Barcelona is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and today is becoming a leading city on veganism and animal rights. Barcelona also has a cultural heritage that makes this city really unique.

Rich and diverse, Barcelona is the home of most of Antoni Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces. Gaudí is one of the best and more enigmatic architects of modern history. He is the frontman of Catalan Modernism, inspired by Neo-Gothic, European Art Nouveau and Naturalism. La Sagrada Familia is the perfect example of Gaudí’s style, clearly inspired by nature and a place to discover his genius. For those who are traveling, there is a good range of Sagrada Familia apartments nearby. This church is a place to visit more than once, and there are vegan and vegetarian restaurants nearby. So, stay around.

Gaudí was born in 1852 and was the son of the industrial boilermaker Francesc Gaudí i Serra (1813-1906) and Antònia Cornet i Bertran (1819-1876). Along with his father, he was a nature and animal lover. He also had to endure physical weakness in his whole life due to his rheumatism. Gaudí followed a vegetarian diet, had a profound interest in religion and his lifestyle was austere. Sources mention that he was under the guidance of Doctor Kneipp, a German priest expert in natural medicine and hydrotherapy. For lunch, he had lettuce leaves sprinkled with olive oil and some nuts. Gaudi has also had a deep connection to the lower classes. His first large project was workers’ housing in a factory, the Cooperativa Mataronense (“Mataró Cooperative”), intended to improve the workers’ quality of life, but only one section of the factory and a kiosk were built due to Gaudi’s “extravagant” design. Despite his disappointment, Gaudí presented the project at the Paris World Fair in 1878 and that was where his fame began to rise.

Casa Milá

What we see in Gaudí’s work is extraordinary. In La Sagrada Familia, we find the expression of a profound religiosity merging with the aliveness of Nature.  Seven of his projects have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites: La Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, Casa Batllo, Church of Colonia Güell, Güell Palace, Casa Vicens and Casa Mila.

Nothing is invented, for it’s written in nature first.

Antoni Gaudí

Gaudí’s style is nature-based forms to create flowing, original structures. His projects are full of curving organic forms, colorful and exuberant. Starting with nature he moved towards the fantastic. Using a technique called trencadis, he recycled broken ceramic tiles from the factory Pujol i Bausis, as well as pieces of white ceramic from broken cups and plates discarded by other Spanish manufacturers. In a sense, Gaudí loved recycling.

Trencadis. Parc Güell.

Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the creator.

– Antoni Gaudi

Gaudí did not finish La Sagrada Familia, his most iconic work. He died at 73 years old struck by a tram on his way from the construction site to confession at a nearby church. But he has left an array of masterpieces all over the city and beyond. More than 150 years later, his work is still a masterpiece of expressionist naturalism.

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