Posted by: kimberlysullivan | November 5, 2013

Admiring Gaudí ‘s Palau Güell, Barcelona

2013_November_Guell1On a recent trip to Barcelona, Spain I was excited to see that Antoni Gaudí’s first major project, the Palau Güell, is now open to the public. The impressive family home of the wealthy Güell family, built between 1885 and 1889 is now a UNESCO Heritage site.

I was unable to see this beautiful family home on previous visits, since it was undergoing restoration, so I was especially happy to see the first major project of the famed Barcelona architect.

In designing the Güell family residence, just off the busy Las Ramblas, the young architect wanted to break from the medievalist eclectic style prevalent in Europe at the time.

Palau Güell, Barcelona

Concert Hall/Music Room

The Güell house has wonderful medieval elements, but it also borrows from Spanish and Islamic architectural elements, especially the intricately carved wooden screens, that serve to separate large spaces in the dining halls and reception halls.

There’s a wonderful basement stable, with whimsical unicorn hitching posts.

The Güell family were also patrons of the arts, and many of their children studied music with the leading instructors of the time. They certainly had a spectacular music room in which to practice, with galleries overlooking the concert area on the upper floors.

Palau Güell, BarcelonaThe home lacks the curving lines Gaudí favored later in his career. But the rooftop provides a visitor with a preview of his later projects.

On the rooftop, twenty chimneys are scattered across the roof, and decorated with trencadis – mosaics of broken tile shards. They were beautiful and whimsical in the afternoon light, when I visited. Later, they helped me to located the building when I was up on the observation deck of the Christopher Columbus Memorial column.

The Palau Güell is definitely a must-see on your next visit to Barcelona.

Palau Güell, Barcelona


  1. […] Ramblas is certainly one of the liveliest areas of Barcelona, Spain. I’ve already written about Palau Güell, the first major commission of modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, which is just off the […]

  2. […] written a post about Antonin Gaudí’s first major commission in Barcelona, Spain – the Palau Güell. The Catalan architect’s work are on prominent display all around Barcelona – and one […]

  3. […] Off of La rambla, close to the Placa Real, is one of  Antonin Gaudi’s first major works – the Palua Guell. He restructured this building in 1889, in a Neo-Gothic style. For more about a visit to this interesting residence, see my earlier post. […]

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