Barcelona has been hailed as the architect lover's vacation, and the Palau de la Musica Catalana is no exception. Work on the concert hall began in 1905 and was completed in 1908. It was designed by Lluis Domeneich i Montaner, an architect from Catalan and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Designed with a contrast to the mosaics and battered red brick, the concert hall sits on a narrow street, making it hard to view it all at once.
The stained glass dome at the center of the hall is best seen during the daylight tours, which are conducted in several different languages and tend to fill up quickly, so be sure to book your tour well in advance. The tour begins with a ten minute film about the building, and then a 45 minute walking tour of the hall. The acoustics are excellent, the ornate carvings and stained glass is breathtaking, but alas, there are no photographs allowed inside the hall. Tours are escorted with the guide and a security guard to ensure that this rule is followed. But here is a secret-if you book tickets to an afternoon concert, which are provided at a lesser cost than the tour, you will get to see much the same as you would on the tour (including the stained glass dome), hear a concert and the phenomenal acoustics for yourself, and save a bundle.