Gaudí beyond Barcelona
Industrial buildings, crypts, wineries, gardens... The imagination of the architect Antoni Gaudí knew no bounds and he applied it to any challenge he was given, always in his unmistakable signature style. A century later, we have the good fortune to enjoy several sites in the Barcelona area beyond the capital city. Let’s go on a tour of the works by this genius. Are you ready?
Crypt of the Colònia Güell
Gaudí had been commissioned to build the entire church of the Colònia Güell, a textile model village in Santa Coloma de Cervelló. However, due to the death of the industrialist Eusebi Güell, only the wonderful crypt, a UNESCO World Heritage site, ended up bearing the architect’s signature. Built between 1908 and 1914, each column of the crypt is different, and the building functions as a sundial thanks to the light that filters in through the stained-glass windows in the shape of a pine cone. The furniture in the crypt was also designed by Gaudí.
Mataró is home to what is considered the first building designed by Gaudí. It is an industrial bleaching shed that he was commissioned to build by the Mataró Workers’ Cooperative between 1878 and 1883. It stands out for its parabolic arches, which the architect would go on to use in so many other buildings. The building has since been christened the Nau Gaudí and nowadays is an art exhibition venue that mainly shows works from the Lluís Bassat Collection. Some curious latrines have been preserved outside the building, also built in the architect’s signature style.
This charming site was completed in 1906 and is located in the outskirts of La Pobla de Lillet. Stonework, water and vegetation are elegantly combined, creating a variety of atmospheric settings, featuring bridges, sculptures and artificial caves. It’s a bucolic spot that you can reach in style aboard the Tren del Ciment (Cement Train).
First Glorious Mystery
The path to the Holy Cave of Montserrat is a veritable outdoor museum. Many renowned artists were commissioned to contribute to the so-called Montserrat Monumental Rosary. Antoni Gaudí was responsible for the idea and partial execution of the First Glorious Mystery (1907-1916), where we can also find sculptures by Josep Llimona, Jeroni Martorell and Dionís Renart.
These two buildings, the winery and porter’s lodge, located in Sitges and completed in 1901, bear many of Gaudí’s hallmarks, although some authors question whether it was in fact his work. At the very least he is co-responsible for its design, together with his assistant and disciple Francesc Berenguer. The winery stands out for its triangular profile and the fact that it is built completely out of stone. Today, it is a restaurant.
- In La Pobla de Lillet you can find yet another building designed by the amazing architect: the Xalet del Catllaràs residential building.
Biography of Antoni Gaudí
Bassat Collection – Nau Gaudí
Sitges Tourist Board