Antoni Gaudi Facts and Architecture

Antoni Gaudi Facts

Antoni Gaudi Architecture, Facts, Works, Short Biography

There is so much to tell about Barcelona and it’s not possible to squeeze everything in a single blog post. Therefore I tried to display the action of the streets in my first blog post. This second article is reserved for Barcelona‘s cultural & architectural heritage.

Barcelona has the legacy of painters like Salvador Dali and Picasso and the architect Gaudi. Even a week might not be enough to experience its unique features. Catalan people’s distinctive culture is making the Barcelona cultural capital of Spain.

Modernism Architectural Literary In Barcelona

Although this blog post was written to mention Barcelona’s inventive architecture, it’s somehow dedicated to Antoni Gaudi since he left a signature to the corners of the city. I will try to tell you about his life and works in this humble article.

Antoni Gaudi Facts, Architecture, Biography

Our main character Antoni Gaudi was born in Catalonia in 1852. Gaudi studied architecture in Barcelona between 1873-1877. Even tough he was a young architect, Gaudi‘s fame spread not only in Barcelona but whole World in a few years.

As a student, Gaudi was so successful about drawings and projects. Therefore while graduating from the school, his teacher said: “Perhaps, I’m giving this diploma to a genious. Who knows! Time will show all of us.” And only one year later, Antoni Gaudi made his first move that proved his teacher was right. Street lamps of Plaça Real! Lamps which have unique and beautiful design that keen eyes can not possibly miss.

The Plaça Real was my favorite place to wander around during Barcelona visit. Lamps were most eye-catching and picturesque items in Plaça Real even without knowing they were designed by Gaudi! I heard the information from a tour guide though.

Antoni Gaudi signed all corners of Barcelona although you don’t realize at first sight. Everybody knows about Sagrada Familia, but the charming deails like “Plaça Real Street Lamps” surprises travellers when they find out.

Facts About Sagrada Familia Building

Construction of Barcelona’s amazing church “Sagrada Familia” started when Gaudi was 30 years old. Sagrada Familia has such a complex plan that construction is still carried out today. The completion of “Cripta Part” where prayers and underground arcades took place, lasted for 9 years.

Antoni Gaudi Facts

Antoni Gaudi Facts and Architecture
Sagrada Familia

Architect Gaudi And Maecenas Earl Guell

Gaudi, at the beginning of 20th century; met Earl Eusebi Guell who was one of the richest person in Barcelona. Just like the Medici Family of Florence who had supported artists like Michalangelo, Raphael and Leonardo, Earl Guell supported Antoni Gaudi financially, in order to create modern and unique masterpieces.

Barcelona’s Park Guell

Gaudi’s most famous masterpiece “Park Guell”, was created for Earl Guell (1900-1914). Infact Park Guell initially intended to build some flats for high-end class of Barcelona. According to the plan, Gaudi was going to build 60 private “unique looking” residences away from factory smoke of the city.

Initially two show flats had been built. But project was somehow cancelled due to financial problems. At this point, I want to share my sadness because the houses look as if they came out from a fairytale. I can’t stop myself thinking how 60 of them would be like!

These show flats at Park Guell, seemed to me like Hollywood studio that made for Hansel and Gratel tale. As if they would melt when the sun will rise in the sky! Eventually, these two unique-of-a-kind houses were bought by Gaudi following the suggestion of Earl Guell himself. Gaudi lived there with his family.

This project failure turned out good for people of Barcelona as the land turned into a public park. Now it’s a popular touristic spot with extraordinary mosaics, curves and of course mosaic dragon.

The Mosaic Dragon

The mosaic dragon decorates the center of stairs coming down from One Hundred Column Room. Unfortunately in 2007 it was broken into pieces with a metal bar by a group of drunk teenagers. Fortunately it was restorated shortly after this act of vandalism.

Gaudi’s Catalan Modernista Movement: Casa Mila House

Antoni Gaudi designed a home for one of the richest couple of city in Exiample. This was high-end neighborhood where elite society had lived. Gaudi’s creation is called “Casa Mila” which was dedicated to Pere Mila, one of the prominent figures of the city.

The other name of house is “La Pedrera”, means quarry. This eight floors building was actually aganist the architectural principles of its time. Today it’s known as Antoni Gaudi’s last masterpiece before dedicating himself to Sagrada Familia.

Casa Mila which is a quite interesting and asimetric building, listed world heritage site by UNESCO.

La Sagrada Familia Church

Gaudi spend his full time and energy for constructing Sagrada Familia after 1910. He was cruelly criticised by some people due to never-ending efforts and expenditures for the Church. He then made a statement that refers to God:  “My client is not in hurry”

When you check the extremely detailed plan of the church, the amount of time that spent not surprising at all. The decorations of birth of the Christ façade and detail of statues look insane.

The plan of Sagrada Familia is to accomplish unfeasible. It intended to adorn the church with 18 towers.

  1. 12 of the towers dedicated to the Apostles of Jesus and the height is 100 meters.
  2. Remaining 4 towers dedicated to Four Evangelists who wrote the Bible.
  3. One other tower wih its 125 meters height dedicated to Mother Mary.
  4. And finally the main tower is raised for Jesus Christ. (175 meters)

Sagrada Familia Museum

Infact it’s hard to grip the details of the church before visiting the Gaudi’s Museum inside the complex. Antoni Gaudi claims that he designed the church with the inspirations from the nature. You then see how he tried to describe a body of a tree, branches and leaves through stones and marbles

Death Of Gaudi And Where Is He Buried?

Gaudi had lived in construction site during his last years of his life. He died in 1926  in a tram accident. Reportedly he withdrew into solitude right before his death.

Because of his modest personality, even when he had an accident on tram tracks, nobody first recognised him. He was seriously injured and when his friends visited him in a public hospital, they offered him a better medical treatment. However he rejected the offer by saying: “My place is beside the poor”. He passed away three days after the accident. He was buried near to Sagrada Familia which was his grand masterpiece.

Antoni Gaudi’s Valuable Heritage In Barcelona

Despite of Gaudi’s all efforts, only a small portion of the building had been completed when he died. A text inside the church proves how much he was happy when the first tower was completed:

“Look at this hill, it’s the place where heaven and earth embraces. This tower will be the first thing to see in horizon, when sailors approach to Barcelona from the sea. Such an nice welcome, isn’t it?”

Art Nouveau And Modernism

Antoni Gaudi is considered as the pioneer “Art Noveau” and “Modernista” movements in the world architecture. If you are interested in history and architecture you may want to read Hagia Sophia Facts which is written by the same author.

Antoni Gaudi Facts by Serhat Engul

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