designed the square as a monumental rotary, to be surrounded by a Baroque colonnade. The design was influenced by Bernini's St. Peter's Square in Rome. Dividing the square from the Avenue of the Americas Ramon Reventós designed two bell[citation needed]-towers, known as the Venetian Towers, which were heavily influenced by St. Mark's Campanile
in Venice.

At the center of the square another monumental fountain was built, designed by Josep Maria Jujol. Its ornate decoration is an allegory of Spain, surrounded by water. Three niches with sculptures symbolize the three principal rivers of the Iberian Peninsula, the Ebro, Guadalquivir, and Tagus. Around the central sculpture, three decorated columns symbolize Religion (a cross with Ramon Llull, Saint Teresa of Jesus, and Saint Ignatius of Loyola), Heroism
(a sword with Pelagius of Asturias, James I and Isabella), and Arts ( a book with Ausias March and Miguel de Cervantes).

The famous Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, designed by Carles Buïgas, was constructed in 1929 on Avinguda Maria Cristina at the foot of Montjuic, and amazed the public with its light and water displays. Today, it is still an emblem
of the Catalonian capital, and musical lightshows are often performed there during the annual festival of La Mercè,
as well as during every weekend. It enchants the public with a backdrop of the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Originally, four columns were built in this location by Puig i Cadafalch to represent the Catalan flag, but these were removed by President Primo de Rivera's orders.

At the top of the hill, next to the International Section, the Olympic Stadium was built by Pere Domènech i Roura within the sports section. It had a surface area of 66,075 m2 and a 62,000 person capacity, making it the second biggest stadium in Europe at the time, after Wembley. It contained fields for the practice of football and other
sports, as well as athletics tracks and installations for various other sports such as boxing, gymnastics and fencing,
as well as tennis courts and a swimming pool. The main facade was monumental in atmosphere, with a dome and a tall tower topped with a shrine. It was decorated with sculptures, most notably the "Horse riders making the Olympic salute", two bronze equestrian sculptures by Pablo Gargallo. The building was remodelled by the architects Vittorio Gregotti, Frederic de Correa, Alfons Milà, Joan Margarit and Carles Buxadé for the 1992 Summer Olympics.

One work which had great public success was the Poble Espanyol ("Spanish Town"), a small showground containing reproductions of different urban and architectural environments from the entire national territory, in an atmosphere which ranges from the folkloric to the strictly archaeological. It was designed by the architects Ramon Reventós and Francesc Folguera, with the artistic advice of Miquel Utrillo and Xavier Nogués. The exhibition is divided into six regional areas: Castile and Extremadura, Basque Country and Navarre, Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Aragon and Galicia, around a Grand Plaza and surrounded by walls (a replica of the walls of Ávila). With a surface area of 20,000 m2, it contains 600 buildings, of which 200 can be visited. Among the monuments reproduced some of the most notable are the Mudéjar belltower of Utebo (Zaragoza), the palaces of the marquis of Peñaflor (Seville) and of Ovando Solís (Cáceres), the cloister of Sant Benet de Bages and the Roman belltower of Taradell.

Just as in 1888, the 1929 Exhibition had a great impact on the city of Barcelona at an urban level, not only in
Montjuic district, since improvement and refurbishment works were carried out throughout the city: Tetuán, Urquinaona and Letamendi squares were landscaped; the Marina bridge was built; the Plaça de Catalunya was urbanised; and the Avinguda Diagonal was extended to the west and the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes to the southwest. Various public works were also carried out: street paving and sewer systems were improved, public bathrooms were installed and gas lighting was replaced with electricity. The tradition of ongoing fairs, the Fira de Barcelona, was established.

At the same time, several buildings were remodelled, such as the City Hall, where Josep Maria Sert painted the Salón de Crónicas, and the Generalitat, where the flamboyant bridge over Bisbe street was built. The post office and the Estació de França (France Station) were completed after having spent several years under construction. The Palau Reial de Pedralbes was also built as a residence for the royal family, designed by Eusebi Bona and Francesc Nebot. During this period the first skyscraper in Barcelona was also constructed: the Telefónica building on the corner of Fontanella and Portal del Ángel, designed by Francesc Nebot.

Finally, they improved the city's communications, with construction during the 1920s of the Barcelona El Prat Airport, the removal of level crossings within the city, the improvement of links with the city's peripheral neighbourhoods, the Sarrià train being moved underground (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya), the electrification of public
trams and the extension of metro line 3 to Sants, connecting the Plaza de España with the Exhibition district. The construction of all these public works lead to a great demand for workers, causing a large increase in immigration to the city from all parts of Spain. At the same time, the increase in population lead to the construction of various workers’ districts with "cheap housing", such as the Aunós Group in Montjuic and the Milans del Bosch and Baró de Viver Groups in Besós.

