The Sagrada Familia is definitely the most famous building in Barcelona. Considered one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, it’s a key attraction in Barcelona and one of the most striking monuments ever built in the world.
In fact, there is absolutely no other building in the world featuring such a genius mixture between Gothic and Art Nouveau styles. Antoni Gaudí took over the project in 1883, a year after construction had begun, and completely reshaped the project to fit his unique style.
Unfortunately, Gaudí died in 1926 when only a quarter of the project had been constructed. Sadly, most of the blueprints left were burned in a fire, therefore, all that’s been built ever since has been a wide interpretation of Gaudi’s architecture.
Stopping over the Sagrada Familia should be top priority if you’re in Barcelona for the first time.
Visiting the basilica it’s an enjoyable experience and a great way to be introduced into Gaudí’s architecture. Besides, it offers the best possible views of the surrounding Eixample District, Barcelona’s own Big Apple.
Park Guell is one of the most fantastic designs ever built by Gaudi. A landmark on its own, it features amazing views of Barcelona and plenty of modernist works. Needless to say, as soon you pass the entrance, you’ll notice right away that this isn’t an ordinary park.
Curiously, Park Güell wasn’t originally intended to be a park, but rather a project for luxurious homes. In 1900, the site was just a rocky hill with nothing but vegetation around, in the vicinity of some isolated upper class country houses. The result was one of the most fascinating works by Gaudí.
The intention of the project was to take advantage of the breathtaking views of Barcelona and the clean fresh air, away from the factories, in order to build a top of the line housing complex.
In Park Guell, there are plenty of paths and vegetation to enjoy, but the architectural structures are the glue that holds the whole place together.
El Palau de la Musica Catalana is the most famous concert halls in Barcelona. Squeezed between the narrow streets of La Ribera neighborhood, is one of the most fantastic buildings of the Modernista movement.
La Llotja is a monolithic construction, subdivided into three functional levels allowing it to serve different purposes.
The central level is the interconnecting core, linking up the various programmes by means of the central stairway/ramp, which also provides illumination.
This is an old Gothic building which dates back to the 13th and 14th century. Its altarpiece is a superb example of Spanish Renaissance sculpture carved in alabaster by Damián Forment between 1520 and 1533, representing the Passion of Christ.
A museum rich in sculptures, the Musée des Augustins has a unique collection of Roman sculptures and also masterpieces from the area’s Gothic era as well as numerous 19th Century sculptures representing the vitality of Toulouse’s artistic creation.
This museum that brings together works from the Renaissance and Impressionist masterpieces can be found in the most beautiful mansion house of the city: a feast for the eyes.
This foundation housed in the Hôtel d’Assézat and created by Argentinian collector Georges Bemberg brings together numerous works of western art from the Renaissance to the early XX Century.
In the Renaissance-style salons, the first floor brings back to life the interiors of different eras by combining period furniture, tableaux and objet d’art. The 2nd floor is given over to modern paintings and it is important not to miss the 35 tableaux by post-impressionist Bonnard.
Among the artists on display we find Guardi, Cranach the Elder, Veronese, Titian, Fantin-Latour…
In order to fully appreciate this visit, lift your gaze and admire the well-preserved XVI Century ceiling on the 1st floor.
In Toulouse there is no Mairie, but rather a majestic Capitole! An emblematic building, it is home to the town hall, a theatre and rooms of state where you can bump into celebrities from the city.
The seat of municipal power since its construction, commissioned by the Capitouls in the XII Century, transformed and embellished in every era, La Capitole shows its majestic Neo-Classical façade to the unmistakable square that shares its name.
Its walls could tell of the great moments in the history of Toulouse: from the Cathar episode to the creation of the Floral Games, from the Counts of Toulouse to the siege of the city.
On the first floor, you cross magnificent reception rooms that are decorated with the Allegories of Love by Paul Gervais, 10 giant canvases by Henri Martin and, notably, the Salle des Illustres whose paintings retrace the history of Toulouse and whose busts bring back to life the personalities that have defined the city.
A short hop from the Pont Neuf, a monumental stone doorway hides a masterpiece of the Classical Renaissance. You can even take tea here in the summer, if you are brave enough to face the lions and warriors…
The sumptuous courtyard of honour is the backdrop for two façades punctuated by antique columns and linked by a stairway tower. Everything matches the level of ambition of the man that commissioned it, Pierre d’Assézat, merchant and Capitoul of Toulouse, who made his fortune from pastel in the XVI Century. Bequeathed to the city in 1895, it was then home to the academies and learned societies where the Floral Games were created in 1323.
It was this exceptional venue that was selected by the Argentine Georges Bemberg in which to display his collection of art, which you can explore at the foundation that shares his name.
Beneath the loggia, you can quench your thirst as you contemplate the courtyard and façades of the most beautiful Renaissance mansion house of Toulouse.
The largest church (115 metres in length), a jewel of Roman art begun in 1075 and consecrated in 1096. Pilgrimage church, designed to receive the crowds of pilgrims walking towards Compostela, and to shelter a religious community.
