Barcelona UNESCO World Heritage sites – 9 masterpieces to marvel. Part 1

Published: 27th July 2008
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In 2005, UNESCO declared Barcelona as having nine sights of "outstanding cultural importance to the common heritage of humankind". These nine sights are something you don't want to miss! Read on to find out more!

When you think of Europe and culture, you think of the major cities such as Paris, Venice, Berlin, London, etc. but it might surprise you to know, that UNESCO recently added more Barcelona sights to its ever-important list - overtaking such cities as Florence and Paris in one fell swoop.

It is no surprise that Barcelona's favourite son, Antoni Gaudi, is behind many of the new and already established sights on the list. The most visited attraction in Barcelona according to visitor statistics (with over 2 million paid visitors a year alone) is the unmistakeable and unfinished cathedral of the Holy Family, or "La Sagrada Familia". The current two facades of the Nativity - which resembles a melted candle - and the more modern Crucifixion façade - which is like a stations of the cross by George Lucas (very storm troopers!) are considered "to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius". Few would beg to differ. Even if you have no interest in architecture, you cannot fail to be impressed by this amazing edifice and holy place. A visit inside is well worth the entrance fee, with mock-ups of what the finished article will look like (if the current architects do not stray too much from Gaudi's original plans) as well as work in progress and Gaudi's own tomb in the crypt of the cathedral.

Another of the heritage sights on the UNESCO list is Park Guell. This was commissioned by Count Guell, a political and religious man who shared many of Gaudi's views on life and wanted to re-create the English gardens he so loved and admired. The park was originally intended to be an exclusive out of town neighbourhood, but the idea never really caught on, and the park was rescued from nature by the Catalan Government much to the joy of everyman in Barcelona. The current park is an un-missable attraction in the Catalan Capital, and boasts great views down to the port on a clear day, as well as the most ornate entrance to a park you will ever see.

Casa Mila on Paseo de Gracia was nicknamed "The Stone Quarry" by locals and indeed has been known by this name ever since. "La Pedrera" is an outstanding building located on Paseo de Gracia and outstanding not only from its appearance, but also that it is a building with no straight lines at all. An architectural first, one might say - or at least at the time. Entrance fee again is well worth the price and includes a tour of a period-style apartment, the attic with many original blueprints of Gaudi's other works and the amazing rooftop - always striving to be different, Gaudi designed the most peculiar chimney tops you will fine blazoned across postcards all along las ramblas. One of Catalonia's main banks "Caixa Catalunya" has an office on the ground floor, and the first floor is always used as an exhibition space, and is generally included in the entrance fee of the ticket.

David writes about Barcelona apartments for groups and Cheap barcelona apartments.

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