The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) is a multilateral partnership of 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 28 member states of the European Union and 15 Mediterranean partner countries from
North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans. It was created in July 2008 as a relaunched Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (the Barcelona Process), when a plan to create an autonomous Mediterranean Union was dropped. The Union has the aim of promoting stability and prosperity throughout the Mediterranean region.

The Union for the Mediterranean introduced new institutions into the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership with the aim of increasing its visibility such as the creation of a Secretariat.

The Union for the Mediterranean is the southern regional cooperation branch, which works in parallel to the European Neighbourhood Policy. Its eastern counterpart is the Eastern Partnership.

Works Antoni Gaudí, Gaudí's work is normally classed as modernista, and it belongs to this movement because of its eagerness to renovate without breaking with tradition, its quest for modernity, the ornamental sense applied to works, and the multidisciplinary character of its undertakings, where craftsmanship plays a central role. To this,
Gaudí adds a dose of the baroque, adopts technical advances and continues to use traditional architectural language. Together with his inspiration from nature and the original touch of his works, this amalgam gives his works their personal and unique character in the history of architecture.

Chronologically, it is difficult to establish guidelines that illustrate the evolution of Gaudí's style faithfully. Although he moved on from his initially historicist approach to immerse himself completely in the modernista movement which arose so vigorously in the last third of the 19th century in Catalonia, before finally attaining his personal, organic style, this process did not consist of clearly-defined stages with obvious boundaries: rather, at every stage there are reflections of all the earlier ones, as he gradually assimilated and surpassed them. One of the best descriptions of Gaudí's work was made by his disciple and biographer Joan Bergós, according to plastic and structural criteria. Bergós establishes five periods in Gaudí's productions: preliminary period, mudéjar-morisco (Moorish/mudéjar art), emulated Gothic, naturalist and expressionist, and organic synthesis.

1992 Summer Olympics The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same year since 1924, and place them in alternating even-numbered years, beginning in 1994. The 1992 Summer Games were the last to be staged in the same year as the Winter Games. Due to the end of the Cold War, these games were the first without boycotts since 1972. In fact the Olympics was the final success of the former Soviet Union (despite only part of it taking part), and biggest of the "Olympic flag" (Nations from the former USSR competed as the Unified Team, coming 1st in the overall rankings).

Host city selection.

Barcelona, the birthplace of then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch and the second largest city of Spain, was selected over Amsterdam, Belgrade, Birmingham, Brisbane and Paris in Lausanne, Switzerland, on October 17, 1986, during the 91st IOC Session. It had bid for the 1936 Summer Olympics, losing out to Berlin.

Participating National Olympic Committees.

169 nations sent athletes to compete in these Games. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, twelve states formed a Unified Team, while the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had their own teams. For the first time, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina competed as independent nations after separation from Socialist Yugoslavia. Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was banned due to UN sanctions, but individual Yugoslav athletes were allowed to take part as Independent Olympic Participants. It was also the first Olympics since 1964 that a unified Germany competed at the Olympics. This was the Olympic debut for Namibia and the unified team of Yemen, after several separate participations of North and South Yemen. South Africa returned to the Games after 32 years. Four National Olympic Committees didn't send their athletes to compete: Afghanistan, Brunei, Liberia and Somalia.

Effect on the city

The celebration of the 1992 Olympic Games had an enormous impact on the urbanism and external projection of the city of Barcelona. The Games enabled billions in infrastructure investments that are considered to have improved the quality of life and attraction of the city for investments and tourism, making Barcelona one of the most visited cities
in Europe after Paris, London and Rome.

The nomination of the city as organizer was the spark that led to the application of a previously elaborated ambitious urban plan. Barcelona was opened to the sea with the construction of the Olympic Village and Olympic Port in
Poblenou, a decayed neighbourhood. Various new centres were created, and modern sports facilities were built in the Olympic zones of Montjuïc, Diagonal, and Vall d'Hebron. The construction of ring roads around the city helped reduce the density of the traffic, and El Prat airport was modernized and expanded as two new terminals were opened. New hotels were built and some old ones were refurbished.

