For an intimate look at the life and works of architect and designer Antoni Gaudí, without paying the price of admission and battling the crowds at the more popular Park Güell, consider visiting the Gaudí House Museum. Situated in the free access area of Park Güell (just outside of the Gaudí Monumental Zone), this early 20th century home has been open to the public since 1963 and houses an interesting collection of items designed and/or owned by Gaudí.
The house, designed by architect Francesc Berenguer as a model home for the Park Güell residential estate, served as Gaudí’s residence for nearly 20 years. It was here that he designed some of his most famous works, such as La Padrera (also known as Casa Milà) and, the as yet unfinished, La Sagrada Família.
The exterior of this striking pink-stuccoed castle-like structure is adorned with flourishing sgraffito reliefs framing elongated windows, and an elegant wrought-iron balcony projecting from a corner tower topped by a trencadís-covered spire.
Interior features include a main staircase with a graceful wooden banister;
pink and green marble walls in the stairway;
decorative ceilings with floral medallions;
ornate iron and colored glass light fixtures;
Displayed throughout the house are furnishings and other items designed by Gaudí, such as:
curvaceous furniture from Casa Batlló,
a bench with scallop detail from the Crypt of Colonia Güell,
and fiddle-leaf-backed chairs from Casa Calvet (notice the mirror beneath the settee allowing for a view of the detail on the underside of the seat),
and brass hardware including doorhandles and a honeycomb inspired peephole.
The upper floor is devoted to Gaudí’s personal life. Some of what you’ll see here includes:
Gaudí’s bedroom furnished with a simple bed, wooden chifforobe, and prie-deu (prayer stool).
The white-tiled private bathroom features a double vanity and indoor toilet with a unique wooden seat.
A prayer room furnished with several pieces, some of which are reproductions, taken from the Crypt of the Sagrada Familia, including: a wooden Bishop’s chair (reproduction), a prie-deu covered in red fabric (reproduction), and on the altar, two wrought-iron candlesticks (ca. 1890).
Additional artwork in the museum includes:
Portrait of Eusebi Güell – Jul i Moisès, 1913, and
a bust of Antoni Gaudí – Joan Matamala, 1990
The grounds, which offer partial views of Park Güell from the arched-trellis-covered pathway, are dotted with sculptural works (some of which are reproductions). Among these are:
the iron grilles from Casa Vicens and from Casa Mila (ca. 1910),
pedestrian gate from Casa Mila,