Palau Guell Barcelona

Palau Güell – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Palau Güell is a mansion located in El Raval neighborhood of the city of Barcelona, Spain. It was designed by the renowned architect Antoni Gaudí for the wealthy industrialist Eusebi Güell, and it is considered one of the most important works from his early period.

Construction on Palau Güell began in 1886 and was completed in 1890. The building’s design reflects Gaudí’s signature style, which was heavily influenced by his love of nature and his fascination with organic forms. The building’s most distinctive feature is its elaborate rooftop featuring a series of ornate chimneys and ventilation towers. The rooftop also serves as an open-air space for events and social gatherings.

The interior of the Palau Güell is equally impressive, featuring a variety of artistic and architectural elements that showcase Gaudí’s unique vision. The building’s main hall is particularly noteworthy, with its soaring ceiling and intricate ironwork. Other highlights include the colorful stained glass windows, the ornate wooden doors, and the intricate mosaic work that adorns the walls and ceilings throughout the building.

Palau Güell became a piece of sensation architecture is also due to the flawless handwork. Gaudí collaborated closely with several artisan experts who have traditional techniques that Gaudi utilized to create revolutionary work. Today, Palau Güell is open to the public as a museum, allowing visitors to experience the beauty and grandeur of this remarkable building. It is considered a masterpiece of Modernist architecture and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Palau Güell after Eusebi family

After the Eusebi family moved out of Palau Guell, the building went through a series of changes and was used for different purposes. In the early 1900s, the building was converted into a textile factory, and the original interior was modified to accommodate machinery and workers. Later, during the Spanish Civil War, it was used as a warehouse for food and supplies.

In 1945 Eusebi Güell’s youngest daughter, Mercè Güell López, transferred Güell Palace to Barcelona Provincial Council for cultural purposes. 

In the 1950s, the Palau was in a state of disrepair and was at risk of being demolished. However, it was saved by the efforts of the local community and the government of Catalonia, who recognized its historical and cultural importance.

In 1969, the Palau was officially declared a National Monument, and a major restoration project began. The project was led by architect Josep Maria Garrut and included the reconstruction of the original interior, as well as the restoration of the exterior and the building’s decorative elements.

Today, Palau Guell is open to the public as a museum and cultural center, showcasing the work of Antoni Gaudi and providing visitors with a glimpse into the life and times of one of Barcelona’s most influential families.

Antoni Gaudi y By Pau Audouard Deglaire

About Antoni Gaudí

Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) was a Spanish architect known for his unique and innovative style that combined elements of Art Nouveau, Gothic Revival, and Modernism. He was born in Reus, Catalonia, and spent most of his professional life in Barcelona, where he created many iconic buildings and structures, including the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell, Casa Mila, and Casa Batllo. Gaudi’s designs were often inspired by nature and featured intricate ornamentation and imaginative forms. His work has had a significant impact on the architecture and art of the 20th century, and he is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in Catalonia.

Palau Guell Eusebi Guell

About Eusebi Güell

Eusebi Guell (1846-1918) was a wealthy Catalan industrialist, politician, and art patron who played a significant role in the cultural and social life of Barcelona in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Guell was a major patron of the arts, supporting many Catalan artists and intellectuals of his time. He was also a politician who advocate of Catalan nationalism and played a key role in the movement for Catalan autonomy. Despite his immense wealth and social status, Guell was known for his philanthropy and social conscience by devoting much of his efforts to improving the lives of workers and the poor in his community.

Art Nouveau Architecture

Art Nouveau, also known as Modernisme in Catalonia, is an architectural style that emerged in the late 19th century and flourished until the First World War. It was characterized by a departure from traditional forms and ornamentation and a focus on organic, flowing lines, and natural motifs. Art Nouveau architects often incorporated new materials, such as iron and glass, into their designs, and used them in innovative ways. The style was marked by a desire to integrate art into everyday life, with an emphasis on the total design of a building or space.