Songs and themes

There were two main musical themes for the 1992 Games. One was "Barcelona", composed five years earlier by Freddie Mercury and sung as a duet with Montserrat Caballé. The duo were to perform the song during the opening ceremony, but due to Mercury's untimely death eight months earlier, the recording of the song was played over a travelogue of the city at the start of the opening ceremony. The other was "Amigos Para Siempre" (Friends for Life), written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black, and sung by Sarah Brightman and José Carreras during the closing ceremonies.

Ryuichi Sakamoto composed and conducted the opening ceremony musical score.

Opening Olympic fanfare composed by Angelo Badalamenti and orchestrations by Joseph Turrin.

Modernisme is the historiographic denomination given to an art and literature movement. Its main form of expression was in architecture, but many other arts were involved (painting, sculpture, etc.), and especially the design and the decorative arts (cabinetmaking, carpentry, forged iron, ceramic tiles, ceramics, glass-making, silver and goldsmith work, etc.), which were particularly important, especially in their role as support to architecture. Modernisme was also a literary movement (poetry, fiction, drama). Although it was part of a general trend that emerged in Europe around the turn of the 20th century, in Catalonia the style acquired its own unique personality. Its distinct name comes from its special relationship, primarily with Catalonia and Barcelona, which were intensifying their local characteristics for socio-ideological reasons after the revival of Catalan culture and in the context of spectacular urban and industrial development. It is equivalent to a number of other fin de siècle art movements going by the names of Art Nouveau in France and Belgium, Jugendstil in Germany, Sezession in Austria, Liberty style in Italy and Modern or Glasgow Style in Scotland, and was active from roughly 1888 (the First Barcelona World Fair) to 1911 (the death of Joan Maragall, the most important Modernista poet). The Modernisme movement was centred in the city of Barcelona, though it reached far beyond, and is best known for its architectural expression, especially in the work of Antoni Gaudí, but was also significant in sculpture, poetry, theatre and painting. Notable painters include Santiago Rusiñol, Ramon Casas, Isidre Nonell, Hermen Anglada Camarasa, Joaquim Mir, Eliseu Meifren, Lluïsa Vidal and Miquel Utrillo. Notable sculptors are Josep Llimona, Eusebi Arnau and Miquel Blai.

Catalan nationalism was an important influence upon Modernista artists, who were receptive to the ideas of Valentí Almirall and Enric Prat de la Riba and wanted Catalan culture to be regarded as equal to that of other European countries. Such ideas can be seen in some of Rusiñol's plays against the Spanish army (most notably L'Hèroe), in some authors close to anarchism (Jaume Brossa and Gabriel Alomar, for example) or in the articles of federalist anti-monarchic writers such as Miquel dels Sants Oliver. They also opposed the traditionalism and religiousness of the Renaixença Catalan Romantics, whom they ridiculed in plays such as Santiago Rusiñol's Els Jocs Florals de Canprosa (roughly, "The Poetry Contest of Proseland"), a satire of the revived Jocs Florals and the political milieu which promoted them.

Modernistes largely rejected bourgeois values, which they thought to be the opposite of art. Consequently, they adopted two stances: they either set themselves apart from society in a bohemian or culturalist attitude (Decadent and Parnassian poets, Symbolist playwrights, etc.) or they attempted to use art to change society (Modernista architects and designers, playwrights inspired by Henrik Ibsen, some of Maragall's poetry, etc.)

Architecture and the plastic arts

The earliest example of Modernista architecture is the café Castell dels tres Dragons designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner in the Parc de la Ciutadella for the 1888 Universal Exhibition. It is a search for a particular style for Catalonia drawing on Medieval and Arab styles. Like the currents known in other countries as Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Stile Liberty, Modern Style or Sezessionstil, Modernisme was closely related to the English Arts and Crafts movement movement and the Gothic revival. As well as combining a rich variety of historically-derived elements, it is characterized by the predominance of the curve over the straight line, by rich decoration and detail, by the frequent use of vegetal and other organic motifs, the taste for asymmetry, a refined aestheticism and dynamic shapes.

Antoni Gaudí is the best-known architect of this movement. Other influential architects were Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and later Josep Maria Jujol and Enrique Nieto.

While Barcelona was the centre of Modernista construction, the Catalan industrial bourgeoisie built industrial buildings and summer residences - cases d'estiueig - in many Catalan towns, notably Terrassa and Reus. The textile factory which is now home to the Catalan national technical museum MNACTEC is an outstanding example.


There were more than 100 architects who made buildings of the Modernista style, three of whom are particularly well known for their outstanding buildings: Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch.

