A Modernist cemetery
Off the beaten path for most visitors to Barcelona is an area with
lots of interesting architecture set on a hillside with good views- we
are talking about a cemetery.
The Montjuïc hill which dominates the southern side of the city was
first used and named after the Jews that used it as a burial ground
and about a third of it still is, although now a christian site.
When Catalonia and Barcelona started to flourish economically at the
end of the 19th century the cemetery was one of the main beneficiaries
with all sorts of exotic and new forms and materials used to create
the final resting places for the main families.
Wandering up the steep hillside under the tall cypress trees looking
at some of the best elements of Expressionist or what the Catalans
called Modernist art forms is really quite fun. This is characterized
by themes of natural romantic phenomena such as caves and rock
formations and utilises the creative potential of artisan
craftsmanship which you see all around you in the different shapes and
materials used in the crypts and graves.
All the best architects and craftsmen of their day were involved here
and several parts were designed by the ubiquitous Antoni Gaudí as well
as Lluis Domenech i Montaner, the two biggest stars of their day.
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