Monday, July 21, 2008

Photo of the Week--7/14/08

Ah, Barcelona! A beautiful city that has it all: lovely beaches, great food, friendly people, historic sites (including Roman ruins!), family activities (a great aquarium), and some of the most interesting architecture you'll ever see, courtesy of the Catalan master Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926). He's best known for his still-unfinished cathedral, the Sagrada Familia, but evidence of his genius is all over the city. The Parc Güell has intriguing combinations of natural forms and mosaics combined with the usual features of public parks, and the Casa Batlló, an apartment building, has balconies that look like carnival masks (or skulls) accenting its tiled walls. My favorite photo comes from atop Gaudí's Casa Milà, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The style wasn't too popular when the building was completed c. 1910—the locals called it "La Pedrera," or "the pile of rocks"—but I loved wandering about the roof, feeling like I was Alice moving along a larger-than-life-sized chess board.