Antoni Gaudí, who went beyond mainstream Modernisme, creating a personal style based on observation of the nature and exploitation of traditional Catalan construction traditions. He was using regulated geometric shapes as the hyperbolic paraboloid, the hyperboloid, the helicoid and the conoide.

Lluís Domènech i Montaner created a genuine alternative architecture. Along with Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas he worked towards a modern and international style. Domènech continued on from Viollet-le-Duc, his work characterized by a mix of constructive rationalism and ornaments inspired in the Hispano-Arab architecture as seen in the Palau de
la Música Catalana, in the Hospital de Sant Pau or in the Institut Pere Mata of Reus. His Hotel Internacional at
Passeig de Colom in Barcelona (demolished after the 1888 World Fair) was an early example of industrial building techniques.

Josep Puig i Cadafalch was a Catalan architect, politician and historian who was involved in many projects to retore older buildings. One of his most well-known buildings is his rebuilding of the Casa Amatller in Passeig de Gràcia. It
has elements in both the Catalan tradition and others originating in the Netherlands or the German Gothic. Neo-Gothic is also apparent in his Codorniu Winery (Caves Codorniu, 1904). He built Casa Amatller and Casa Trinxet.

The Port of Barcelona (Catalan: Port de Barcelona), has a 2000-year history and great contemporary
commercial importance. It is Catalonia's largest port, vying with Tarragona, and Europe's ninth largest container
port, with a trade volume of 2.57 million TEU's in 2008. It is also one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean. The port is managed by the Port Authority of Barcelona. Its 7.86 km2 (3 sq mi) are divided into three zones: Port Vell (the Old Port), the commercial/industrial port and the logistics port (Barcelona Free Port). The port
is undergoing an enlargement that will double its size by diverting the mouth of the Llobregat river 2 km (1¼ mi) to the south, and slightly pushing back the Llobregat Delta Nature Reserve.

This is not the only port in Barcelona, as there are also two additional yacht harbors / marinas: Port Olímpic and Port Fòrum Sant Adrià to the north.

The Port Vell area comprises two marinas or yacht harbors, a fishing port, a maritime station for ferries travelling to the Balearic Islands and other destinations in the Mediterranean and other stations or landing areas for cruise ships, and it abuts the industrial port.

In the central area, it also houses "Maremagnum" (a shopping mall and nightlife complex), a multiplex cinema, the
IMAX Port Vell (large-format cinema complex) and Europe's largest aquarium, containing 8,000 fish and 11 sharks in 22 basins filled with 6 million litres of sea water. Because it is located in a designated tourist zone, the Maremagnum is the only commercial mall in the city that can open on Sundays and public holidays. Next to the Maremagnum area are the "Golondrines", small ships that take tourists for a visit around the port area and beyond.

The Barcelona industrial port is to the south, and comprises the Free Port or Zona Franca de Barcelona, a tariff-free industrial park that has developed within the Port of Barcelona, across the flat land of the Llobregat Delta between the city of Barcelona and that of El Prat de Llobregat and the Barcelona International Airport to the south.

A good place to view both the industrial and pleasure port is from Montjuïc, and more specifically, from Montjuïc Castle, as well as from the aerial cable car connecting Barceloneta with the Ferry Station and Montjuïc.

Trencadís is a type of mosaic used in Catalan modernism, created from broken tile shards. The technique is also called pique assiette. This mosaic is done using broken pieces of ceramic, like tiles and dinnerware .

The Catalan architects Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol used trencadís in many projects, among which
Barcelona's Parc Güell is probably the most famous.

Modernist architects made extensive use of ceramics, but Antoni Gaudí in particular proposed a more unconventional method. He covered his three-dimensional architecture with glazed ceramics of different shapes and colours, which created brightly coloured patterns. For the task, he used discarded pieces of ceramic tiles collected from the factory "Pujol i Bausis" located in Esplugues de Llobregat, and pieces of white ceramic from broken cups and plates discarded by other Spanish manufacturers.

The technique was used for the first time at the Güell Pavilions where the complex architecture forced him to break the tiles where he couldn’t use an entire square one.

Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, meaning the 'The Quarry', is a building designed by the Catalan
architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1906–1912. It is located at 92, Passeig de Gràcia (passeig is
Catalan for promenade) in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

It was a controversial design at the time for the bold forms of the undulating stone facade and wrought iron decoration of the balconies and windows, designed largely by Josep Maria Jujol, who also created some of the
plaster ceilings.

Architecturally it is considered an innovative work for its steel structure and curtain walls – the façade is self-supporting. Other innovative elements were the construction of underground car parking and separate lifts and stairs for the owners and their servants.

