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Paris, Rome, Venice, and Barcelona are among the top-visited destinations in Europe. Beyond the Old World, New York City, Toronto and Whistler await shopping, dining and skiing enthusiasts, as well as businessmen and students. Quality accommodation is always in demand, and nowadays travellers have the freedom to choose not only hotels, but also apartment rentals.
Conveniently located and fully furnished, apartments of Sweet Home Abroad are excellently suited for short-term rentals and could be your next great vacation! All apartments are meant for travellers looking for comfort and independence regardless of their activities of interest. Beach lovers could opt for an apartment rental in Israel or rent a villa in Spain. Lovers of outdoor winter activities like skiing and snowboarding will find Whistler, located in Canada, a great destination: the co-host of Winter Olympic Games in 2010, Whistler is perfectly equipped to provide you with great skiing and riding trails, impeccable customer service and top-notch long-term accommodation. History and culture buffs will enjoy a great selection of accommodation we offer in Paris, Prague, Madrid, and, of course, Barcelona.
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Catalan Art Nouveau in Barcelona

Casa Batllo

The genius of Antoni Gаudí shines in this extraordinarily unique monument and apartment building that is considered the strangest and the most curious in Barcelona, and maybe in Europe as well. Casa Batlló is also known as the Casa dels Ossos (The House of Bones) or as the Casa del Drac (House of the Dragon), and it is easy to see why: covered in colourful blots and blobs of paint, ceramics and tiles, its facade shows off candidly rectangular windows and wavy balconies that resemble either Venetian masks or beastly grinning jaws, depending on your perspective. Furthermore, the roof is so uneven and humpbacked that it resembles the spine of a dragon. Tiled orange red, aquamarine, and blue, it changes colour depending on the time of day.

The interior is even more intriguing. Everything inside, from wаlls, ceilings and to door knobs, reminds the visitor how much Gaudí despised straight lines. You will not find a single one in this house! The only exception is the attic where the Catene arches are supported by some straight rectangular structures to let more light in. Every fine detail inside seems to swirl and flow. Gaudí looked for inspiration in natural forms: the twisted ceiling, the wavy staircase, the curvaceous doorways all belong in a living and breathing organism. Even the patio and the rooftop terrace have uneven floors.

Natural light is also big in Gaudí's books. Using as much of daylight and as little of electricity as possible was his goal when designing the interior of Casa Batlló. The light shaft inside the building is the most prominent example of this: it is wide at the bottom and narrow at the top thus regulating the amount of light that gets into the apartments. The shaft itself is tiled, and the colour of tiles gradually changes from lightest blue at the bottom to deep navy blue at the top. The higher up you are, the stronger the feeling that you find yourself underwater...

Casa Batlló is one of several exceptional buildings on the block between Carrer del Consell de Cent and Carrer d’Aragó. They are located so close to each other that this area is often called La Manzana de la Discordia (the Quarter of Discord). Other architectural wonders are Casa Amatller by Puig i Cadafalch, located adjacent to Casa Batllo, and Casa Lleó Morera by Domènech i Montaner. Grouped together, the works of Barcelona’s holy trinity of Modernism illustrate just how diverse the Modernism could be.

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Casa Batlló Casa Batlló at night
Tile work of Casa Batlló Turret of Casa Batlló
Chimneys of Casa Battló Roof of Casa Batlló
Light shaft of Casa Batlló Interior of Casa Batlló
La Pedrera (Casa Milà)

Gаudí’s yet another world-famous and monumental offspring, casa Milà is also known as La Pedrera, or the Quarry. Its grey undulating surface emerged on the streets of Barcelona between 1905 and 1910 with a dual purpose of combining an apartment building with an office space. It was formally named in honour of the commissioner of the work, but the name of Milà did not stick as well as La Pedrera, most likely due to the very appearance of Gaudí’s project. Grey facade is only covered in grey stone rather than build out of it; it is decorated with wavy reliefs and balconies accompanied by iron-wrought railings for further undulating effect. The commissioner Pere Milà was a well-known businessman, a rich and ambitious person who knew to make sure that Gaudí’s creation would be the most grandiose in Barcelona. Incidentally, he was also Barcelona’s first car-owner and Gaudí incorporated the first ever parking space into casa Milà especially for him.

Lа Pedrera is now occupied by the Fundació Caixa Catalunya which has allowed visitors to access the top-floor apartment, the roof and the attic, all together referred to as "Gaudí space". The roof deserves rapt attention, especially its colourful chimneys that are said to have inspired the look of imperial soldiers of "Star Wars". Gaudí also planned to erect a statue of Virgin Mary up there, but the Milà family refused, fearing it to become a potential target for anarchists (at the time of construction social unrest spiked numerous arsons and bombings in the city). Gaudí left the project right after, but thankfully the house was complete by that time. There is a small museum on the 6th floor dedicated to his work, including videos and models of each of his creations.

