Around Catalonia with Antoni Gaudí

Take a tour around some of the most important sites associated with the architect of 'sugar loaves and anthills'

By Google Arts & Culture

Sant Pere Apòstol, Reus

Antoni Gaudí was born in 1852, the youngest of five children. It's not clear where exactly he was born, but we know he was baptised here, in the church of Sant Pere Apòstol in Reus, Catalonia, Spain, the day after his birth as Antoni Plàcid Guillem Gaudí i Cornet. Click and drag to explore, then scroll on to continue the tour...

Nau Gaudí

His first proper building was this small structure, the last surviving part of a much larger and ambitious project conceived between 1878 and 1883 for the Workers' Cooperative of Mataró. Today is the home of the Mataró Contemporary Art Museum Consortium.

Gaudí studied architecture at the Llotja School and the Barcelona Higher School of Architecture, working part-time as a draughtsman, and graduating with mediocre grades in 1878. His first architectural work was to design the lampposts of the Plaça Reial, Barcelona.

Casa Vicens, Barcelona (1888/1888) by Antoni GaudíItalia Liberty

Casa Vicens

Gaudí received greater recognition for this private home, the Casa Vicens, now also a Gaudí museum. The building is considered one of the first Art Nouveau buildings and a reflection of Neo-Mudéjar architecture, which draws on the Moorish architecture of the Iberian peninsula.

Bodegas Güell

Some of Gaudí's design work featured at the 1878 Paris Universal Exhibition, where it was seen by the industrialist Eusebi Güell, who then commissioned Gaudí to make some of his most magnificent works including, the Bodegas Güell winery and vineyard.

Palau Güell, Barcelona (1888/1888) by Antoni GaudíItalia Liberty

Palau Güell

The Palau Güell, an enormous pleasure palace built between 1886 and 1888 on the Carrer Nou de la Rambla, stands in the El Raval neighbourhood of Barcelona. It was designed almost exclusively for entertaining guests, who arrived via carriage through the front arches.

Dragon fountain in Park Güell (1900-1914) by Antoni Gaudí i CornetMuseu de les Aigües

Park Güell

The Park Güell on Barcelona's Carmel Hill. This was originally built between built from 1900 to 1914 and opened to the public in 1926. Inspired by the English Garden City movement, it contained experimental homes designed by Gaudí and lived in by the Güell family.

Church of Colònia Güell

Gaudí's designs were unique and his construction methods were complicated, which often led to delays. Work on the crypt of Eusebi de Güell wasn't started until 10 years after it was commissioned - too late - the Count died and his family cancelled the project.

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain (1882) by Antoni GaudíItalia Liberty

Sagrada Familia

But an unfinished crypt pales in comparison to the Sagrada Familia. In 1883 Gaudí was put in charge of the project for Barcelona's new church, he scrapped the original designs and put his own spin on things. He dedicated the rest of his life to this project, but it wasn't enough…

Sagrada Familia (1905/1905) by Baldomer Gili i RoigMuseu d'Art Jaume Morera

By his death in 1926 it was barely a quarter complete, and the building and its designs were damaged during the 1936 Civil War. It was the 1950s before work started again. Advances in computer aided design have helped speed construction, but even by 2010 it was only half-built…

Ever since construction started, the building has been controversial. Walter Gropius called it "a marvel of technical perfection", for Time magazine it was "sensual, spiritual, whimsical, exuberant", while George Orwell called it "one of the most hideous buildings in the world".

All this time, the construction has been funded solely through the donations of its visitors. It's now thought to be completed in the coming years, around 140 years after it was first started. Perhaps then Gaudí, who lies underneath this very church, can rest easy.

Walk of olive trees of the Pazo de Santa Cruz de Ribadulla (2021)Original Source: Axencia Turismo de Galicia

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