The industrial era of the mid-nineteenth century created a boom in everything that was built by man. Cities began to grow as a result of the need of those who lived on the outskirts, since industrialization was eliminating the possibility of subsistence for many rural sectors. The industrial sector increased. Commerce, domestic service, bureaucracy, mass production system and the administrative sector were booming. The Industrial era changed society completely.

At the end of the 19th century, the expansion of engineering, cities and the bourgeoisie, gave rise to a new movement that had nature and Creation as a muse: modernism. Modernism was the natural consequence of industrial development. It was born mainly in the sectors linked to art and thought (writers, poets, painters, architects, philosophers).

Barcelona is one of the cities that has the most beautiful works of this era. If you are around, you can take a Modernism Tour where you will be able to appreciate them. The demolition of the medieval walls that surrounded Barcelona created the need for urbanization of the city, just at a time when the rise of modernism was taking hold. What was initially planned as the creation of a housing space for different social classes, the appearance of the railroad caused the new area to be divided into two, separating the bourgeoisie, who gathered in the new Eixample district. Shops, offices, company headquarters, cinemas, theaters, etc., especially in the most central area (between Llúria and Balmes) and around the Paseo de Gràcia, the old road that linked the city walls with the municipality of Gràcia.


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The bourgeoisie began to build their homes inspired by the new modernist style. The Paseo de Gracia, where the largest number of modernist-style buildings are concentrated, is where you can find spaces such as the Manzana de la Discordia, formed by the Casa Batlló de Gaudí, the Casa Amatller de Puig i Cadafalch and the Casa Lleó Morera de Domènech i Montaner, all architects who were inspired by nature and the organic to build. Another surprising fact about this district is its carefully drawn-up plans of the roads and avenues. It consists of a regular grid, that was conceived in terms of social equality, favouring mobility and transportation that facilitated communication. That’s why its avenues are wide. The vast number of trees in this region, despite the big traffic from the pedestrians, is also an effort to bring nature into the city.

One of the works that had to do with social development was the Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau, in which Domènech i Montaner designed a main building and numerous pavilions, in an environment where they benefited from sunlight and fresh air.

One of the most captivating works of this era is La Sagrada Familia, by Antoni Gaudi. Construction for this architectural masterpiece began in 1882, and continues to this day. Gaudi knew the project would not be completed in his lifetime but had no concerns since according to him his “client (God) is not in a hurry.” Builders of the Sagrada Familia are immortalized one of the Sagrada Familia’s many facades; their faces are sculpted in there.

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