One of the symbols of Toulouse, this basilica of brick and stone is certainly imposing. Majestic and luminous, it was built between the XI and XIV Centuries in honour of St Saturnin (or Sernin), the first bishop of the city. An important stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, it inspires reverence and its vast proportions are ideal for strolling past the numerous reliquaries.
Have you heard about Ibiza's famous Hippy Market? It's one of the island top attractions and a must-see for every holidaymaker. But that's not the only market you can visit, there are many happening all over the island, so wherever you stay you can enjoy a fabulous shopping experience.
Ibiza has strong artistic roots going back to the early '60s when artisans, painters and designers flocked to the island to experience its unique atmosphere, incredible light and freedom of expression. All this comes through in the markets held on the island where handmade items of clothing, jewellery and artefacts can be bought.
The biggest markets are the Punta Arabí Hippy Market on Wednesday in Es Caná and the Las Dalias Hippy Market on Saturday in San Carlos.n. All this comes through in the markets held on the island where handmade items of clothing, jewellery and artefacts can be bought.
The Fabre museum itself is an astounding work of art, an innovative combination of classic and contemporary architecture. Today, the museum offers over 800 works, 900 engravings and 3,500 drawings in its 9,200 m² exhibit area.
In addition to Degas's masterpiece " The Cotton Office in New Orleans" , the museum presents a very fine collection of paintings from Flemish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French schools from the 15th to the 20th century. It is the second museum of Aquitaine by the richness of its collections.
The work of Valencia’s own Santiago Calatrava, this is an example of architecture at its most futuristic. The colossal structure houses an IMAX cinema (situated in the Hemisfèric), as well as Europe’s largest aquarium – the Oceanogràfic,
In honour of the Valencian ceramics industry, the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics is located in what is considered to be the best example of Baroque architecture in Spain, the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas. The museum houses the largest national collection of ceramics, dating from the 18th century to the contemporary period, and includes pieces by Picasso. A museum in which you can also find merchandise from the Silk Route and discover how they lived in one of the most iconic Valencian noble families of the age.
In the centre of Millau, a town hotel from the 18th century houses the museum: 30 exposition rooms dedicated to palaeontology, prehistory and regional archaeology, as well as traditional activities of leather craft and glove-making.
Palaeontology: diverse fossils including the famous skeleton of an elasmosaur. Pre-history: furniture from the palaeolithic to the monolithic. Archaeology: the most important collection of vases from the Roman Empire with the production of the Graufesenque workshops. Leather and gloves: a DVD film retraces the specific savoir-faire, rich of ancestral traditions and modern techniques enabling skins to be worked on. A recreated workshop shows how gloves were made.
Free for the individuals the first Saturday of the month.
The Roman amphitheatre (or arena) in Nîmes is the best-conserved of the Roman world. It was used for hunting wild animals and for gladiator combats from the end of the first century AD onwards. Many events are held there today.
A fish market opened here in 1909 until 1975 when it was moved to the north of the city to the industrial port of Saumaty. The building’s interior was completely redesigned but its exterior was kept intact. The Théâtre National de Marseille was opened in 1981 by the Mayor of Marseille Gaston Defferre. La Criée was managed by Marcel Maréchal for over a decade and hosts an exciting schedule every season.
Opposite the ferry boat pier lies the Bar de La Marine made famous by Marcel Pagnol. It is the main location in the “Marius, Fanny, César” film trilogy filmed at the Old Port in Marseille in the 30s.
Cave dwelling-like halls, cisterns, underground stairways, olive oil mills, etc, built up and fitted out over the centuries in a big house called the "Palais Saint Firmin".
Listed as a Historic Monument.
The Würth Museum has been designed as a 20th-21st avant-garde international contemporary arts scenario. Here the works belonging to the Würth España collection will be exhibited, as well as those of the Würth Collection from Germany, considered one of the main ones in Europe and collected thanks to the initiative of Professor Dr. h.c. Reinhold Würth since the 1960s.
Belle Epoque in design yet highly modern in spirit. That’s how we could describe the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, a building that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2012. Located in the city centre, in full view of the Kursaal and on the banks of the River Urumea, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre proposes a varied and continually changing programme.
This sandstone building sporting plateresque motifs with Spanish Renaissance forms was created by the architect Francisco de Urcola in 1912. Particularly interesting on the facade are, over the Doric columns, four groups of sculptures representing the opera, tragedy, comedy and drama.
For decades the Victoria Eugenia Theatre has been the principal hub of the International Film Festival; since its renovation in 2007, the building now offers new cutting edge spaces and audiovisual technologies.
What is today San Sebastián's City Hall was home to the city’s Gran Casino from the time it was opened on 1st July 1897 until it was closed in 1924 with the prohibition of gambling. Its roulette tables and Dance Hall, currently the Plenary Hall, provided entertainment for politicians, writers and artists in the Belle Epoque period.
