Showing posts with label Gaudi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gaudi. Show all posts

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Antoni Gaudi: The Creator Of Modernist Barcelona

Antoni Gaudi: The Creator Of Modernist Barcelona
Christened Antoni Plcid Guillem Gaud i Cornet, or Antoni Gaudi as he is generally known, was born in 1852 on the 25th June, in a part of southern Catalonia known as Tarragona, officially in a town known as Reus although locals claim it to have been a village close by known as Riudoms. Whichever it was, he was christened when a day old in Reus and his parents' families were both coppersmiths.

Due to a long-term illness with rheumatic fever, he was not allowed much contact with other children and spent a lot of his early life alone with nature. There has been speculation that his interest in the natural shapes and designs in his work was derived from this isolation and the amount of time he was able to spend studying the geometry and curves of the natural world.

Between the ages of 21 and 25 he studied architecture in Barcelona, at the Escola Tcnica Superior dArquitectura, where he qualified as an architect in 1878. As he signed his diploma, his professor, Elies Rogent, declared Who knows if we have given this diploma to a crazy person or a genius. Only time will tell, a remark based upon Gaudi's unconventional designs. However, unconventional or not, he started up his own business and his first commission was for the Plaa Reial Lampposts, situated in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.

At the start of his career his peers ignored him, believing him to be to unconventional and failing to appreciate his creative originality. Only one person, the wealthy industrial magnate Eusebi Gell, supported him at that critical point in Gaudi's career, offering him several commissions, among them Park Gell and the Palau Gell. This gave him the start he needed and Gaudi became to be known as the foremost Spanish modernist of his era, even though he was also associated by some with art nouveau, Gothicism and surrealism.

In addition to these, Gaudi also designed Casa Calvet, Casa Vicens, Casa Mil and Casa Batll. These are among his major works, although he also carried out a number of minor commissions. Casa Vicens, built between 1883 and 1889, was constructed of red brick, stone and ceramic tiles in the Gracia district for its owner Manuel Vicens. The materials were chosen because the owner owned a plant producing tiles and red bricks. Casa Calvet, located in Eixample, is of more conventional design, and was built for a textile manufacturer between 1899 and 1904.

The above list includes two of the buildings that most people visit while in Barcelona: Casa Batll and Casa Mil. The latter is also known as La Pedrera ('the quarry'). Both of these are situated in Eixample, on Passeig de Grcia, and were built in 1877 and between 1906 and 1910 respectively. The earlier work was renovated by Gaudi between 1904 and 1906.

One of his largest and most famous works was Sagrada Famlia, started in 1883. The original architect for this Roman Catholic Church that was funded privately had resigned, and Gaudi took it over. In fact, in 1911, being a devout Catholic, he left all his other projects and committed his time exclusively to this church.

He suffered a number of tragic incidents while working on the church, and his niece, to whom he was particularly close, died in 1912. In 1916 his patron also died, Eusebi Gell being a good friend as well his original sponsor and patron. These events affected him greatly and he became reclusive, even his appearance changing. He lived the last year of his life in the crypt of the Sagrada Famlia.

He died in 1926, on June 7th, after being hit by a tram. He had such a disheveled appearance that he was believed to be a beggar and it was only when his friends visited him in hospital that his identity became known. He was in a pauper's hospital and refused to be moved, saying "I belong here, among the poor". Three days later he was dead, 73 years old, and was buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Famlia that he loved so much.

Many of his works have been recognized with awards, but as frequently happens, mostly after his death. In 1900, Casa Calvet had been named Barcelona's Building of the Year, and after his death, in 1969 several of his works were named Historic-Artist Monuments of National Interest, including Casa Mil, Casa Vincens, Parque Gell and his beloved Sagrada Famlia. Parque Gell, Casa Mil and Palau Gell were declared UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1984.

Few can doubt the influence that Antoni Gaudi had on the architecture of his time, and he was widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time. However, during his lifetime, Barcelona itself often attempted to limit him complaining that he did not follow the regulations and building codes of the day. It's just as well that he didn't, because otherwise we would not have been left with such beautiful buildings all over Barcelona. In Gaudi's own words: Artists do not need monuments erected for them because their works are their monuments.

If you intend visiting Barcelona on holiday, or even just to look at Gaudi's works, Las Ramblas is the most convenient area for accommodation, and you should make sure that you book Apartments Las Ramblas Barcelona in advance, because they are very much in demand.


When visiting the city to study Gaudi's works you should find accommodation in Apartments Las Ramblas Barcelona which are close to many of his most famous works. For more details on booking these, visit http://www.way2barcelona.com where you will also find a lot of essential information to help you get the most of your Barcelona holiday.