Gaudi's Work in Barcelona, Spain

map showing Gaudi buildings in Barcelona

He was born Antoni Gaudí i Cornet on June 25, 1852, in Reus, Catalonia; the son of Francesc Gaudí i Serra, a coppersmith, and of Antonia Cornet i Bertran. He went to school in Reus, where he met Eduard Toda Güell, who would become one of his life long friends.

By the time he was seventeen, he attended the College of Sciences of Barcelona, at the Regional School of Architecture. Between 1873 and 1877, during his university years, he lived in the Casa Lonja de Mar at the old Carmen Convent. By 1878, Gaudí graduated as a master architect. And in 1883 Gaudí was recommended for the supervision of the building of the new Cathedral of Barcelona, La Sagrada Família. He took on the project from his mentor, Villar, who had abandoned it in 1883 because of several disagreements with the construction company.

La Sagrada Familia

This (unfinished) church has perhaps become the symbol of Barcelona. To give it its full name - El Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Family) is Gaudí's most famous work. The project to build the chuch started in 1882, and a year later Gaudi became the architect, he dedicated his life to the building, and even lived on the site as well. Gaudi died at the age of 74 in a traffic accident, with the church unfinished.

Work continued on building the church after Gaudi's death. In 1936 Gaudí's study holding his noteswere burnt during Spanish Civil War and Gaudi's grave in the church desecrated. Work ceased.

Building was resumed in 1952, and between 1954 to 1976, the facade and the four towers of the Passion (Western side) were completed. The sculptor Josep. M. Subirachs completed the sculptures on the Portal of Passion in 1987.

Work continues today. There is a Museu del Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família in the basement.. The towers can be climbed and offer incredible sights of the city. The interior of the chuch is not even started, but the exterior

Park Güell

Eusebi Güell was Gaudi's patron. His property was high above Barcelona and some distance from the city as it then existed. Although 60 housing plots were allocated to the property, only two houses were built here. The Barcelona City Council bought the property in 1922 and in the following year converted it to a municipal park.
Gaudí kept the contours of the land, so that the park has twisting roads which follow the hillside. The lowest point is at the entrance, from which a double staircase leads to the huge public square.

La Casa Calvet

The Casa Calvet, built as a house and offices for the textile manufacturer Pere Calvet, was the first of the three houses Gaudí designed for Barcelona's Eixample (Extension). Casa Calvet has a particularly interesting rear façade, hallway decoration, and furniture design. The building broke with earlier traditions of design.
Incorporaed into the whole building are symbols of the first owner, with the owner's initial, C, over the front door. Supporting the main gallery is a a cypress, symbol of hospitality. Pere Calvet's study of mushrooms is reflected in the relieves on the main storey. The three heads of the crown of the horn in the gallery represent Saint Peter the martyr (Pere Calvet's patron), Saint Genesius of Arles and Saint Genesius of Rome, patrons of Vilassar, in el Maresme, where the family came from.

La Casa Milà

Casa Milà or “La Pedrera” , is Gaudí's second most popular building in Barcelona. It is constructed entirely in natural stones. On the roof are a number of surrealistic chimenies, all different and akin to sculpture dominating the rooftop. It also includes two large circular patios, and every part of the house gets sunlight.

La Pedrera was built between 1905 and 1910 as a dual apartment and office block. Formerly called the Casa Milà, it's better known now as La Pedrera (the quarry) because of the uneven grey stone facade that creates a wave effect that's emphasized by elaborate wrought-iron balconies. In summer the roof is floodit and open to the public for views of Barcelona.

Gúell Palace

Antonio Gaudi built this in 1888. A hall towering up three floors forms the centre of the building, creating the impression that one is standing in a Baroque church. And the hall is topped by a cupola with numerous round holes.

In the lobby of the Palace, three huge parabolic arches formed create the impression of a Gothic window, while the real windows are in facr rectangular.

The Art Nouveau elements of the entrance gate were also repeated inside the building, with lavish decorations on the pillars, with the thick mushroom-shaped grey pillars made of stone quarried in the Pyrenees, and in the twisted legs of furniture being carried through to the roof of the building

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