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Gaudi was born at the peak of Spanish disruption the 19th century Many wars broke out just before and after his 74 year lifetime as well as the three Carlist wars that took place whilst he was alive He arrived in Barcelona at seventeen and stayed there for the majority of his life thereafter it was 1889 and the Catalan Modernist style was just beginning to become widespread during his first few years in the city Catalan Modernism had very distinctive characteristics of multi-coloured mosaics tiles decorated with motifs and relief patterns usually designed by the architect stunning stained glass elegant lamps and candle holders made of delicate metal and glass and large masculine stone sculptures that were painted white which then became part of the architects structure Sounds very much like Gaudis work and many books and accounts on Gaudi that I have read categorize him as a Catalan Modernist but on further research I saw elements of many other styles of architecture Gaudi was surrounded by the history of Barcelona its stories told by the streets of the city the Gothic Quarter is definitely one of the most grand and exciting parts of Barcelona and it seems that this is the part of the city that Gaudi found a lot of his inspirations The gothic quarter is supposed to have the largest medieval street plan in Western Europe and is a key area of the city even now so in Gaudis time it is quite easy to see why this area was such a great influence to him The Catalan Gothic style is best seen in the beautiful Cathedral found amongst the twisting streets they open up to show a courtyard a flight of steps leading up to the front entrance to the Gothic Cathedral I was faced with this breathtaking piece of architecture on the first afternoon of my stay in Barcelona and it surely put me in a bright mood The
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