Modernisme is a cultural movement that started in Europe in the nineteenth century. In other countries it was known as Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Stile Floreale, etc. It was based in nature, curved lines and asymmetry, created as a reaction to bourgeois conservatism.
Catalan Modernisme was also a political and cultural movement that sought to transform the Catalan society by recovering Catalan culture while modernizing the country.
Three architects are considered the pillars of Catalan Modernisme: Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch. They all lived in Barcelona.
The three architects designed bourgeois houses in Barcelona such as Gaudi’s Casa Batlló, Domènech i Montaner’s Casa Albert Lleó i Morera and Puig i Cadafalch’s Casa Amatller . The three buildings are in the same block in Passeig de Gràcia, known as the Illa de la Discòrdia (block of discord), hinting the rivalry between the architects and between the owners who aspired to stand out in society.
Their architecture was at the service of people, such as the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital Sant Pau of Domènech i Montaner. They also built functional monuments for the industry: the Codorníu wine cellars by Domènech i Montaner and Gaudi’s Colònia Güell industrial settlement.
In Barcelona Guide Bureau we are experts in Modernisme, you can discover all this and more with our Daily Sightseeing Tours. We especially recommend the The Gaudí Tour and the Palau de la Música Catalana guided visit.