Dating from the 17th century, bought by the municipality in 1993, this listed monument is one of the most visited historical and cultural sites in the Var.
This monument is composed of a hexagonal dungeon, an entrance with adjoining curtain and bastions.
The Bobbin Lace Education Centre was set up in 1974. Its two main missions are to pass on the tradition and practice of bobbin lace-making and to preserve the lace heritage.
The earliest records of lace-making in Velay date from the 16th century. The art briefly declined in the 17th century, after the Toulouse Parliament prohibited it. The Jesuit Jean-François Régis helped to revive lace-making and today is the patron saint of lacemakers.
Over time, the Centre has acquired an international reputation. Its correspondence courses are followed all over the world, making it a reference in the field.
A themed exhibition is organised in the exhibition rooms each year.
The Puy-en-Velay Cathedral, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, ranks as the 2nd favorite monument of the French in the show presented on France 2 by Stéphane Bern in 2015.
After a first church built in the fifth century, the cathedral was built on Mount Anis. In the twelfth century, the influx of pilgrims led to sit four spans above a vaulted porch, to compensate for the slope of Mount Anis. The entrance was made by a staircase which opened in the middle of the central nave.
In the nineteenth century, the building was considerably transformed, but the six cupolas and beautiful painted decorations were preserved. From 1994 to 1999, an overall restoration allowed the restoration of the central staircase closed in the eighteenth century, the repair of interior facing and the winding of the organ with its double-sided buffet of the seventeenth century.
A new altar was placed at the crossing of the transept, while the altar of the "pilgrims", against the wall, carries the "Black Virgin" who replaced the primitive statue, burned to the Revolution.
North of the town of Le Puy-en-Velay, Aiguilhe is famous for its rock (a dormant volcanic pipe) with an astonishing and magnificent chapel dedicated to St Michael built in the 10th century.
This is one of the most important pre-Romanesque and Romanesque monuments in Auvergne.
Prosper Mérimée included the building in the first list of Historic Monuments drawn up in 1840. More recently, it came fourth in the list of French people’s favourite monuments in 2014.
Godescalc, the Bishop of Puy, and Truannus, the dean of the chapter of Puy Cathedral, commissioned work on a chapel devoted to St Michael in 961. Godescalc was also the first French pilgrim to follow the Way of St James in about 950, inaugurating the "Via Podiensis" trail to Santiago de Compostela.
The original oratory in this imposing structure was limited to today’s choir area. It was enveloped in a larger monument in the 12th century, built to follow the outlines of the rock’s summit. The extended chapel was built without foundations, and contains a nave, an ambulatory and a tribune, along with a remarkable polychrome and trefoil-shaped facade.
Of all the public buildings in Bordeaux, the Grand-Théâtre is unquestionably the most well-known and appreciated. It stands on the site of a former temple (Les Piliers de Tutelle) that was once in the middle of a Gallo-Roman forum.
The Grand Théâtre's construction was made necessary by the destruction of a performance hall in 1755. The latter was located in the outbuildings of the former town hall, near the Grosse Cloche.
Architect François Lhote, assisted by Soufflot, initially proposed a project that was not accepted by the city aldermen. Eventually, Marshal de Richelieu, governor of the province of Guyenne, imposed the Parisian architect Victor Louis (1731-1800). In order to pay for the construction, the land located on the southern glacis of the Château Trompette was sold.
It took more than five years to build the Grand Théâtre and, after many vicissitudes, it was inaugurated in 1780 with a performance of Athalie, a play by Jean Racine.
The rectangular-shaped structure opens up onto Place de la Comédie to the west with a peristyle featuring 12 Corinthian columns supporting an entablature and a balustrade decorated with 12 statues (the nine muses and three goddesses). At the beginning, this peristyle was on the same level as Place de la Comédie. However, in the mid-19th century, it was decided to lower the level to make it easier for horse-drawn carriages to cross.
The Grand Théâtre was nevertheless innovative, and Victor Louis imagined a clever oblique arrangement of stones maintained by a metal tie beam at the angles of the peristyle in order to support them. This ingenious combination became known as "Victor Louis's nail".
Since June 1, 2016, Bordeaux has a contemporary monument, which illustrates the city's dedication to the fruit of the vine: La Cité du Vin.The purpose of this museum is to create a space where sensory experiences are centered wholly around wine. This site is fully dedicated to this "nectar," as a living piece of French history and culture
The Castre Museum is located on the Suquet hill, dominating the city of Cannes. From the top of the medieval tower the views across the bay and the Lerins islands are fantastic and not to be missed!
Inside the castle and the nearby chapel is a brilliant collection of paintings, art and archaeological artefacts. The Castre Museum is home to a wide collection of antiquities, particularly from the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
The 11th-century Saint Anne Chapel houses a remarkable collection of musical instruments from Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. A few rooms dedicated to 19th-century Provencal paintings of Riviera landscapes open out onto the courtyard and a square tower displaying spectacular views.
It is surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean garden with pine trees.