In 1984, it was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The building is made open to the public by Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera, which manages the various exhibitions and activities and visits to the interior and roof

Casa Milà was built for the married couple, Roser Segimon and Pere Milà. Roser Segimon was the wealthy widow of Josep Guardiola, an Indiano, a term applied locally to the Catalans returning from the American colonies with tremendous wealth. Her second husband, Pere Milà, was a developer who was criticized for his flamboyant lifestyle and ridiculed by the contemporary residents of Barcelona, when they joked about his love of money and opulence, wondering if he was not rather more interested in "the widow’s guardiola" (piggy bank), than in "Guardiola’s widow".

Gaudi, a Catholic and a devotee of the Virgin Mary, planned for the Casa Milà to be a spiritual symbol. Overt religious elements include an excerpt from the Rosary prayer on the cornice and planned statues of Mary, specifically Our Lady of the Rosary, and two archangels, St. Michael and St. Gabriel. The design by Gaudi was not followed in some
aspects. The local government objected to some aspects of the project, fined the owners for many infractions of building codes, ordered the demolition of aspects exceeding the height standard for the city. The Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture states that the statuary was indeed Mary the mother of Jesus, also noting Gaudi's devoutness, and notes that the owner decided not to include it after Semana Trágica, an outbreak of anticlericalism
in the city. After the decision was made to exclude the statuary of Mary and the archangels, Gaudi contemplated abandoning the project but was persuaded not to by a priest.

Casa Milà was in poor condition in the early 1980s. It had been painted a dreary brown and many of its interior color schemes had been abandoned or allowed to deteriorate, but it has since been restored and many of the original colors revived.

The July 24 of 1969 Gaudí's work had received official recognition Monument. It was a first step to prevent further destruction. But it was not until 1984, with the appointment of World Heritage, begin when a change in its protection. First the City Council tried to rent the main floor to install office for the 1992 Olympic bid. Finally, the day before Christmas 1986, Safety of Catalonia La Pedrera bought it for 900 million pesetas.

The February 19 of 1987 started the most urgent, the restoration and cleaning of the facade. The task was performed by architects Joseph Emilio Hernandez-Cross and Rafael Vila.

In 1990, as part of the Cultural Olympiad, opened the renovated main floor of the Milan exhibition Golden Square dedicated to modern architecture in the center of the Eixample.

The building is 1,323 m2 per floor on a plot of 1,620 m2. Gaudí began the first sketches in his workshop in the Sagrada Familia, where he conceived of this house as a constant curve, both outside and inside, incorporating
multiple solutions of formal geometry and elements of a naturalistic nature.

Casa Milà is the result of two buildings, which are structured around two courtyards that provide light to the nine levels: basement, ground floor, mezzanine, main (or noble) floor, four upper floors, and an attic. The basement was intended to be the garage, the main floor the residence of the Milàs (a flat of all 1,323 m2), and the rest distributed over 20 homes for rent. The resulting layout is shaped like an asymmetrical "8" because of the different shape and size of the courtyards. The attic housed the laundry and drying areas, forming an insulating space for the building
and simultaneously determining the levels of the roof.

One of the most significant parts of the building is the roof, crowned with skylights or staircase exits, fans, and chimneys. All of these elements, constructed with timbrel coated with limestone, broken marble or glass, have a specific architectural function, nevertheless, they have become real sculptures integrated into the building.

The building is a unique entity, where the shape of the exterior continues to the interior. The apartments feature ceilings with plaster reliefs of great dynamism, handcrafted wooden doors, windows, and furniture (sadly, now gone), and the design of the hydraulic pavement and different ornamental elements.

The stairways were intended for services, in that access to housing was by elevator except for the noble floor, where Gaudí added a staircase of a particular configuration.

Gaudi wanted the people who lived in the flats to all know each other. Therefore there were only lifts on every
second floor so people had to communicate with one another on different floors.

Regarding the structure, Casa Milà is characterized by its self-supporting stone facade, meaning that it is free of the functions of a load-bearing wall, which connects to the internal structure of each floor by means of curved iron beams surrounding the perimeter of each floor. This construction system allows, on one hand, large openings in the facade which give light to the homes, and on the other, free structuring of the different levels, so that all walls can be demolished without affecting the stability of the building. This allows the owners to change their minds at will and to modify, without problems, the interior layout of the homes.

The facade is composed of large blocks of limestone from the Garraf Massif to the first floor of the quarry Villefranche to the higher levels. The blocks were cut to follow the plot of the projection of the model, later raised to its location on just adjusted to align them in a continuous curvilinear texture to the pieces around them.

