. The tour begins with a visit to the Sagrada Família [Holy Family], enclaved in the streets of Provença, Sardenya, Mallorca and Marina. Work commenced in 1882 and is as yet unfinished. This visit is followed by the Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, both in Passeig de Gràcia. The Güell park, Gaudí biggest work in terms of size, is another must, together with the Güell palace, at the end of Les Rambles.
Other works by the architect are the Teresianas School, Casa Calvet, the Bellesguard tower and Casa Vicens.
Walking up Passeig de Gràcia (the main street walking right out of the hotel) we encounter this marvellous building, its real name being Casa Milà.
It is known as La Pedrera, which means quarry in Catalan. The building was constructed between 1905 and 1907. It is located in Passeig de Gràcia and has not one straight line. Particularly outstanding are its marvellous natural elements and the wrought iron balconies, as well as the roof, with its original chimney.
Passeig de Gràcia
The famous Passeig de Gràcia is just 1 minute's walk from the Olivia Plaza Hotel.
It is one of the city's main streets, concentrating the premier fashion firms, jewellers, as well as characteristic buildings such as Casa Batlló or La Pedrera, the work of the famous Catalan architect Gaudí.
It connects Avinguda Diagonal to Plaça Catalunya, offering a lovely view of the city, right from the heart of the city.
Like all the great geniuses, Gaudí received commissions from important patrons, including Mr. Eusebi Güell, a rich Catalan industrialist from an influential bourgeois family in the city. A highly versatile and erudite man, he was a writer, painter, linguist, chemist and biologist. He was also a staunch defender of all things Catalan and was a Member of the Spanish Parliament (1878). His commission was the building of a residential estate with all the modern features of the time. Located in the neighbourhood of Gràcia, it was never completed due to the financial slump in Barcelona.
Gaudí was determined to achieve a perfect integration of his work with nature. This intent is endorsed by the columns built of stones of very variable sizes and shapes, suggesting tree trunks, stalactites and natural caves. There are no right angles whatsoever: the columns are tilted like palm trees. Undulating forms abound, as do those decorated with the "trencadís" (mosaic) technique. The most symbolic part of the park is the terrace with its large mosaic benches and the characteristic sea snake, adorned in bright colours and with small fragments of tiles. Gaudí's house, which can be visited in the park, exhibits some furniture designed by the architect.