A Spanish Revival & Gaudí's Barcelona


Though Spanish Revival is a beast of it's own, I'm poaching its credible title to announce this Mod & Bean comeback - one of perhaps epic proportions (I'm talking travel photos galore). Though not as much pomp but definitely a lot of circumstance prevented me from keeping up a few weeks worth of Mod Mondays, much like Gossip Girl, I'm back and better than ever - sans the digital tormenting, of course.

I present to you the first of several installations reporting on the art, the architecture, and the adventures of 10 days in Spain, generously afforded by the History of Art & Architecture Department at Harvard for the sophomore concentrators.

Adventures included days spent at the Prado and Reina Sofia (before and after public hours, wow!), trips to every grand Cathedral, Mosque, and Synagogue imaginable to celebrate Spain's convivencia, and scaling these skyscrapers for behind the scenes aerial views of Spain.

For ease of photo upload and narrative arch, I have broken down this trip regionally, focusing on the major cities of Barcelona, Madrid, and Sevilla as the anchors of the posts. Each post will deliver sites and stories from that spot, including the itineraries of those days at the end for more specific citations. Today's post? A review of Gaudí's Barcelona - a visionary known for his gargantuan and fantastical structures that manage to consume you and transport you into another universe. Though we viewed images of his work throughout the whole semester in class, nothing could compare to the overwhelming nature of approaching one of these curvilinear structures and instantly feeling like both an alien and an ant inside. I'm not saying that the sleep deprivation from the day's travel helped to make these buildings trippier, but I'm also not not saying it. 

Fresh off the plane we slipped into Casa Milá, passing my personal favorite, House of Bones (Casa Batlló) on the way. At each stop, we usually had some peer presentations, so don't just think we're nerds who carry books to every site we saw, we had to do that ;) 

For Casa Milá, roof access was available to all those curious - and what a curious sight indeed:

From a peak we went to a valley, Parque Güell  to be exact, where I marveled at the colorful nature of humans when you zoom out and see them as "sprinkles on the ice cream of life" (to quote my insta caption that day). 

To finish this bit of exploration, we ended with the un-finished Sagrada Familia: a Cathedral of colossal stature.

As we all looked up, and spent the week doing so, you can look forward to plenty more jaw-dropping views and typical shenanigans in the days to come. 

Welcome back!

Xx, Maia

Barcelona Day 1:

  • Casa Milá (La Pedrera)
  • Parque Güell 
  • Sagrada Familia