This palace or family home of Eusebi Guell was built between 1886 and 1888. You will find it located in the centre of Barcelona just off La Ramblas. It was the first great commission of Gaudi when he was a young architect. He went on to design Park Guell which is a popular tourist attraction in Barcelona today.
Gaudi introduced new ideas of space and light, along with rich decorative details in wrought iron, ceramics, glass, stone and wood.
The building was dimly lit in some areas, making photography a little challenging without flash but the effects of the lights really highlighted the beautiful and very different aspects.
The furniture, lights and stained-glass windows were examples of more brilliant works designed by this architect as well as other brilliant craftsmen of the time.
I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the amazing toilet with its tiled walls and ceramic bowl.
Get up close to photograph the decorative wood paneling on the walls and doors.
Look up and down from each of the balconies as well as through the railings.
The ceilings of many of the rooms were decorative wood and metal. So much detail and craftsmanship here. One ceiling was adorned with ceramic tiles.
Gaudi used the parabolic or catenary arches throughout the building. These arches feature constantly in his later works, especially in Casa Batllo and Casa Milla.
The basement was once a horse stable and features a ramp for the animals. The robust brick pillars were built as support for the rest of the building. This area could easily be missed on your tour of the palace so make sure that you find your way down there.
However, one of the biggest drawcards of this building would have to be the rooftop with its 20 chimneys (6 brick and 14 decorative featuring ceramics and stone).
A 15 metre spire tops the central dome which is covered in stone. The top features a weather vane with a bat, the crown of Aragon and a Greek cross. The top left photo below features some “bows” symbolising 1888, the year the building was completed. Another of Gaudi’s ingenious ideas.
As there were so many chimneys, I made a collage depicting the chimneys and the central spire. I have also shown some close-ups of the tiled surfaces. I had so much fun photographing this rooftop as I was on my own and had plenty of time.
Should you visit Palau Guell? Firstly if you are a Gaudi fan, I would say absolutely. If you a keen photographer, there are many opportunities here. However if time is against you, then I would suggest Sagrada Famila, Casas Batllo and Mila and Park Guell first. In saying that, I was glad that I had the time and the opportunity to see it.