A complete visit to Barcelona, however short it may be, must include a series of monuments: the cathedral, La Pedrera, Las Ramblas, Sagrada Familia… In fact, Gaudí’s work constitutes a large part of this list, but his genius extends far beyond the typical buildings all know. If you want to discover these less known monuments of Gaudí, we invite you to take a ride with us for its most hidden work.
In the Raval, in the historic heart of Barcelona, there is another of the less famous works of the Catalan architect: it is the Palau Güell. It is one of the first major commissions from the artist, and therefore he put much effort into designing it and carrying it out. It is very inspired by oriental art, unlike other famous works: Hindu, Persian and Islamic air are combined in this building that for almost a decade, was the residence of Eusebi Güell, promoter of the park of the same name.
You can visit it from Tuesday to Sunday: in winter it is open from 10am until 17:30, while in summer opens until 20 h. Getting there is easy: you can do it by metro (L3 and L4), by train, bike, walk… Like we said, it is in the heart of the city! It is also close to the harbor and promenade.
However, if there is a work of Gaudí that surprises because of its location is the Hercules Fountain, that you’ll find at the Palace of Pedralbes. It is a modernist fountain that announced the creative genius of Gaudi: the wrought iron pipe represents a dragon, from whose mouth water falls into a pile of stone with carved coat of Catalonia.
Its location, in the middle of a grove of bamboo, made the fountain remain hidden and fell into obscurity until the early ’80s when it was rediscovered as Gaudí’s.
This fountain was built in 1884 on a farm that was acquired by Eusebi Güell, and a neo-Gothic mansion and a chapel was built. Subsequently, Güell gave this palace and gardens to the crown, in gratitude for having received the title of count.
It was at this time that he became known as Palau de Pedralbes, and became a royal residence in 1919, just a year after Güell ceded it. Another surprise that hide these gardens is the umbráculo, a parabolic pergola also devised by the Catalan architect. It’s a simple iron structure covered with climbing plants.
In addition to these works of Gaudí, wich are unnoticed by most, Pedralbes gardens are a perfect choice for an afternoon surrounded by greenery, fountains and sculptures.You’ll be surprised!