Barcelona: A Perfect Blend of Gothic and Modern

Barcelona: A Perfect Blend of Gothic and Modern


I still remember the 1992 Summer Olympics from Barcelona. NBC Sports televised the events. It was the first time professional basketball players were allowed to compete. The USA “Dream Team” with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird easily won the gold medal. Badminton and Judo became official sports of the Olympics.


What I remember more than the Games were the panoramic views of the Catalan countryside, the amazing architecture of the Gothic Quarter, Gaudi’s unforgettable creations, and the unique modern architecture weaving seamlessly into the fabric of the historic city. NBC did a wonderful job of selling the city. I vowed then to visit in person one day.


In the early 2000’s, I experienced Barcelona for a few days. I wandered around the narrow streets of Gothic Quarter lingering at the churches and cathedrals, and photographing the hundreds year old buildings’ time-worn doors and windows.  Barcelona just oozes history and beauty from every alleyway and structure.


Maybe I should be ashamed to say, however, I was unaware of Antoni Gaudi before visiting Barcelona. I had seen images of his architectural work, but never attributed it to him. Gaudi integrated ceramics, glass, wrought iron and other substances into his works. His greatest work, the Sagrada Familia, was only recently completed after more than a hundred years under construction.


I’m a photographer, not an historian nor architectural expert either. But it seems to me that Gaudi bridged the gap between modern and Gothic architecture in Barcelona. His one-of-a-kind architectural creations paved the way for more striking modern, whimsical buildings and art installations. The result is a harmonious blend of modern and Gothic architectural styles that are a joy to view and experience.


Barcelona is one of those places I would love to return. Not only is it visually stimulating but the harmony of the old and new creates a peaceful and serene balance. It’s simply good for the soul.