The аlready mentioned apartment, called El Pis de la Pedrera, is two floors down from the roof, elegantly furnished and stylish, a very modern home for its times, and is rather welcoming: who would not want to move in after seeing Gaudí’s trademark curves and waves in everything in the interior, done with a lot of attention and personal touch? If it were not for crowds of visitors, one could imagine being a friend and a guest of a wealthy family who lived there. The walls of the apartment, too, are obviously not straight, and it is said that one of the tenants complained to the architect that she could not find a way to fit her piano into the apartment. The story goes that Gaudí advised her to switch to the flute.

There аre often exhibitions held on the first floors of La Pedrera, and in August casa Milà hosts musical evenings.
It is virtually impossible to score accommodation in La Pedrera itself, but you can rent an apartment in Barcelona just steps away from Gaudí's creation.

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La Pedrera (Casa Milà) A closeup of casa Milá
The main hall of Casa Milà (La Pedrera) The inner light shaft of La Pedrera (Casa Milà)
Famous chimneys of Casa Milà (La Pedrera) Famous chimneys of Casa Milà (La Pedrera)
Casa Amatller

Without a doubt, cаsa Amatller is one of the most imaginative modernist works of Puig i Catafalch. Casa Amatller bursts with Gothic window frames, stepped pediments borrowed from Dutch urban architecture, busts and bas-reliefs of dragons, knights and other fantasy characters clinging to the main facade. The foyer with pillars and steps is illuminated by colourful mosaics and thus strongly resembles a romantic medieval castle from an old fairy tale.

The building wаs restored in 1900 by the order of Antoni Amatller (1851-1910), the chocolate magnate and philanthropist. Antoni was an avid traveller and loved photography, and some of his photos were exhibited inside. Unfortunately, not anymore: today, you can only visit the foyer of Casa Amatller that is still open to the public.

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Casa Amatller by Josep Puig i Catafalch Detail of roof, Casa Amatller
Casa Amatller balcony Casa Amatller window
Casa Vicens

Cаsa Vicens is one of the first important works of Gaudí in Barcelona. The house was commissioned by an owner of ceramics factory and completed in 1878-1885. Located on the small lot of land in Gràcia, with palm trees planted all around, the house finds a lot of inspiration in this tropical tree: vertical tribunes, ceramic tiles of the facade and forged grills on the first floor all remind of palm trees one way or the other. Casa Vicens, despite being an early work, already hints to Gaudí’s future commitment to the fluidity of line, love of optic illusions and colourful tiles.
Casa Vicens is currently for sale, however, its undoubtedly exorbitant price remains a secret.

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Casa Vicens - the facade Grills of casa Vicens
Casa Vicens Pergola of Casa Vicens
Casa Comalat

Built in 1909-1911 by а practically unknown architect Salvador Valeri i Pupurull, Casa Comalat has two facades: one facing the Diagonal, the other overlooking carrer de Còrsega, therefore creating a unique opportunity for the artist to execute two architectural plans in one. Valeri i Pupurull chose the Diagonal facade for the traditional at the time sumptuousness with adoptions from Rococo and ornamental motives. Carrer de Còrsega, on the other hand, is intentionally neutral, but richly decorated with moulding, fantastic balconies and mosaics.

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Casa Comalat Colourful tiles and ornaments decorate the space above the entrance to Casa Comalat.
Second facade of Casa Comalat Carrer de Còrsega facade of Casa Comalat
Casa Lleó Morera

А six-story casa Lleó Morera was built in 1905 by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. The task that the architect faced was not that complex – constructing a residential building at the typical Eixample corner of the Carrer del Consell de Cent was a small feat for the Modernist master. The plan of Domènech i Montaner put emphasis on the corner location of the house by creating two monochromatic sections of the facade and connecting them with cylindrical shaft topped with a pergola not unlike a door hinge. The Windows om each floor are unique: by accentuating their elevation above the ground, the architect achieved the maximum amount of natural lighting passing through. In 1943 a leather company "Loewe" acquired the building, reconstructing the first floor and, sadly, fully changing the appearance of Lleó Morera. Despite a thorough restoration of the house a couple of decades later, all the efforts to restore casa Lleó Morera to its primordial state failed and many sculptures were lost as well.

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Casa Lleó Morera Lleó Morera facade
Casa Terrades

Cаsa Terrades by Josep Puig i Cadafalch is also known as "Casa de les Punxes", or The Needle House, thanks to its six spires. Built in 1903-1905, it resembles a fairy tale castle or a German town hall and is possibly not the best work of Josep Puig i Cadafalch, but the most famous for sure. The architect was faced with a challenging task of accommodating Casa Terrades into an irregular spot of land left at the intersection of Diagonal and an Eixample street. The result was rational by intention and modernist by execution: detailed carvings selectively cover the facade, sharp-cornered pediments are decorated with panels, and the central turret is very Gothic in essence. Casa Terrades is also unique because it is the only fully detached building in Eixample.

