13 things to do and see with a theme of Catalan Modernism.
Updated: 13 Nov 2021
by: Barcelona Travel Hacks
Catalan modernism, "Modernisme", is an architectural style particular to Catalunya which has elements of Art Nouveau, gothic and modernism. Catalan Modernism started around the end of the 19th century in parallel with the Industrial Revolution. Many turn of the century industrial buildings were constructed in this style.
During this period there was great social change as agrarian labour was replaced by mechanisation and workers moved to the cities to find employment in the factories. In Barcelona La Eixampla neighbourhood was constructed to house the large influx of factory workers.
Along with the Catalan nationalism movement there was a strong desire to modernise the society for everyone, not just the bourgeois wealthy. The movement was taken up by artists, poets, writers and architects.
Pioneering architects of Catalan Modernism were Lluis Domenech I Muntaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Antonio Gaudi. In many cases it was the wealthy bourgeois who commissioned these works.
The attractions on this page are all examples of Catalan Modernism and have common themes such as Parabolic arches, curved lines, Features that replicate nature: animals, trees and plants; Use of brightly coloured ceramics and plenty of ornate detail. Some of these buildings are on the UNESCO world heritage list.