The Gaudí Crypt, a World Heritage Site

In 2005, seven buildings designed by Antoni Gaudí were inscribed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Six of them are extremely well known: the Sagrada Família, La Pedrera, Casa Vicens, Parc Güell, Palau Güell and Casa Batlló. However, the seventh architectural gem in the list, the Crypt of the Colònia Güell, is much less famous. It’s an architectural masterpiece in which the author of impossible works tested his considerable intellect.

The Gaudí Crypt stands on a small promontory surrounded by a pine wood within the highly distinctive Colònia Güell, an industrial model village. Built between 1908 and 1917, this special construction was commissioned by the architect’s patron, the businessman Eusebi Güell. Before you even step inside, the outside of the building will take your breath away.

The outside walls seem to merge with their setting thanks to a series of hyperbolic forms with no straight lines. The ornamental mosaics of the complex are also fascinating, especially the X-shaped crosses, engaging us with a language that draws us in but which we can’t quite grasp.

Inside the crypt, the large stained-glass windows dominate the space and we feel like standing still for a while to enjoy the shapes made by the light as it reflects on the stones. Other impressive features include the wooden pews, designed by Gaudí, the fonts, decorated with huge seashells sourced from the Philippines, and the imperfectly beautiful leaning basalt stone columns.

The Gaudí Crypt resembles a magical cave, a space where art and nature interact with total freedom. But don’t forget that the church of the Colònia Güell is much more than a masterpiece of Catalan modernism; it’s also a parish church and all sorts of ceremonies are held under its undulating ceiling, such as marriages, christenings, funerals and masses.

More information:

Colònia Güell
Tourist Board of Santa Coloma de Cervelló
Tourist Board of Baix Llobregat