Barcelona is the capital of the art nouveau movement, or what Catalans refer to as Modernisme. Casa Batlló and La Pedrera are some of the key examples of this artistic movement, many of which are found in the city’s famous avenue Passeig de Gràcia, which was the focus of this cultural visit for EAE students, who had the chance to admire some beautiful art nouveau buildings from up close.
This architectural style is represented by many great artists but, without a doubt, one of the most famous is Antoni Gaudí. The School’s students were familiar with the architect’s work. “I have heard about Gaudí and his work and I hope to see some examples on this visit”, explained Diana Avilés, a Peruvian student on the Master in Marketing Management. It was the first time that she has taken part in one of EAE’s cultural visits, “and I decided to take part because I don’t know much about Barcelona’s culture. I hope that there will be more visits like this one”. Diana added that she has been working for many years in the public sector and the logistics area. She now wants to make a change and move into marketing, so she plans to do an internship in this sector.
On the visit, the students saw the façades of the art nouveau houses of the famous Manzana de la Discordia (block of discord), comprised by five art nouveau buildings: Casa Lleó Morera, by Lluís Domènech i Montaner; Casa Mulleras, by Enric Sagnier; Casa Bonet, by Marcellià Coquillat; Casa Amatller, by Josep Puig i Cadafalch; and Casa Batlló, by Antoni Gaudí. Nowadays, they are residential properties or art nouveau buildings open to the public to gain an insight into a key part of the city’s art history.
The students were really impressed by these buildings, such as Peruvian student Estefani Fiera, who had always wanted to take part in a cultural visit but had not been able to before due to her timetable. “I really love art nouveau masterpieces and particularly the work of Gaudí”, she emphasized. Estefani is taking the Master in Stock and Financial Markets and has now completed her Thesis, which was a great success. She now plans to stay in Spain for a while before returning to her country.
The tour took the students to see Casa Batlló, which is currently undergoing renovation work, followed by Casa Amatller and La Pedrera, one of Antoni Gaudí’s most acclaimed masterpieces. The beauty of the architectural complex fascinates all admiring onlookers. Built between 1906 and 1910 and commissioned the husband and wife Pere Milà i Camps and Roser Segimon i Artells, Gaudí worked with other artists of the period throughout the construction process, including Josep Maria Jujol, Domènec Sugrañes, Francesc Quintana, Jaume Bayó i Font, Joan Rubió, Enrique Nieto and Josep Canaleta. Since it was opened to the public in 1987, it has welcomed more than 20 million visitors.
Kevin Cremir, a student from the United States taking the Master in Project Management, chose EAE based in the program, the fact that it was based in city of Barcelona, and because it is an international School. He will probably go back to his country to work but may return to Barcelona at some point in the future. With respect to the visit, he explained that “I know the Sagrada Familia, and I have heard of La Pedrera and Casa Batlló. I know a little bit about the art nouveau style but not a lot”.
The tour then continued along the streets adjacent to the famous avenue, in the Eixample neighbourhood, where they saw Casa de les Punxes, a building by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Its name translates literally as the House of the Points, as it is inspired by ancient medieval castles and has six remarkable pointed towers. The students also had the chance to marvel at Palau de Baró Quadras, a hidden gem of a house on the avenue of Diagonal by the artist Puig i Cadafalch, and the current headquarters of the Institut Ramón Llull.
EAE’s cultural visits offer students added value. Every month, there is a guided tour around museums, parks or different parts of the city. The aim is to showcase Barcelona’s cultural wealth and put students in contact with the city that they are living in.