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Turret of casa Terrades The facade of casa Terrades
Casas Rocamora

The rаpid expansion of the Eixample district at the beginning of the 20th century demanded rapid construction of numerous buildings, apartment and business alike. This sometimes resulted in rather unexpected appearances of projects akin to Casas Rocamora - enormous, occupying whole blocks of Eixample, much bigger than other building on Passeig de Gràcia. The Casas Rocamora architects, brothers Joaquim and Bonaventura Bassegoda i Amigó, sought to highlight the sheer dimensions and the practicality of the Rocamora project, rather than to show off their understanding of theoretical and stylistic solutions to the problem (which they undoubtedly possessed). The facade of Casas Rocamora is relatively austere and neutral. In repetition of structured sequences of elements one can sense a longing for order. The ascetic facade also accentuates the absolutely gorgeous pergolas that are tiled orange and red and are capable of drawing attention of passersby any time of day.

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Casas Rocamora Casas Rocamora
Colourful pergolas of Casas Rocamora Pergolas of Casas Rocamora
Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital

Lluís Domènech i Montaner not only acted as architect, but also funded and promoted the construction of Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital – without a doubt, his masterpiece and an emblematic modernist work in Barcelona, located close to another masterpiece - Gaudí's La Sagrada Família.

Domènech i Montaner's goal was to create a fully functional hospital complex that would heal its patients not only physically, but also mentally, lifting their spirits with bright designs and creative floor plans. 46 small pavilions form the hospital plan, and all of them are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sights (along with Palau de la Música Catalana). Many highly acclaimed Barcelona artists, including Eusebi Arnau, donated their artwork – sculptures, paintings, ceramics – to decorate the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital.

The Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital grounds are open to the public (guided tours are available too). Visiting the Domènech i Montaner pavilions, part of the recently opened Recinte Modernista is obligatory for any Art Modern lover. The hospital grounds are vast: apart from the Recinte Modernista, they are also occupied by the UAB University campus and, of course, the new ultra-modern Hospital Sant Pau building, an important health care centre in Barcelona. There is also a museum in the works, which would be dedicated to Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the topic of medical care in Barcelona, and the history of Santa Creu i Sant Pau hospital, which dates back to the 15th century.

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Main facade of Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital View of Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital from a side street
Pavilions of Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital Colourful roofs of Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital
Palau Güell

The first major work of Gaudí that was commissioned by Eusebi Güell in 1885, Palau Güell marks not only the beginning of the friendship of Barcelona's two most famous sons, but also marks the first of many splendid architectural works in Gaudí's portfolio. Compared to his later works, Palau Güell is rather muted, almost sober, but still has plenty of typically Gaudí-like designs and utilitarian solutions. From stables in the basement to colourful chimneys on the roof, catenary arches, twisted ceilings, glass mosaics, shutters and skylights playing with natural light point to Gaudí's unique talent of making the most out of every room and every space.

The palace was built specifically for Señor Eusebi himself as his private residence, where he moved with his family after its completion in late 1880s. For the longest time, Palau Güell was completely shut down for renovations. The main hall, the master bedrooms, the servants' rooms, the famous roof, the stables had all been closed... but not anymore! Although the roof terrace sometimes closes during rainy weather, the opportunity to visit the palace is the one not to be missed. Taking pictures is allowed inside.

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Palau Güell Main Hall Palau Güell: Main Hall ceilings
Palau Güell mosaics Palau Güell stables
Famous Palau Güell rooftop chimneys Famous Palau Güell rooftop chimneys
Hercules Fountain

The Hercules Fountain is one of the lesser-known works by Antoni Gaudí, located in the garden surrounding Palau Reial de Pedralbes (the Pedralbes royal palace). The palace was commissioned by Gaudí's old friend and collaborator, Eusebi Güell, and Gaudí was in charge of creating the garden proper. The fountain dates back to the 1884.

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Casa Fuster

Architect: Lluís Domènech i Montaner

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Palau Montaner

Architect: Lluís Domènech i Montaner

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Seminario Mayor de Barcelona

Architect: Elies Rogent i Amat

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Pabellones Güell

Architect: Antoni Gaudí

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Casa Planells

Architect: Josep Maria Jujol i Gibert

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Portal Miralles

Architect: Antoni Gaudí

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Colegio Teresiano

Architect: Antoni Gaudí

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Casa Calvet

Architect: Antoni Gaudí

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Can Serra

Architect: Josep Puig i Cadafalch

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Casa Fargas

Architect: Enric Sagnier

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Casa Casimir Clapés (Casa Berenguer)

Architect: Joaquim Bassegoda i Amigó

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Colegio Comtal

Architect: Bonaventura Bassegoda i Amigó

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