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First Gaudí-built house opens in Barcelona

His most famous work is the Sagrada Familia. Architect Antoni Gaudí built for eternity. Now the first home he designed is being opened to visitors. It's one of eight UNESCO World Heritage sites by Gaudí in Barcelona.

The Casa Vicens is considered the first building Antoni Gaudí designed and built on his own, and will open to the public on November 16 - the last of his unique buildings in Barcelona to do so. The Catalan architect built this house in 1883, commissioned by Manuel Vicens i Montaner, a stock and currency broker, as a summer home. It remained residential for more than a century. In 2005, together with other works by Gaudí, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2014 a bank based in Andorra bought it, with plans to make it accessible to the public.

After extensive restoration, the house, at Carrer de les Carolines 18-24 in the Gràcia district, has been transformed into museum that retains all the ingredients so unmistakeably typical of the visionary architect.

The Casa Vicens was reconfigured and extended a number of times over the years. Now the house is almost twice as large as it was at first and its garden has almost become a park. Starting on November 16, it will be welcoming  visitors. The entrance fee is 16 euros; a guided tour costs 19 euros. Tickets are available on the Casa Vicens website. 

Spanien Barcelona Touristen (Imago/Agencia EFE/A. Garcia)

Park Güell, another major work of Gaudí in Barcelona

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) is the best-known exponent of Modernisme, a Catalan offshoot of  Art Nouveau. This very distinctive style flourished in Catalonia the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Barcelona was the center of Modernisme, and to this day many buildings from that era can be admired all over the city.

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