2018.- YEAR OF CULTURAL TOURISM. Modernism – Museums – Architecture
08 Oct 2018

2018.- YEAR OF CULTURAL TOURISM. Modernism – Museums – Architecture

In the cultural environment there is a wide and complete tourist offer.

In the Catalan cultural universe, museums, galleries, literature, architecture orbit around the universal geniuses. They were sublime in different disciplines and shared the fact of having been born or lived in the region, and above all of having left the footprint of their creation forever.

Salvador Dalí’s brushstrokes, the musical compositions of Pau Casals, some turned into references of peace. Picasso stands out for his a Cubist cry. Joan Miró combines his work with daily objects. He developed a plastic expression not ascribed to any particular movement. Josep Pla, on the other hand, explored the limits of adjectives. In a very different field, though guided by the same concerns of discovery, Antoni Gaudí stood out with his organic architecture.


Plastic arts, architecture and literature are the disciplines where modernism managed to influence significantly. In the painting, the essence of the style was a notorious rupture with any other artistic proposal existing up to that moment.

The Modernism was a wide-scale movement across all of the arts, not just architecture, which co-incided with the Catalan Renaissance taking place during the same period. As Catalonia grew in wealth and power around the mid-19th century, the region strove to re-establish its national identity.
However in no other part of the world did Art Nouveau (The Modernism) leave such a strong architectural legacy as in Catalonia, thanks to the enormous pace of urban growth which took place at that time and the boundless talent of those who championed the movement.

Modernista Architecture in Barcelona

Barcelona wasthe centre of the Modernisme movement, and it was here that Catalan intellectuals, politicians, writers, poets, architects and artists strove to lift the then conservative, traditional and rural Catalan culture to match the progressive natures of Europe’s leading countries. Modernisme’s main man was – not Gaudi, as many assume, but – Lluis Domenech i Montaner. Born in 1850, Domenech i Montaner was a prominent politician and also director of the Barcelona School of Architecture (where he taught Gaudi, two years his junior).

Together with Barcelona’s other pre-eminent architects, such as Gaudi and Puig i Cadalfach, Domenech i Montaner wanted to create a style that would both reflect the Catalan soul, as well as give Barcelona an aesthetic unique in Spain and the rest of the world.

The Route of Modernism is particularly attractive, standing out from the ARC DE TRIOMF, on the Paseo de Lluís Companys, built according to the design of Josep Vilaseca and presiding over the entrance to the 1888 Universal Exhibition.

Also worth mentioning is PARC DE LA CIUTADELLA. Before becoming a park, however, the grounds were the site of the Universal Exposition of 1888. The Exposition, although certainly less important than other similar exhibitions, such as Paris or London, also aimed to publicize the wonders of the new technologies of the incipient capitalist industry and make Barcelona known throughout the world.

Of the work of Gaudí, its maximum expression was the construction of the Holy Family. In 1883 he assumed the construction of the temple, the great work of his life. This gradual concentration in the great expiatory temple was parallel to the consolidation of his fervor towards the Catholic religion, which in the young Gaudí had not been too obvious. Started construction in 1883, the same year of the order, the Sagrada Familia ended up being the great work of Gaudí and to which he dedicated all his efforts in the last years of his life, before his death in June 1926.


Velázquez, Goya, Miró, Dalí, Picasso, El Greco, Tintoretto, Monet, Van Gogh, Kandisnsky … They are some of the most renowned artists whose work can be seen in more than 1,500 museums in Spain. It is the pleasure of contemplating great masterpieces of the most internationally recognized artists, of all times and styles.

In painting and sculpture there are great artists linked to the figurative tradition of the sculptor Mariano Benlliure or the painters Zuloaga and Romero de Torres, with key figures in the development of twentieth-century world art. Pablo Picasso stands out among all of them, who evolved until the creation of Cubism throughout this first third of the century. Together with Picasso, then began his career other great painters as Juan Gris, Joan Miró or Salvador Dalí, and sculptors like Pablo Gargallo. As often happens, these avant-garde artists were only known by a meager social elite.

In Barcelona, its museums, heritage centers and exhibitions received more than 11 million visitors last year..

Although the FC Barcelona Museum was the most visited, surpassing 1.8 million people, there are other centers that have deserved special attention last year, and of which we want to highlight El Born, with 1,306,230 people. La Pedrera had 1,207,087, the Picasso, 954,895; the Museu d’Història de Barcelona (MUHBA), 926,571; the MNAC, 820,516; the Castle of Montjuïc, 734,460; the Miró Foundation, 425,067, the Macba, 324,584, the Maritime Museum, 300,339 and the Natural Sciences, 232,306. CosmoCaixa had 757,245 and the Museu Egipci, 264,088. CaixaForum achieved 753,944.


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