Works of Antoni Gaudí, Spain

An exceptional and outstanding creative contribution to the architectural heritage of modern times

Chimneys, Palau Güell (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926) was a Catalan architect who was behind the design and construction of many buildings and monuments in Barcelona and the surrounding areas. The greatest exponent of Catalan Modernism, his work was influenced by his passion for both nature and religion.

Casa Vicens (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Representing an eclectic and personal style, his works contributed to the evolution of architecture and construction techniques throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 


Seven have been recognised as World Heritage and comprise the property, the Works of Antoni Gaudí

Casa Vicens (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Casa Vicens (1883-1885)

This was Gaudí’s first major project. Commissioned by the stock broker, Manel Vicens, as a summer house for his family, this building was located in the upmarket town of Gracia, which nowadays is a district of Barcelona, the district of Gracia.

Casa Vicens (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Using ornamental elements such as flowers, leaves and other plant motifs, he succeeded in bringing nature into the house, thus uniting the interior with the exterior. With oriental and Mudéjar influences, the building also displays an abundance of decoration in ceramic tiling.

Sagrada Familia (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

The Nativity façade and Crypt of La Sagrada Familia

Undoubtedly Gaudí’s most famous creation, the Sagrada Familia is yet to be completed, after almost 150 years. The existence of the original sketches has allowed the works, now in their final stages, to continue.

Sagrada Familia interior (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Although he wasn’t the original architect and only took over the project in its second year, Gaudí dedicated much of his professional life to it, managing to complete both the crypt and the Nativity façade, the two elements which are included in the World Heritage designation.

Sagrada Familia (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

The basilica is striking for both its size and its symbolism. When it is completed, it will have 18 towers: twelve which represent the disciples of Christ, four dedicated to the evangelists, one dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and the final and tallest of all, dedicated to Jesus.

Palau Güell, main façade (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Palau Güell (1886-1890)

This was the private residence of Gaudí’s main patron, Count Eusebi Güell. The affluent businessman recognised the architect’s talent early on and commissioned this very ostentatious house to show off his wealth to his friends and acquaintances.

Chimneys, Palau Güell (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Gaudí used a wide range of materials, tending towards the more expensive ones such as marble, although the bright colours of the chimneys on the roof, which are in contrast to the duller tones of the ground floor, come from the broken plates and tiles that he covered them with.

Panoramic view from the park (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Park Güell (1900-1914)

Yet another treasure to be found in the Gràcia district of the city, Park Güell is located in a spot which was chosen for its fresh air and stunning views. In its design, Gaudí achieved a perfect union between architecture and nature.

Park Güell, Hypostyle Hall (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

The idea behind the project was to create a 40-house residential complex surrounded by nature, a typical English-style garden city. In the end, due to lack of interest, only two houses were built, one of which became Gaudí’s family home.

Park Güell (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

The park was another of Gaudí’s projects to be financed by Eusebi Güell. After the Count’s death, his family sold the park to Barcelona City Council and it has been open for the public to enjoy ever since.

Gaudí’s house is also open to the public, as the Gaudí House Museum.

Casa Batlló (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Casa Batlló (1904-1906)

One of Gaudí’s most daring works, this was actually a remodel of a pre-existing building, in the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia. Curiously, the original house was the work of a man who taught architecture to Gaudí during his time in higher education. 

Casa Batlló, chimneys (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

The building, with its gently undulating façade, is immediately recognisable as a Gaudí creation due to its distinctive trencadís, the coloured tile fragments arranged in various designs and patterns, very much in contrast to the classic style of the original building.

Casa Batlló (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Its design is thought to be inspired by the legend of the patron saint of Catalunya, Sant Jordi, otherwise known as St. George. The roof tiles are suggestive of the scales on a dragon’s back and the four-armed cross, sitting atop an ornate tower, could represent a sword. 

Casa Milà (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Casa Milà (1906-1912)

The Casa Milà was built as a private residence for its owners, Pere Milà and his wife. Occupying an entire corner on the Passeig de Gràcia, it was built around two large courtyards which provided it with light and ventilation.

La Pedrera (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Located only 500m from the already-completed Casa Batlló, the house became known locally as La Pedrera, which in Catalan means “quarry”, and refers to its undulating stone façade which, at the time, was the object of much criticism and ridicule.

Casa Milà-La Pedrera (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

It even became the subject of a demolition order when inspectors found it to exceed the measurements that had been specified in the original plans. Gaudí carried on regardless and the demolition order was eventually removed when the building became certified as a monument. 

Crypt in Colonia Güell (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Crypt in Colonia Güell (1908-1914)

The Colonia Güell was a late 19th-century industrial colony in the town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, 23km from Barcelona. It was designed to have all the amenities that the workers would need for a comfortable life, such as shops and a school.

Crypt in Colonia Güell (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

With an unlimited budget, Gaudí’s ambitious plans for the colony’s church included two naves, various towers and a 40m-high central dome. However, work stopped in 1914 when the family of Count Güell, around whose textile mill the colony was centred, withdrew their funding. 

Crypt in Colonia Güell (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

Despite only having completed the crypt, Gaudí had incorporated almost all of his architectural innovations into its design, testing them in preparation for their later use in the Sagrada Familia. The crypt of the church remains one of Gaudí’s most original works.

Inside the Sagrada Familia (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

In 1915, having by now achieved fame at an international level, Gaudí chose to devote himself solely to the Sagrada Familia, which he worked on until he was hit by a tram at the age of 73. Assumed to be a beggar due to his scruffy appearance, he was provided with only basic aid. 

Sagrada Familia (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

When he was finally recognised, it was too late to give him the care he needed and he passed away. 

After his death, his house was sold and, as he had specified in his will, the money from the sale was invested into the continuing works on the Sagrada Familia, where he is buried.

Park Güell, guard house (1984) by Works of Antoni GaudíUNESCO World Heritage

All seven component parts of this serial property have been restored and are preserved in line with their original character. Owned by a variety of private persons and organisations and public entities, each one is open to be enjoyed and appreciated by the public today. 

Credits: Story

This exhibit was created by Turisme de Barcelona: visitbarcelona.com

More on the Works of Antoni Gaudí and World Heritage: whc.unesco.org/en/list/320/

Photos: Turisme de Barcelona, Ole Steffensen, Nikolaus Bader from Pixabay, Manuel Torres Garcia from Pixabay, By Canaan, By SophyOu

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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