Dynamic Barcelona is all about architecture, from the magnificent medieval buildings of the Gothic Quarter to the Modernist movement typified by the work of Antoni Gaudi. Though his materials were stone and metal, his forms were organic, awash in curves, swirls, and colors. His masterpiece is the amazing Church of the Sagrada Familia, colossal and as yet unfinished, though construction began in 1882. A contemporary contribution to the scene is Ricardo Bofill's post modernist National Theater of Catalonia, an imaginative combination of classical and modern design, with a greenhouse-like lobby.
Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world. Its magnificent harbor made it a logical trading port as far back as the Phoenicians, as well as a departure point for 15th century voyages sponsored by Prince Henry the Navigator, patron of Portuguese explorers. The city is rich in architecture, from Romanesque and Gothic to Post Modern, and criss-crossed by monument-studded grand boulevards. Today it is seeking a place on the world stage by hosting, in addition to its own active cultural calendar, film festivals, art, fashion, and design shows, book fairs, marathons, and rock concerts.
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