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Barcelona - Spain

Casa Batllo, Barcelona Casa Mila, BarcelonaCasa Mila, BarcelonaSagrada Familia, BarcelonaPark Guell, BarcelonaPark Guell, BarcelonaPark Guell, Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia has become a world class destination in recent years.  The old quarter, the vibrant Ramblas and plenty of museums and entertainment venues draw many visitors, but it is the moderist architectural of Antoni Gaudi that sets the city apart.

From the harbour to the main square (Placa de Catalunya) runs La Rambla, a wide boulevard running the route of the old city walls.  Here, street entertainers and musicians entertain the crowds day and night.  Nearby is the Gothic quarter, with it's cathedral and tiny squares.

North of Placa de Catalunya the city opens out into wide modern boulevards, lined with apartment blocks.  Some of Gaudi's best work can be seen here – Casa Batllo has scales like a dragon, while the chimneys on the rooftop of Casa Mila look like they have grown there.

In a square in the middle of this district stands the only cathedral in the world still under construction - the Sagrada Familia.  Work started on Gaudi's masterpiece in 1882 and looks like continuing for a long time yet.  The towers are a distinctive landmark, while the two completed facias are simply remarkable.  The Nativity Facade is the oldest and looks like the entire cathedral is melting into the ground, while the Passion Facade is much more stark with straight lines that break the flow of the towers.  Inside is remarkable too – the roof is held up by pillars branching like trees, showing off Gaudi's natural influences.

North again lies Park Guell, another of Gaudi's masterpieces.  The buildings near the entrance look like gingerbread houses taken straight out of some fairytale, while the mosaiced pillars and stairs make this one of the Barcelona's highlights.

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