Barcelona - martin bennie

Barcelona offers many of the charms of other European cities, including a cathedral, Baroque palaces, and a smattering of modern successes. Uniquely, though, Barcelona displays the work of imaginative architects working from 1885 through around 1910. This was the Catalonian response to the Art Nouveau movement and the best-known architect is Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926). In one day you can see most of the important Gaudi buildings. Start at the Sagrada Familia, the church that Gaudi started in 1883 and that still isn't done. In the summer, get there at 9:00 am sharp to avoid long lines. If you are stuck on the line at the ticket booth, be wary of women trying to pin flowers on your clothing. Once inside, you have the opportunity to take an elevator or walk to the top of one of the towers on the east side of the church. If you have any fear of heights or are claustrophobic, skip this part of the tour. The towers are very narrow, the stairs within the towers are only wide enough for one person, and the bridges between the towers are narrow and packed with people.