Barcelona, the most European and sophisticated city in Spain, has a history of embracing innovative architecture, and Antonio Gaudi is considered a hometown genius.
Gaudi's buildings are found throughout the city center, and Parc Guel is a wonderland of his creations. The building that held my attention the longest is the Sagrada Familia (Holy Family Church). This fantastic structure was not completed in the architect's lifetime, apparently because he had decreed that only privately donated funds were to be used.
Spain is now in a period of relative prosperity, and the church is being completed according to notes and plans left by Gaudi, but in a simpler, definitely un-Gaudi style. Not surprisingly, this has created a good deal of controversy. As my guide suggested, "look at the old and the new and judge for yourself."
On the road in Barcelona,