Viewed from the outside are three parts: the main body of the six-story blocks with winding stone floors both floors of a block back with a change of pace in waves similar to waves, with a texture more smooth and white, with small holes that seem gunboats, and finally the body of the roof.

The original facade of Gaudi gone some of the local bars downstairs. In 1928, the tailor Mosella opened the first
store in La Pedrera, he works and eliminate the bars. This did not concern anyone, because in the middle of twentieth century, twisted ironwork had little importance. The ironwork was lost until a few years later, when Americans donated one of them to the MoMa, where it is on display.

Within restoration initiatives launched in 1987, the facade they rejoined him some pieces of stone that had fallen. In order to respect the fidelity of the original, material was obtained from the Quarry Villefranche, even though it was no longer operable.

The building has a completely original solution in solving the lobby to not being a closed and dark, but also for its open and airy courtyards connection with that equally important in gaining a place of transit and directly visible to the user accessing the building. There are two patios in the round side of the Paseo de Gracia and the elliptical street Provence.

The two halls are fully polychrome with paintings oil on plaster surface, showing a repertoire eclectic references mythology and flowers.

Patios, structurally, are key as supporting loads of interior facades. The floor of the courtyard is supported by pillars of cast iron. In the courtyard elliptical beams and girders adopt a constructive solution traditional, but cylindrical, Gaudí applied an ingenious solution of using two concentric cylindrical beams stretched radial beams, like the spokes of a bicycle, they from a point outside of the beam to two points above and below-the-making functions of the central girder keystone and works in tension and compression simultaneously. Thus supported structure twelve feet in diameter with a piece of maximum beauty and considered "the soul of the building" with a clear resemblance to the Gothic crypts.The centerpiece was built in a shipyard and Josep Maria Carandell assimilates to the wheel of steering, interpreting the intent of Gaudi represent the helm of the ship of life.

Access is protected by a massive gate iron with a design attributed to Jujol, it was common for people and cars, where access to the garage in the basement, now a in auditorium.

During construction there appeared a problem adapting to the basement garage of cars, the new invention that thrilled the bourgeoisie. The future neighbor Felix Anthony Meadows, owner of Industrial Linera, requested a correction in access because its Rolls Royce could not access it. Gaudí agreed to remove a pillar on the ramp that led into the
garage. So, Felix, who was establishing sales and factory Fontanella street in Walls of Valles could go to both places with your car from La Pedrera.

For the floors of Casa Milà, Gaudí used a model of floor forms of square timbers with two colors, and the hydraulic pavement hexagonal pieces of blue and sea motifs that had originally been designed for the Batllo house but which
had not been used and recovered Gaudi the quarry. The wax was designed in gray John Bertrand under the
supervision of Gaudí "touched up with their own fingers," in the words of the manufacturer Josep Bay.

The work of Gaudí on the rooftop of La Pedrera was a collective of his experience at Palau Güell, but with solutions that were clearly more innovative - this time creating shapes and volumes with more body, more prominence, and less polychromasia.

On the rooftop there are six skylights/staircase exits (four of which were covered with broken pottery and some that ended in a double cross typical of Gaudí), twenty-eight chimneys in several groupings (like were designed for Casa Batlló), twisted so that the smoke came out better, two half-hidden vents whose function is to renew the air in the building, crowning the walkway that goes around this dream castle, four cupulins (domes?) that discharged to the facade. The staircases also house the water tanks; some of these are snail-shaped.

The stepped roof of La Pedrera, called "the garden of warriors" by the poet Pere Gimferrer because the chimneys appear to be protecting the skylights, has undergone a radical restoration, removing chimneys added in interventions after Gaudí, television antennas, and other elements that degraded the space. The restoration brought back the splendor to the chimneys and the skylights that were covered with fragments of marble and broken Valencia tiles. One of the chimneys was topped with glass pieces - it was said that Gaudí did that the day after the inauguration of the building, taking advantage of the empty bottles from the party. It was restored with the bases of champagne bottles from the early twentieth century. The repair work has enabled the restoration of the original impact of the overhangs made of stone from Ulldecona with fragments of tiles. This whole set is more colorful than the facade, although here the creamy tones are dominant.

Gaudí, as he had done in Casa Batlló, designed furniture specifically for the main floor. It was part of the concept artwork itself integral of modernism in which the architect assumes responsibility for global issues such as the structure and the facade, as every detail of the decor, design furniture and accessories such as lamps, planters,
floors or ceilings.