Palau Guell  incorporates various Art Nouveau elements, such as curved lines, asymmetrical shapes, and intricate decoration. The building’s façade, rooftop, and interior spaces are all notable for their artistic and architectural features, making it a significant landmark in Barcelona and an excellent example of Art Nouveau architecture. Let’s take a detail look on this amazing architecture. 

Palau Guell Entrance door

The Metals Entrance Doors

Upon entering the building, there are two large eyecatching parabolic arches designed by Gaudí. Underneath the arches are the metal doors made by Joan Oñós and the Badia Miarau brothers, the masters of wrought ironwork. 

The door was designed thicker in the center compared to the upper and lower parts; it allows the light to pass through while still keeping the privacy by making it possible to look out from inside, but not vice versa. 

Mushroom arch palau guell basement

The Mushroom arches Basement

Antoni Gaudí designed the basement in an arch mushroom shape and completely built-in mostly raw bricks, except for the floor. The open space improves the ventilation system and enhances the basement’s light condition. The spiral ramp enabled the servant to navigate the horse to the basement efficiently.

The primary stairs of palau guell

The Primary Staircase

The primary staircase is made of the snake-eye stone material from the Pyrenees, a mountain range between Spain and France. Gaudí designed the stained glass window on the top, which features the four stripes of the Catalan flag.  This stairs will take you to the Mezzanine Vestibule area of the house, where Eusebi Güell’s office and private library were located, which are not open to the public at the moment. 

The Coffered Wooden Ceiling above the Staircase

The Coffered Wooden Ceiling above the Staircase

The stair that leads to the main hall of the house, overhead the staircase is the magnificent coffered wooden ceiling made with Red bullet trees wrought iron elements. The lamp hanging up there is an original decorative element from Guadi’s period.

Palau Guell UNESCO World Heritage

The Hall of Intimates for Family’s External Activities

This great Hall is a private space dedicated to the family’s public social activities, which Gaudí designed under the Arabian influence. The room is divided into three sessions:

1. The Piano area:

Piano displayed at the first and entrance of this room. This is where the Güell daughters rehearsed and performed piano concerts. Eusebi Güell’s oldest daughter – Isabel Güell López is a musician who played piano and organ, as well as a talented composer. 

2. The Smoking area:

In the central area is a quiet corner called the smoking room. Gaudi designed the bench and adapted it according to the bay window’s rounded shape. The young architect also invented a shade system for ventilation and sunlight control. 

3. Dinning room:

The walnut table and oak chairs in the Dinning room were initially from the Güell era. 

Palau Guell UNESCO World Heritage

The Magnificent Central Hall of Palau Güell

The Hall of Lost Steps

The hall of lost steps guides the visitors to the central hall’s entrance. The lavish decoration in The Central Hall reflects on the social status of the Güell family. Antoni Gaudí designed the room using the height and columns to expand the hallway’s visual space and add on the bay window that allows the natural light to come through the Hall.

The impressive ceiling of this hall is made of oak and wrought iron with gold leaf; behind the door from the picture above is the dressing room for ladies who were attending the event.

The Central Hall

The Central Hall is the center area of the entire residence, mainly functioned for family events such as concerts, operas, and religious services.

The most incredible part of this room is finding a unique parabolic dome overhead supported by four arches. Some of the stone pieces are perforated, which allow the natural light to shine through during the day and night. Other than the impressive dome, Antoni Gaudí also decorated the room with multi-color limestone. 

Palau Guell bedroom floor

The Bedroom Floor

This floor was solely used by the family, which leads to Güell’s family bedroom. The fireplace is made of red marble and alabaster designed by Camil Oliveras.

The building was mostly empty after The Güell family moved to Park Güell. Until 1992, Barcelona Provincial Council started to recovered some of the original furniture after spoken to several families Güell’s family. Currently, part of this floor is also used as a permanent exhibition showcasing the decorative arts.

Semi suspended palau guell stairs

The Semi-suspended Servant’s Staircase

This semi-suspended staircase in Palau Güell is the only staircase that connects the entire building from the top to the ground. 

