Antoni Gaudí, a universal architect and outstanding figure in Catalan culture, lived for nearly twenty years in this house in Park Güell, now the Gaudí House Museum.
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was born in the town of Reus on 25 June 1852. His was a family of coppersmiths, and the young Antoni was initiated into the world of arts and crafts at his father’s workshop. Gaudí spent his childhood between Reus and the nearby village of Riudoms, where his father’s family had a farmhouse and where he was able to observe at close-hand what would become a major reference throughout his life: nature.
In 1868, at the age of sixteen, he moved to Barcelona, where he studied architecture and lived for the rest of his life. Gaudí lived with his family in various apartments in the city until, in 1906, at the age of fifty-four, he moved into a house in Park Güell, in the upper part of Barcelona, with his elderly father and ailing niece. The location of their new home, in that delightful setting, some distance from the city centre, seemed ideal for the family, given their poor health, whilst it also allowed the architect to oversee day-to-day work on the project for Park Güell, which was then under construction.
Unfortunately, his father died that same year, 1906, followed by his niece six years later. Although he was now alone, Gaudí continued to live in Park Güell in simple, austere style, in accordance with his deep religious feelings. Meanwhile, he devoted himself almost exclusively to the construction of the Church of the Sagrada Família. He had begun working on this project in 1883 and even lived on-site from 1925, as this made the task of directing the work easier.
Just months later, on 10 June 1926, Gaudí died after being run over by a tram. He was buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Família, the funeral procession attended by a large crowd of people who came to bid the architect a last farewell. Shortly after this, following Gaudí’s instructions, his house at Park Güell was sold, and the proceeds from the transaction were invested in continuing the work of building the church. Finally, in 1963, the house opened to the public as the Gaudí House Museum.
Besides the Sagrada Família, which was the most outstanding project in his career, and Park Güell, Antoni Gaudí left a series of other great works in the city of Barcelona, including Casa Vicens, Palau Güell, Casa Batlló and Casa Milà. Thanks to his originality and creativity, combined with his enormous capacity for innovation, Gaudí has become a universal figure in the field of architect. His work is known and admired around the world and his legacy is ever more greatly appreciated, despite the passing of the years.