This was another point of friction with Mrs. Milà, she complained that there was no straight wall to place your Steinway piano, which Roser Segimon played often and quite well. Gaudi's response was blunt: "So play the violin."

The result of these disagreements has been the loss of the decorative legacy of Gaudi, as furniture due to climate change and the distribution of the main floor which made the owner when Gaudí died. Some remain in private collections some spare parts like a curtain made of oak 4 m. long by 1.96 m. high you can see in the Museum of
Catalan Modernism
; a chair and desktop of Pere Milà and some other complementary element.

Regarding oak doors carved by dint of gouge bachelors Casas and Bard, only became the floor of Milà and the floor show, because when the lady met Milà in the price, was decided that they would do more of this quality.

Casa Batlló is a renowned building located in the heart of Barcelona and is one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces.
Casa Batlló is a remodel of a previously built house. It was redesigned in 1904 by Gaudí and has been refurbished several times after that. Casa Batlló evokes the creativity and playfulness of Gaudí’s work through the incrassate facades and creative floors. Gaudí's assistants Domènec Sugrañes i Gras, Josep Canaleta and Joan Rubió also contributed to the renovation project.

The local name for the building is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), as it has a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.

The building looks very remarkable — like everything Gaudí designed, only identifiable as Modernisme or Art
Nouveau in the broadest sense. The ground floor, in particular, is rather astonishing with tracery, irregular oval windows and flowing sculpted stone work.

It seems that the goal of the designer was to avoid straight lines completely. Much of the façade is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles (trencadís) that starts in shades of golden orange moving into greenish blues.
The roof is arched and was likened to the back of a dragon or dinosaur. A common theory about the building is that
the rounded feature to the left of centre, terminating at the top in a turret and cross, represents the lance of Saint George (patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudí's home), which has been plunged into the back of the dragon.

The roof terrace is one of the most popular features of the entire house due to its famous dragon back design. Gaudí represents an animal’s spine by using tiles of different colors on one side. The roof is decorated with four chimney stacks, that are designed to prevent backdraughts.

The loft is considered to be one of the most unusual spaces. It was formerly a service area for the tenants of the different apartments in the building which contained laundry rooms and storage areas. It is known for its simplicity of shapes and its Mediterranean influence through the use of white on the walls. It contains a series of sixty Catenary arches that creates a space which represents the ribcage of an animal. Some people believe that the “ribcage” design of the arches is a ribcage for the dragon’s spine that is represented in the roof.

The noble floor is larger than seven-hundred square meters, it is the main floor of the building. The noble floor is accessed through a private entrance hall that utilizes skylights resembling tortoise shells and vaulted walls in curving shapes. On the noble floor, there is a spacious landing with direct views to the blue tiling of the building well. On the Passeig de Gracia side is Mr. Batlló’s study, a festejador and a secluded spot for courting couples, decorated with a mushroom-shaped fireplace . The elaborate and animal-like décor continues throughout the whole noble floor.

In 2002, the house opened its doors to the public and people were allowed to visit the noble floor. The building was opened to the public as part of the celebration of the International Year of Gaudí. Casa Batlló with very much unanticipated success and visitors became eager to see the rest of the house. Two years later, in celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of work on Casa Batlló the fifth floor was restored and the house extended its visit to the loft and the well. In 2005, Casa Batlló became a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The facade has three distinct sections which are harmoniously integrated. The top displays a trim with ceramic pieces that has attracted multiple interpretations. The central part, which reaches the last floor, is a multicolored section with protruding balconies. The lower ground floor with the main floor and two first-floor galleries are contained in a structure of Montjuïc sandstone with undulating lines.

The top of the building is a crown, like a huge gable, which is at the same level as the roof and helps to conceal the room where there used to be water tanks. This room is currently empty. The roof's arched profile recalls the spine of a dragon with ceramic tiles for scales, and a small triangular window towards the right of the structure simulates the eye. Legend has it that it was once possible to see the Sagrada Familia through this window, which was being built simultaneously. The view of the Sagrada Familia is now blocked from this vantage point by newer buildings. The tiles were given a metallic sheen to simulate the varying scales of the monster, with the color grading from green on the right side, where the head begins, to deep blue and violet in the center, to red and pink on the left side of the

