Barcelona’s Palau Güell was designed by the young Gaudí and is a wonderful blend of medieval opulence and the architect’s unique exuberant style. The palace was completed in 1890, the building was the private residence of Gaudí’s patron, Count Güell. The Palau Güell was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
The wealthy industrialist, landowner and politician Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi (Barcelona, 1846-1918) was Antoni Gaudí’s main patron. In 1885, when the architect was still unknown, Count Güell commissioned him to design his private residence, which would become Barcelona’s Palau Güell. Gaudí was aware that Güell wanted to show off his wealth to his friends and acquaintances (the house was to be used for exhibitions, concerts and other events) and he created an unusual, bold architectural project. He made innovative use of traditional building techniques, as well a wide variety of materials, with particular emphasis on more expensive ones such as marble. In Palau Güell, Gaudí combined the typical square structure of Catalan medieval palazzos and exquisite wooden coffered ceilings with innovations such as the parabolic arch which became a hallmark of his work.
However, Antoni Gaudí didn’t just create a palazzo in Barcelona, he created a metaphor too, as the building rises up, like Güell, from poor beginnings, represented by the austerity of the basement and ground floor, to wealth, as embodied by the riot of colour on the roof. Indeed, the ground floor, with its simple grey marble, contrasts magically with the interplay of colours and forms of the 20 sculptural chimneys on the roof, which are covered in broken pieces of ceramic tile, marble and stained glass and are the iconic symbols of the Palau Güell.
Phone: 934 725 775
How to get there: Metro L3, stop Liceu or Drassanes. | Bus 14, 59 and 91.
Web site: www.palauguell.cat
From April to September, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 8pm. Last acces time at 7 pm.
Closed Mondays except public holidays, December 25th and 26th, January 1st and January 6th to 13th.
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