Spain has a lot of famous architecture worth checking out – Barcelona is particularly famous for its collection of architectural wonders. The most famous of all is without a doubt the works of Antoni Gaudí. Barcelona is home to stunning examples of Gaudí’s work such as La Sagrada Família, Casa Vicens and well, most of Barcelona. The problem with such an incredible architect taking the limelight is that even though he died in the early 1900s, a lot of modern Spanish architecture still stands in the figurative shadow of his work. Here at Santa Fe we are massive fans of Gaudí, but we also think that these five stunning pieces of architecture deserve a little limelight of their own. Here’s our list of the top 5 must-see buildings in Spain that weren’t designed by Antoni Gaudí.
Basque Culinary Centre
While you aren’t likely to stumble across the Basque Culinary Centre in your day-to-day travels around Spain, if you’re a fan of unique architecture this is one building worth looking out for. Amusingly, this culinary centre is shaped like a stack of dirty plates, and much like doing the dishes, this is a building where you start at the top. Contrary to popular practice, the entrance to the Basque Culinary Centre is found at the top of the building.
Salvador Dalí, the eccentric yet brilliant painter, is famous the world over, with museums and artwork seemingly popping up wherever you go. However if you’re looking for the definitive collection of his work, Torre Galatea is the place to go. Not only was the museum erected at Dalí’s birthplace, but he’s even buried under the museum too. Fittingly for something dedicated to Dalí’s work, the Torre Galatea is best described as a trippy vision of a gingerbread house under siege by the Easter Bunny.
The Natural Gas Headquarters
While you may not be granted access to this abstract office block in Barcelona, that’s not much of a problem – the best views are from the outside anyway. This building is basically three different buildings stuck together, including two tower blocks which come out of each other at right angles, all coated in a skin of glass. Five different types of glass were used here to give the building a range of reflectivity, colours and shades. The overall result is simply incredible.
Iglesia de Santa Monica
Occasionally when travelling around Europe you may start to find that all of the churches seem to blur into one, with seemingly little architectural variation between them. This can never be said for Spain, with the Iglesia de Santa Monica in Madrid standing out in particular. The architects described the church best themselves, calling it “an explosion, frozen an instant after detonation.” Truth be told, you would never guess that it was anything but an art museum until you spot the simple cross hanging above the entrance, denoting it as a place of worship.
La Ciudad de Las Artes y las Ciencias
La Ciudad de Las Artes y las Ciencias translates as ‘The City of Arts and Sciences’ – a fitting name for an exquisite complex of buildings. This complex was designed by the neofuturistic Santiago Calatrava Valls, and is surrounded by water. The reflections of glass, metal and sky work together to produce some truly incredible photo opportunities. With the largest oceanogBasraphic aquarium in Europe and a landscaped walk stocked with indigenous flora and contemporary sculptures alike, La Ciudad de Las Artes y las Ciencias is one of the most popular destinations in all of Valencia.