One of the highlights of the facade is a tower topped with a cross of four arms oriented to the cardinal directions. It is a bulbous, root-like structure that evokes plant life. There is a second bulb-shaped structure similarly reminiscent of a thalamus flower, which is represented by a cross with arms that are actually buds announcing the next flowering. The tower is decorated with monograms of Jesus (JHS), Maria (M with the ducal crown) and Joseph (JHP), made of ceramic pieces that stand out golden on the green background that covers the facade. These symbols show the deep religiosity of Gaudi, who was inspired by the contemporaneous construction of his basilica to choose the theme of the holy family. The bulb was broken when it was delivered, perhaps during transportation. Although the manufacturer committed to re-do the broken parts, Gaudí liked the aesthetic of the broken masonry and asked that the pieces be stuck to the main structure with lime mortar and held in with a brass ring. The central part of the facade evokes the surface of a lake with water lilies, reminiscent of Monet's Nymphéas, with gentle ripples and reflections caused by the glass and ceramic mosaic. It is a great undulating surface covered with plaster fragments of colored glass discs combined with 330 rounds of polychrome pottery. The discs were designed by Gaudí and Jujol between tests during their stay in Majorca, while working on the restoration of the Cathedral of Palma.

Finally, above the central part of the facade is a smaller balcony, also iron, with a different exterior aesthetic, closer to a local type of lily. Two iron arms were installed here to support a pulley to raise and lower furniture.

The facade of the main floor, made entirely in sandstone, and is supported by two columns. The design is complemented by joinery windows set with multicolored stained glass. In front of the large windows, as if they were pillars that support the complex stone structure, there are six fine columns that seem to simulate the bones of a limb, with an apparent central articulation; in fact, this is a floral decoration. The rounded shapes of the gaps and the lip-like edges carved into the stone surrounding them create a semblance of a fully open mouth, for which the Casa Batlló has been nicknamed the "house of yawns." The structure repeats on the first floor and in the design of two windows
at the ends forming galleries, but on the large central window there are two balconies as described above.

Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It has an extension of 17.18 ha (0.1718 km²), which makes it one of the largest architectural works in south Europe. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".

The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, after whom the park was named. It was inspired by the English garden city movement; hence the original English name Park (in Catalan the name is "Parc Güell"). The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Muntanya
Pelada (Bare Mountain). It already included a large country house called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House, and was next to a neighborhood of upper class houses called La Salut (The Health). The intention was to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and beautiful views from the site, with sixty triangular lots being provided for luxury houses. Count Eusebi Güell added to the prestige of the development by moving in 1906 to live in Larrard House. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but
on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward, Gaudí, at Güell's suggestion, bought
it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906. This house, where Gaudí lived from 1906 to 1926, was built by Francesc Berenguer in 1904. It contains original works by Gaudí and several of his collaborators.
It is now the Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudí) since 1963. In 1969 it was declared a historical artistic monument of national interest.

It has since been converted into a municipal garden. It can be reached by underground railway (although the stations are at a distance from the Park and at a much lower level below the hill), by city buses, or by commercial tourist buses. From October 2013 the entrance to the Park is free but there is an antrance fee to visit the monumental zone (main entance and the parts containing mosaics). Gaudí's house, "la Torre Rosa," — containing furniture that he designed — can be only visited for an another entrance fee. There is a reduced rate for those wishing to see both Gaudí's house and the Sagrada Família Church.

There is another Museum center inside the Park (in one of the entrance pavilions built by Gaudi): MUHBA Park Guell, one of the Barcelona City History Museum locations that provides information about the relationship between Gaudí, his patron Eusebi Güell and the city of Barcelona around 1900.

Park Güell is skillfully designed and composed to bring the peace and calm that one would expect from a park. The buildings flanking the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí.

The focal point of the park is the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a more social atmosphere. Gaudí incorporated many motifs of Catalan nationalism, and elements from religious mysticism and ancient poetry, into the Park.

Roadways around the park to service the intended houses were designed by Gaudí as structures jutting out from the steep hillside or running on viaducts, with separate footpaths in arcades formed under these structures. This minimized the intrusion of the roads, and Gaudí designed them using local stone in a way that integrates them closely into the landscape. His structures echo natural forms, with columns like tree trunks supporting branching vaulting under the roadway, and the curves of vaulting and alignment of sloping columns designed in a similar way to his Church of Colònia Güell so that the inverted catenary arch shapes form perfect compression structures.

The large cross at the Park's high-point offers the most complete view of Barcelona and the bay. It is possible to view the main city in panorama, with the Sagrada Família and the Montjuïc area visible at a distance.

The park supports a wide variety of wildlife, notably several of the non-native species of parrot found in the Barcelona area. Other birds can be seen from the park, with records including Short-toed eagle. The park also supports a population of Hummingbird hawk moths.

January 2014

Gaudí Store

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