To the awesome church Sagrada Familia and park Parc Guell in Barcelona a tourist novelty was newly opened up to the tourists, Casa Vicens, the first residential house by Gaudí. It is a summer residence originally commissioned by and named after Manuel Vicens i Montaner, owner of a brick factory, who owned a large plot of land and wished for a house which would reflect his wealth and style. The luxurious residence was built in the years 1883-1889.
It is situated in Carrer de las Carolines 24 and at first glance it is a masterpiece - red wood, blue-white tiles, iron, glass and concrete in perfect harmony in the style of Catalan Art Nouveau. It is a very striking style which saw its boom in Catalonia at the end of the 19th and the early 20th century. Barcelona was at that time the centre of modernism and it is still possible to this day to admire many architectural treasures from this period.
Now the house is almost twice as large and the garden is almost a park. Visitors can relax sitting on outdoor park benches in the untraditional shape, which is typical for Gaudí.
Casa Vicens is opened daily from 10 to 18 hours and the admission fee is EUR 16. Visitors may visit all 4 floors, including the dining room, which is decorated with motifs from the world of nature - flying birds, creeping grapevine. The living room has a dome, which, thanks to clever optical illusion looks as if it were open to the skies.
Antoni Gaudí lived in the years 1852-1926 and is the most renowned representative of modernism and Catalan Art Nouveau. Casa Vicens, the first residential building of the famous architect, is registered in UNESCO as well as the 7 other works of Gaudí in Barcelona.