Antoni Gaudi was a world renowned architect who made a definitive mark on the city of Barcelona. One of his landmark projects was designing the Palau di Guell (Mansion of Guell) for the industrial tycoon, Euseli Guell and his family. Built between 1886 and 1888, this mansion is amazing. Every room (and there were at least 24 by our count) is more beautiful than the previous one. Even the stables, which were built underneath the mansion, were impressive. But, by far, our favorite room was the Grand Hall, with its three floor high ceiling, beautiful wood and iron work, and an impressive chapel area that could be closed off by two massive doors, when the hall was being used for social occasions. On the family apartment level, Gaudi designed hidden windows so that the Guells could see what their guests were wearing before they dressed to join them. As an added bonus, Gaudi designed the ceiling overlooking this social arena with holes, behind which lanterns could be hung during evening events, to give the impression of stars. While I am definitely not a fan of heights, a trip to the roof of Palau di Guell is well worth it. for here, in typical Gaudi fashion, even the chimneys have a flair. We loved this place!
Street level view of the Palau di Guell.
One of the uniquely Gaudi designs were the two parabolic entrance gates to the home. Guests would arrive in their carriages through these gates, get out and then climb the central staircase to the reception hall. Meanwhile, the horses and carriages would continue down a ramp to the stable area beneath the mansion.
This stable area was massive and also beautifully designed. Gaudi apparently felt that the horses also could appreciate fine accommodations.
There are rings designed like Bulls...
...as well as dogs, for securing the horses.
The central staircase is located between the two parabolic entrance gates. At the top, Gaudi designed a stained glass window to represent the Catalan flag.
Throughout the house there are intricate wood and iron ceilings.
At the far end of the dinning room are two doors for a butler's pantry and dumb-waiters for sending food from the kitchen.
Entrance into the Grand Hall .
This is where all the Guell's social events were held...
...and looking up to the ceiling you can see the holes behind which lamps were hung during the evening, to simulate stars.
Opposite the staircase in the Grand Hall is where the Guells had their private chapel. That chapel area could be closed off by the huge doors during social events.
Above the chapel area is the massive pipe organ...
...which could be played from this console located in a little area next to the chapel.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.