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.
Casa Batllo is one of Barcelona’s biggest landmarks. If buildings could be celebrities, there would be a perpetual red carpet in front of it. The remarkable facade it’s the most prominent feature and it has been subject to many interpretations.
Originally, Gaudí didn’t build Casa Batlló. He was hired to redesign the late 1800’s building in 1904, and the result was one of his most emblematic works in Barcelona along the Sagrada Familia. The building was transformed into one that hardly resembles the original. Animal and nature forms inspired the facade of Casa Batlló. For example, the skull shape of the balconies.
As beautiful as is the outside, you must schedule a visit to the interior to witness the most original and jaw-dropping architecture.
To begin with, a good part of the outside is covered with bits and pieces of broken and multicolored ceramic tiles, a technique called Trencadís, which was used massively by Gaudi in most of his works, visible for example in the Park Güell benches. An interesting effect is created when direct sunlight hits the building, as the tiles shift through different shades of colors along with the stained glass windows.
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.
This Baroque bell tower has an eight-sided floor plan and consists of four different sections, the first three made of stone and the upper one made of fired brick. There are three bells, two of which are liturgical and the third one tells the time; the decoration, executed by the artist, Joan Vila Cinca is particularly beautiful. At the very top of the bell tower, there is an angel that acts as a weathercock and two-time bells.
Inside, you can visit a small exhibition featuring the building, the bells, and the last clock that made them work, built in 1903. And from the top of the bell tower, visitors can have a splendid view of the city and its surroundings.
The new home of the Lleida Diocesan and District Museum opened its doors to the public in November 2007, becoming the city's flagship museum. Visitors to its more than 7000 square metres of exhibition space are plunged into the history of Lleida. A story which begins with prehistory and continues up to the modern era.
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.
Walking on the moon, stepping aboard the Mir Space Station, gazing at the Ariane 5 rocket, dreaming with your head in the stars… You can do all of this at the Cité de l’Espace, a short hop from the centre of Toulouse.
The Cité offers 2,500m² of interactive exhibitions to help you become an expert on the Earth and the Universe as you learn everything about space flight and even find out how to predict the weather.
You can train like a genuine astronaut thanks to the moonwalk simulator and explore the life of astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Try on a space suit, jump into a lunar rover…
Its 5 hectares of gardens, which are home to life-sized replicas of spacecraft and a giant telescope, its IMAX® cinema with giant screen, its interactive planetarium and countless activities for young and old alike make this journey into outer space even more fun.
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 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.
Restored in the 19th century and classified National Museum, it presents 1000 years of history and offers visitors a rich decorative ensemble, as well as an impressive collection of Gobelins tapestries from the 16th to the 19th century.
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 architects Elisabeth and Christian de Porzamparc won the 2012 international competition for the design of a building worthy of its exceptional position. Facing the Roman amphitheatre, the Museum of Romanity will set up a perfect dialogue with the Roman town.
Avignon has a magnficent urban landscape. The Rocher des Doms overlooks the city and the Rhône. Here there is an exceptional architectural group which includes the Pont d'Avignon (also known as Pont Saint Bénezet, the Ramparts, the Petit Palais, the Doms Cathedral and the massive walls of the Palace of the Popes, with four impressive towers in each corner. This unique architectural ensemble has been ranked as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The biggest Gothic palace in the world: tour 24 rooms! Museum space, priceless frescoes. Audioguide in 11 languages
Built in around 1720, Château d'Alphéran was for many years the country home of the Alphéran de Bussan family.
It stands in grounds of 30 hectares with a swimming pool, and a cedar 300 years old in the centre. This 18th-century chateau, 10 minutes from Aix-en-Provence, has been restored in traditional style.
The estate also enjoys a commanding view of Sainte Victoire mountain.
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.
Standing in the Cristina Enea Park, the building is presently occupied by the Fundación Cristina Enea, created to raise awareness on environmental issues and sustainability.
