Be mesmerized by stained glass in Barcelona
As a tour guide, I love those “wow” moments that happen in certain stops. And if there’s one type of craft that guarantees to get the most “oooooh”, that’s stained glass. The beauty of sunlight filtering through colored glass is special. And for some reason it makes people vibrate more than a mosaic, a sculpture or a painting, for instance. Plus they often make for great photo opportunities, too.
We get to see pretty stained glass windows and vaults in many of our tours: our Gaudi tours, our Old Town tours and even… in some of our food tours! Want to know where? Don’t miss today’s post , then!
Barcelona stained glass you can't miss:
Casa Amatller, by Puig i Cadafalch
When I’m the Block of Disagreement, I explain Casa Lleo Morera and Casa Batllo from outside, but I take my guests into the entrance way of Casa Amatller. I talk about the architect and the house owners, and then I wow them with two beautiful stained glass pieces. One is a gorgeous glass door… that used to be the garage door!
To see the other, I ask them to lean over the ropes that mark the limit between the paying and the free access area. They look up and… there’s a gorgeous rose crystal ceiling shining over them. BTW, if you decide to go inside Casa Amatller, you’ll get to see more beautiful stained glass windows.
Works by Domenech i Muntaner
There are more unique stained glass pieces in the Block of Disagreement. Casa Batllo by Gaudi has some, but they can’t compare to those in Casa Lleo Morera, that evoke a tree growing through its floors. Unfortunately, the building is not open for visitors at the moment. But never mind: you can see Domenech i Muntaner stained glass masterpiece in Palau de la Música Catalana.
The glass vault over the concert hall, is out of this world. It represents a sun, surrounded by a choir of women singing. You’ve never seen anything like that. During their day tours, you get to see it with natural light, and during evening a concert (flamenco or Spanish guitar), it’s electric light. BTW, if you can’t make the Palau, try the Hospital de Sant Pau – a well worth alternative for pretty stained glass. And it’s a hidden gem without tourist crowds!
Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi
Gaudi envisioned the inside of his masterpiece to look like a forest. Stone columns rise to the vaults dividing into branches. And the light of the stained glass windows was crucial to create the effect of the sun filtering through the leaves.
Gaudi left the Nativity Façade window completed with colored glasses, as an example to follow when the others would be done.
The artist Joan Vila-Grau took his advice and studied the path of the sun rays throughout the year. The result is breathtaking. Between midday and sunset it almost looks like the stones are in flames. For more stained glass in Gaudi buildings, check out the classic ones of Palau Guell and the butterfly-shapped in Colonia Guell. Did you know we have a tour that takes you to both?
Gothic stained glasses
In Barcelona we like to say that Santa Maria del Mar is our own “Sainte Chapelle”. The oldest ones date from the 1300’s, while its red and blue rose window is from the mid 1400’s. My favorite are the one representing the Fountain of Life and the one featuring a coat of arms of the FC Barcelona. Take a tour with me to discover why ; ).
Not far, the Barcelona Cathedral stained glass windows are also ancient and intricate. Unfortunately they are too high up to appreciate its details.
Stained glass in unexpected locations
Would you ever think of entering a cake shop to see stained glasses? One block away from the Boqueria Market, down la Rambla, you’ll find the Escribà cake shop. Get in and turn around: over the door you’ll see a beautiful peacock.
The Palace of Justice has a gorgeous stained glass vault, although it’s hard to get to see it: it’s only accessible when you are attending a trial there. The main Correos post office at the bottom of Via Laietana has another impressive glass vault. However, it’s not colored but made in grey scale.
And my favorite: stained glasses in museums: the MNAC museum and the Museum of Modernism feature very unique stained glass walls by Joaquim Mir. Watching them is like standing in front of a vibrant impressionist painting turned into glass.
PLUS BONUS! Do you want some Barcelona stained glass for your home?
Barcelona stained glass wine glasses
Not coming to Barcelona yet? What if I tell you there’s a way to enjoy stained glass from Barcelona at home? There’s a local company that produces wine glasses made in stained glass and inspired in Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia windows.
A great excuse to drink some Spanish wine with your friends or your significant other. Or just by yourself while you dream of your next trip to Spain! They also have decanters and glasses for other types of drinks. And they can be bought on Amazon!
What are the most impressive stained glass windows you've ever seen?
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