If we say "Gaudí" you will probably think of the impressive works of art this universal architect has designed, such as the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. However, less than 100 kilometres away is the place where the artist was born and grew up. This town is Reus, on the Costa Daurada, where you will be captivated by its Modernist architecture and its charm. Don't miss this beautiful town on the Mediterranean.

Do you fancy getting to know the town in which Antoni Gaudí was born, and trace his first footsteps? Come to Catalonia, specifically to Reus (Tarragona), where you will be able to walk down the same streets the artist used for 16 years before he moved to Barcelona. You will find emblematic sites such as his birth house, the church where he was baptised and the school he went to. Because the best way to understand the work of a genius is to discover his origins. Don't miss the "Gaudí niño" (Young Gaudí) sculpture, which the town established to pay homage to the famous architect in 2002.

Now that you know the origins of Gaudí, how about exploring his magical world? For this, we recommend a visit to the Gaudí Centre, also in Reus. A 1,200 m2 space holds an exhibition on the architect's work. This centre has the latest audiovisual technology so you can see, touch and feel Gaudí's creations.

Open your senses to an interactive experience in which you will be able to touch models of works by the artist such as the towers of the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and the chimneys of the Pedrera house. You will also be able to see a reconstruction of Gaudí's workshop and the only handwritten notebook that is kept. A perfect plan to understand why Gaudí designed staircases as snails or fountains as reptiles. Would you like to get to know even more about this genius?

Modernist spirit

After enjoying the Gaudí Centre, make the most of your visit to get to know the town of Reus. It is well worthwhile. Why? Because it is part of the Réseau Art Nouveau Network, a network that includes towns with the most important Modernist heritage in Europe. That is why you should not miss the Reus Modernism Route: a pleasant walk round the historic centre to see Modernist architectural gems such as the Institut Pere Mata, Casa Navàs and Casa Rull. This route also includes free admission to several museums. You will feel like you are travelling back in time when you see exquisitely decorated 19th-century buildings that still keep their furniture. There are guided tours for this route in Spanish, English and French. So if you feel like doing one, we recommend booking in advance at the Reus tourist office.

Any time of the year is good to discover Reus. Not only for its rich artistic heritage, but because in this town you will find a wide cultural agenda thanks to its many festivals, museums or theatres such as the Fortuny. And after the cultural visits, don't forget to set aside a few hours for shopping because Reus is renowned in Catalonia for its wide range of shops, where you will find internationally prestigious fashion brands.  

Barcelona: the pinnacle of Gaudí's career

When you finish visiting Reus, Gaudí's hometown, it will be the perfect time to travel to Barcelona, which is just 100 kilometres away. This city is where the Catalan artist created a whole world of fascinating shapes, where everything seems to be inspired by nature. Get carried away by the curves and colours of the Casa Milà house, Güell Park, Güell Palace, Casa Batlló house, Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Colònia Güell Crypt and Casa Vicens house. They are all part of the most important 20th-century architecture and have been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO.

As well as Barcelona, in the surrounding area of Reus you will be able to find ideal destinations to visit, such as the vast beaches of the Costa Daurada, Salou, Tarragona or the entertaining Port Aventura theme park. But above all, come to Reus, a real Mediterranean town where you will discover the origins of Gaudí, the man who was ahead of his time and who turned his dreams into architecture. If you found this article interesting, get more information at: - Güell Park: architecture and nature

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