The present distribution of the mansion, which dates from 1890, is the work of Jose de Osinalde. Today is ground floor is occupied by the Fundacion Cristina Enea. Entering through the front door, you will come to the reception and the large wooden stairway. The second floor houses the office ones used by the Duke of Mandas and two exhibition spaces. Lastly, the building has a gallery for traveling exhibitions that connect the main building to an educational room in the former chapel. There is also a rest area for visitors.
The Annonciade Museum recalls that the village of Saint-Tropez was one of the most active homes of the pictorial avant-garde in the early twentieth century, thanks to Paul Signac who discovered in 1892, the small port of fishermen aboard his yacht the Olympia.
Imbued with a long history, the Porte Cailhau offers a magnificent view of Bordeaux. Despite its age (just imagine – it dates from 1494!) this large, beautiful monument remains practically unchanged. It was built to commemorate Charles VIII's victory at Fornovo (Italy). This French king has left his mark on the tower since his likeness decorates a niche on the river side and a notice ask visitors to pay attention to the lintel and reminds them that Charles VIII died from walking quickly into just such a lintel...
The Port Cailhau, thirty-five metres tall, was integrated into the city walls. In 1864, it was rented by a public letter writer and a person whose job was to weigh salt. They were both evicted in order to renovate the monument. There is a magnificent view of the oldest bridge in Bordeaux, the Pont de Pierre, from here.
An exhibition displays the tools and materials used for construction purposes at the time the Porte Cailhau was built and an audio-visual presentation pieced together from old films immerses us in the world of stone masonry.
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.
Situated on La Croisette, La Malmaison now hosts three major exhibitions annually. It regularly pays tribute to renowned painters such as Matisse, Ozenfant and Picasso, for whom the French Riviera was an infinite source of inspiration, in addition to internationally renowned 20th- and 21st-century artists such as Miró and César.
Book a tasting and discover the incredible diversity of wines produced at Chateau Prieuré Lichine
Although Benedictine monks were the first to cultivate vines here, the chateau is named after an indefatigable traveller, Alexis Lichine, became owner in 1951.
Since 1999, the chateau has been under the ownership of the Balande family, who have taken steps to modernise this historically unconventional estate.
After learning about the extraordinary history of this Fourth Growth chateau, visitors are invited to discover the art of producing fine wine. In the heart of a unique, fascinating terroir, contemporary winegrowing techniques (including a resolutely modern cellar building) are at the forefront of production at Chateau Prieuré Lichine...
Designed by Canadian American architect Frank Gehry, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao building represents a magnificent example of the most groundbreaking 20th-century architecture. With 24,000 m2, of which 9.000 are dedicated to exhibition space, the Museum represents an architectural landmark of audacious configuration and innovating design, providing a seductive backdrop for the art exhibited in it.
Altogether, Gehry’s design creates a spectacular sculpture-like structure, perfectly integrated within Bilbao’s urban pattern and its surrounding area.
The origin of the current museum is in the first Fine Arts Museum, founded in 1908 and opened in 1914 and the Modern Art Museum opened in 1924. Both institutions and their collections were united in 1945, the year that the old building was constructed.
The collection of the Fine Arts Museum, which opened in 1914, brings together over seven thousand works of art, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and applied arts, with an outstanding heritage spanning from the twelfth century to the present. It contains important examples of ancient, modern and contemporary painting and has a special interest in the Spanish school of art and in Basque artists, by whom it has a large collection of works.
The Ría de Bilbao Maritime Museum was opened in 2003. Designed by the architect Juan Francisco Paz, the museum is located under the Euskalduna Bridge. The building, with a surface area of 7,000 square metres, is built using stone, steel and wood, materials that recall the ones used in shipbuilding.
The lobby is the pivotal point of the whole inner space, as it provides access to the exhibition area, the store, coffee shop, workshops and media library. The outside area of the museum is the old dry docks of the former Astilleros Euskalduna shipbuilders and has a surface area of 20,000 square metres.
On the Islamic-Mudejar palace of the Emir of Murcia, Ibn Hud, the monastery of Santa Clara was founded, which since 1365 houses the Clarisas nuns. In this building come several centuries of history and different cultures such as Islamic, Gothic and Baroque. The museum space and the nuns coexist in total harmony.
It conserves one of the oldest Arabic pools in Spain.