After meeting your professionally trained guide, you will set off to one of Barcelona's most famous avenues. The Passeig de Gracia is home to two of Gaudi's most famous facades. The Casa Batllo was built in 1877 and restored by Gaudi in 1906 for the Batllo family. The goal seems to have been to build something without any straight lines. Theories on the architecture conjecture that it represents a dragon, bones, and/or the sword of St. George. Further along the avenue is La Pedrera, or the Casa Mila. Impressed with the design of the Casa Batllo, Gaudi was commissioned to design this apartment building. The building does not use load-bearing walls, but rests on pillars and arches. This allowed the architect to create completely irregular floor plans, where even the height of the pillars and ceilings differ from one to another. Due to its rock like appearance on the outside, locals took to calling it a quarry, "Pedrera" and the name has remained. This would be the last building he designed before turning his attention to his best-known work. After viewing the facades of these two buildings you will continue on.
Park Guell was commissioned by Eusebi Guell, who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. The park contains amazing stone structures, intricate mosaics and fascinating buildings that reflect Gaudi's love of natural shapes.
Your last stop will be at the Sagrada Familia, or the Temple of the Holy Family. Your tour includes skip-the-line access to this massive, privately-funded Catholic church that has been under construction since 1882, and is not expected to be complete until at least 2026. Every part of the design is rich with Christian symbolism, as Gaudi saw the church as the last great sanctuary of Christendom. The 18 towers represent (in ascending order of height) Jesus Christ (the highest and topped with a cross), the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists, and the Virgin Mary. The tallest point, at a height of 570 feet, will be just lower than Montjuic, as Gaudi believed that his work should not surpass that of God. The Church will have three grand facades: the Nativity facade to the East, the Glory facade to the South, and the Passion facade to the West. After your visit, you will return to the pier.
Please Note: Tickets to enter la Sagrada Familia and Park Guell must be pre-purchased by the guide at the time the tour is booked and are non-refundable if tour is cancelled.
Had an absolutely fantastic tour guide, Arantxa. She was very knowledgeable, pleasant, and fun to have as a guide. Highlight was the Sagrada Familia, but it was all wonderful. Arantxa also gave us good recommendation for local tapas restaurant. Would highly recommend!