At the beginning of May one of Gaudí’s most important masterpieces and part of the modernist route re-opened its doors to visitors.
A bit of background
The Palau Güell was built in 1885 for the fabulously rich patron and symbol of Barcelona Eusebi Güell, so that he could be a neighbour of his father, who lived on the Ramblas. In 1984 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Palace has been undergoing work since 1982 and was actually closed for seven long years. Nine million euros were invested by the Barcelona government (the Diputación) so that it could be reopened to the public.
Unlike other such projects this particular one was finished on time (!) and was actually the residence of the Güell family for over forty years. The family had to leave in the midst of the Spanish Civil War when the building was requisitioned by the CNT-FAI to be used for their causes during the conflict. It was then used as a police station and later as a prison. At the end of the Civil War the Güell family took the building back in a particularly deteriorated and damaged state, which was far from the image they wanted it to be kept in. It was then handed over to the Barcelona Diputación who are its current owners.
A unique fact
Another interesting aspect to the building, and one that makes it so attractive, is that its architectural genius and creator had to face very limited spatial restrictions. He had to build a number of strategic rooms over several different levels as well as making the most of a terrace area on the roof. The building that is so cosily located in a small niche of the street Nou de La Rambla already suffered from the highly popular and densely populated Ramblas area from the end of the 1890s onwards. The optimal adaptation of the building to its environment and the surrounding area was one of Gaudí’s most outstanding quests.
Address: c/ Nou de la Rambla, 3-5 Barcelona
Metro: Line 3, accessible from Liceu and Drassanes
Bus: 14, 59 and 91
Summer timetable (1st April – 30th September) : 10 h – 20 h, (last entry : 19 h)
Winter timetable (1st October -31st March) : 10 h – 17 h 30, (last entry : 16 h 30)
Closed on Mondays, 25th and 26th December, 1st January and from 6th-13th January.
Price: normal entry 12€, reduced price 8€ (over the age of 65, students under the age of 25), group 8€ (reserve by telephone beforehand to ensure a place).