In the late 19th century, at the time of the Universal Exhibition of 1888, Barcelona was a bustling city in which architecture played a major role as an indicator of the social status of the then flourishing bourgeoisie. Having a Modernista house meant that one was keeping up with the trends of the social elite. To meet the expectations and vanities of their clients, the architects used their whole repertoire of resources in their work: floral decorations, rich sculptural and wrought iron work, undulating forms, stained glass, sgraffito work, and ceramic details. Large cities can often be associated with buildings and monuments that become their universal emblems. This, however, is not the specific case of Barcelona. The architectural personality of Barcelona is characterised more by its urban landscape than by outstanding individual buildings. One of the areas in which this urban landscape is most exceptional is the Eixample, a district in which there occurred an extraordinary architectural phenomenon at the turn of the century: Modernisme, the particular local version of Art Nouveau, a European trend that led to an outburst of creative activity and also left remarkable architecture in other cities such as Vienna, Munich, Nancy, Brussels, Glasgow or Berlin.
Video: © MuchoHop