Near Barcelona, you can visit the village of Colonia Güell. It's a former textile town that was run by industrialist Eusebi Güell and is where the yet-to-be completed church and crypt of Antoni Gaudí is located.
Crypt of Gaudí & Colonia Güell
|Address||Carrer de Claudi Güell in the town Santa Coloma de Cervelló|
|Tickets||Please remember to always report to the visitors' centre first:|
A twenty-minute train ride from Barcelona's city centre (23 km) will take you to 'Colonia Güell'. This village, also known as Santa Coloma de Cervelló, was founded by the wealthy industrialist Eusebi Güell in 1890. Here he founded a community for the workers in his textile industry to avoid the social strife of the city. The industrial colony was equipped with the latest technology, and housing for workers was built around the factory; the company provided for its employees' social and economic life. Modernist architects such as Fransesc Berenguer and Joan Rubió gave the buildings their typical style (including a theatre and a school). He gave the commission for a church to his friend Antoni Gaudí.
The crypt of Gaudí
When Eusebi Güell commissioned Antoni Gaudí to build a church for the community, he never specified a limit to the budget, the design, or the completion date. In 1908, he started construction on this ambitious project, but unfortunately the 40-metre high structure was never completed because money ran out in 1914. Only the lower crypt was completed, and Eusebi Güell's chose to spend their money on other things. Gaudi's crypt is nevertheless a milestone in his work, as it was the first building for which he combined all his architectural innovations in a single design. With its irregular shapes, the crypt can feel like a cave. No two columns are alike and the stained glass windows with the many mosaics complete the work.
Colonia Güell, World Heritage List
During the civil war in 1936, the factory became state owned, but their property was returned to the Güell family years later. They then sold their factory to other wealthy industrialists in 1945. It's final closure came in 1973 when the textile industry was in crisis. Nevertheless, the typical atmosphere of the peaceful village has remained intact, making this town a rightful addition to the UNESCO World Heritage List. A tour of Colonia Güell is definitely worth it for anyone interested in Gaudi.
Where is Colonia Güell?
More architecture of Gaudí: