Modernism In CataloniaWith the industrialization of Catalonia in the 19th century, Barcelona was quick to assess its urban needs. City walls were torn down and the city itself widened, resulting in an urban landscape still in evidence today. By means of exhibits and direct communication with Europe, the most recent artistic tendencies were applied. Around 1900 three great Catalan creators, Gaudi, Domenech, and Puig, expanded "modernism" far beyond a mere import of an artistic style or translation of an artistic term. Their style extended to other city centers of Catalonia.

Arrival in Barcelona and overnight

Our point of entry to Barcelona is the vast historical district. We will see one of the most beautiful examples of the Catalan Gothic style with the imposing Santa Maria del Mar church. From there we will head towards the Gothic quarter where we will see the Cathedral, the Palau de la Generalitat, the Town Hall, the small streets that lead to the Plaza Real. La Rambla, an area joining the statue of Columbus with the Plaza Catalunya, passing through the Boqueria Market. Afterwards we will head to the portside area, the Barceloneta, and the Olympic Village. Our ascent towards Montjuich will provide beautiful views of the city and sea. Next to the old castle, we will find the rest of the Olympic facilities. A panoramic view wraps up this portion of our visit as we now turn towards the Eixample, the mid 19th century extension of Barcelona, its structure quite exemplary for its time. Overnight in Barcelona Possibility of organizing a tapas-lunch in Barcelona

We will approach Catalan Modernism through what is considered its birthplace, the location of the 1888 Universal Expo in Barcelona. There we will see the Castle of the Three Dragons, the cafeteria-restaurant built by the first Catalan modernist Domenech i Montaner. Passing through the Triumphal Arch, which presided over the entrance to the Expo, we will arrive at the Palace of Catalan Music, a supreme example of Catalan Modernism. Another commissioned work, more practical but no less artistic, is the building of the Santa Creu y Sant Pau Hospital located on the outskirts of the Eixample district. From here we will stroll down a large diagonal avenue that traverses four blocks of the Ensanche district. The Avenida Diagonal will take us to the great Modernist artist Antonio Gaudi's masterful, albeit unfinished work, the Sagrada Familia. Overnight in Barcelona

Today we will concentrate on the most famous son of Figueres, the great, controversial surrealist painter Salvador Dali. The Theater-Museum was created and designed by the artist to accommodate a large part of his works, and to serve as his burial site. A stroll through the small city will take us to some of Figuere's modernist works such as the Casa Cusi y Salleras or the former slaughterhouse which today serves as a cultural center. Possibility of organizing lunch in Figueres The origins of Girona trace back to the Roman age: we will discover its history while visiting the wonderful Romanesque and Gothic Cathedral with its famous tapestry of the Creation as well as the well preserved Jewish quarter, the Call of Girona. The Modernist expression is most notable in the work of architect and poet Rafael Maso, the Casa y Fabrica Harinera Teixidor. On our return we will stop in Canet de Mar, a population with family ties to Domenech, where his Home-Museum is located. Return to Barcelona for overnight

We resume our visit to Barcelona's Modernist expression on its most emblematic street, the Paseo de Gracia. This and other adjacent and parallel streets comprise numerous private residences designed by Domenech and Gaudi, as well as by other architects from Catalonia's most powerful bourgeois period. One prominent block is the Manzana de la Discordia where Gaudi's Casa Batllo, Domenech's Casa Lleo Morera and Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller stand in rivalry with each other. These artists also created the masterpiece La Pedrera, the Montaner i Simon Publishing House, and the Casa de les Punxes on Diagonal street, respectively. The industrial Guell family commissioned many works from Gaudi, of which we will see the Guell Palace, the Pavilions and Guell Park with Gaudi's Home-Museum. We will finish up the day at the Museum of Modern Art where the rich collection of Catalan art from the 19th and 20th centuries focuses on the Modernist works of Casas, Rusinol and Homar among others. Overnight in Barcelona

Terrasa is one of the most important Spanish centers of the ancient Christian and Visigoth age. It resumed its importance as an industrial center toward the end of the 19th century with its Modernist expression notable not only with private homes and public buildings, but includes perhaps the best accumulation of Modernist industrial architecture with Vapor Aymerich and Vapor Amat among others. Towards the end of the 19th century, the old Montserrat Sanctuary enjoyed a revival as the symbol of the Catalonians, which explains why a large part of the construction was designed by the great architects of the time such as Gaudi and Puig. Extending along the base of the rock-solid Montserrat structure is the Penedes district, known predominantly for its sparkling wines. The capital city Villafranca del Penedes provides a nice selection of modernist homes. Finally we will arrive at the coastal town of Sitges where notable sites include Cau Ferrat, private residence of artist Santiago Rusinol, and the Maricel Palace which houses an interesting collection of contemporary art. Overnight in Barcelona Possibility of organizing a winery visit with cava tasting

Transfer to the Barcelona Airport

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