In visiting, Barcelona we are all very familiar with the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. When coming to Barcelona we all make sure we go and visit, Sagrada Familia and Casa Batilo. However, there is another hidden and undiscovered gem which I encourage anyone to explore, Torre Bellesguard. It is my first time visiting, Torre Bellesguard, also known as Casa Figueres. Casa Figueres is a modernist manor house designed by Antoni Gaudí, which was constructed between 1900 and 1909.
“Bellesguard” Means Beautiful Views
In the Catalan language “Bellesguard” means “beautiful views” or “good viewing point”. I can see why Gaudi, chose to take on this project because of the views alone. The views of the city of Barcelona are stunning and captivating.
Bellesguard is located at the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district of Barcelona in Catalonia. The Torre Bellesguard is currently owned by the Guilera family, who still live in a part of the house. The images below are views from the rooftop.
Torre Bellesguard Casa Figueres is a semi-modernist, semi-Gothic castle. From the distance, it boasts a profound character. Once again Gaudi created his own version of modern architecture. I love that the building is not perfectly straight and this is what Gaudi thrived on. He was inspired by nature itself, hence straight lines to the naked eye just never made sense to him. Torre Bellesguard Casa Figueres boasts a different side of Gaudi’s style. What’s amazing here, throughout the tour, is that one can sense Gaudi’s spiritual connection to the building. He made sure his spiritual messages, were incorporated throughout the building. There are amazing and inspiring mosaic designs that capture one’s attention. The latter is explained in more detail during your tour.
We had a private tour which was a fabulous start. The entire place displays this sweet and inspiring aura that makes you hungry for more. The building is a pure genius place. Walking through it gives an urge to be inspired and excited. I could not help but get caught in this spiritual world that felt like a spiritual connection from Gaudi himself.
Understanding that Gaudi was a pioneer of new things during his reign, is an important aspect of understanding his work. In entering the building, I knew I was in for a real treat. The staircases got narrower and narrower as I climbed to the upper floors. The staircases became silhouetted and leaned which I felt I moulded with it. It felt like I was part of the building the longer I explored.
In a group tour, only 15 people can visit the interior of the house, including the patios and the attic at any one time. All tours are always accompanied by a guide, which makes for a more exciting experience. So booking in advance is a must to avoid disappointment.
An Unfinished Masterpiece
In 1909, and due to a lack of funds, Gaudi stopped building and Bellesguard was stopped in its tracks. The building was left bare. The vast emptiness of space in its purest form presents an aura of being full of memories and it is at its best raw form of Gaudi. Gaudi’s architectural design shines throughout this building and it is at its best. There is a theatrical feel around the building. For anyone who can perform opera and storytelling and emotional singing, this building is the perfect place to be. Gaudi’s work thrives on spiritual storytelling and as such this is what completes the very purpose of the venue. Many debates have been created in this very room whether Gaudi should have come back to complete the work or that it should stay in its raw state. Personally, I prefer the actual raw form as it tells a story of how the building was created; but also one gets a feel of what it must have been like for Gaudi to have completed every part of the building without the finishing touches added to it.
There is evidence that due to the warm and extreme lighting and the acoustics in this section (see below), many opera and performing sophisticated concerts were held here. The acoustic within this building is open and can be heard from a far distance. The locals prefer a tranquil way of life that, unfortunately, meant the music and concerts had to go. So when you’re in this section, sing a tune to get a feel of what it must have been to have been part of a live and sophisticated audience in order to understand what I mean.
Stunning views can be seen from the rooftop. There is a message at the rooftop of Bellesguard which you can find when you visit yourself. Exploring this magnificent building is the best way to find out what the message is. The images below provide a sneak preview of what you could find when you visit.
Getting to Bellesguard is easy. There are local taxis which can take you there. The travel distance from La Rambla to Bellesguard is a mere 25-minute journey with plenty of must-see views on the way. The beauty of hiring a taxi is another way of exploring Barcelona.
Another thing to remember is that once you have finished your tour of Bellesguard, make sure you walk through the city to explore the numerous and stunning historical views the city has to offer. The latter includes pre and post 1st and 2nd world wars history, as well as the medieval era.
Food and drink are also a big part of the Spanish and Barcelona culture. Food associates socialising, entertainment and unity here. There are plenty of places to grab a cava, cervesa (beer) and other snacks that are known as part of Spanish food and drink. Paella is a must-try too, my favourite is seafood and chorizo; however, the options are endless.
To Gaudi fans, this is the place to be. Take advantage of the entire experience. Explore this over 1000-year-old building in its best form. Find out for yourself what story Gaudi wants to tell us even in this day and age where connecting to the building is not only a brick and mortar but something with a deeper and spiritual connection. Where art is a past, present and a future way of connecting to our spiritual being and not its mere walking through life in a rush.
Book in advance to experience the entire journey and take advantage of the VIP, as well as the group tour to discover the hidden gem of Gaudi’s work.
Barcelona Premium – Inspiring Luxury Travel
The visit to Torre Bellesguard was part of a review of Barcelona Premium. Barcelona Premium is a tailor-made luxury experience adapted to your tastes, needs and desires. For more info: www.barcelonapremium.com