Attic palau guell

The Attic

The attic was the workspace for domestic staff where the laundry room, kitchen, and servant’s room located.

The stained glass shown above was designed by Gaudí, using a technique called trencadíssystem, which is a type of architectural decoration of Catalan modernism. The architect repeated this technique around his works, it is generally made with irregular ceramic shards to create an abstract design.

Palau Guell UNESCO World Heritage

The Roof Terrace

The rooftop of Palau Guell is an exceptional example of the creative and technical genius of Antoni Gaudi. It features a series of remarkable structures that are both functional and visually stunning. One of the most notable characteristic is the series of 20 chimneys, each with a unique design, that rise above the rooftop.15 Chimneys connect with the fireplaces to the palace. 6 chimneys are made of bricks, while the other 14 are decorated with trencadís technique, using shards of ceramic, glass, marble, vitrified sandstone, and earthenware. These chimneys are not just decorative, but they also serve a practical purpose of venting smoke from the building’s heating and cooking systems.

Gaudi’s use of unique shapes, textures, and colors in the rooftop design of Palau Guell demonstrates his innovative approach to architecture and his love of natural forms. The rooftop of Palau Guell is not only a functional space but also an extraordinary work of art.

General Information

Visitors can purchase tickets to Palau Guell online or at the entrance. It is recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist season, as the mansion can be quite busy. Guided tours are also available, and they offer a more in-depth exploration of the mansion’s history and architecture.

Palau Guell is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and it is closed on Mondays. The hours of operation vary depending on the season, so visitors should check the official website for the most up-to-date information.

Address: Nou de la Ramblas, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona

Tel: +34-934-725-775

Book your ticket Here

Related article: Travel destinations in Spain

Eco-friendly Properties Near Palau Güell Barcelona

Mandarin Oriental Hotel barcelona

Mardarin Oriental Barcelona

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona is a luxurious 5-star hotel located in the heart of the city, just a few blocks from the famous Las Ramblas and close to many popular attractions such as Palau Güell, the Gothic Quarter, Port Vell and the Picasso Museum. The hotel features 120 stylish rooms and suites, all decorated in a contemporary yet elegant style.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona has been certified by Green Globe for its eco-friendly practices and sustainable initiatives, including energy-efficient lighting, responsible waste management, and the use of locally sourced and organic products.

The hotel offers guests a range of amenities and services, including a rooftop terrace with a pool and panoramic views of the city, a fitness center, and a spa offering a wide range of treatments. The hotel also features several dining options, including a Michelin-starred restaurant, Moments, which serves Mediterranean cuisine with a modern twist, and a stylish bar, Banker’s Bar, serving a range of cocktails and drinks.

Hotel Casa Fuster Barcealon

Hotel Casa Fuster G.L Monumento

Hotel Casa Fuster is a luxurious five-star hotel located in Eixample district of Barcelona, just a few blocks away from Palau Güell. It was built in 1908 by the renowned architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and in 2000 it was completely renovated and transformed into a hotel.

The hotel is known for its impressive Modernist architecture, which is characterized by its ornate façade and elegant interior design. It has 105 rooms and suites, each decorated in a unique and sophisticated style. The rooms are spacious and feature luxurious amenities such as marble bathrooms, high-end bedding, and state-of-the-art technology.

Hotel Casa Fuster also offers a range of facilities and services, including a rooftop terrace with stunning views of the city, a fitness center, and a spa. The hotel’s restaurant, Galaxó, serves Mediterranean cuisine in a stylish and contemporary setting, while the Jazz Bar is a popular spot for cocktails and live music.

In addition to its luxurious accommodations and amenities, Hotel Casa Fuster is eco-certified by the Biosphere Responsible Tourism certification. This certification is awarded to hotels and tourism establishments that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Hotel Casa Fuster has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its environmental impact, such as using renewable energy sources, implementing water-saving measures, and reducing waste through recycling and composting. The hotel also supports local communities by sourcing products from local suppliers and engaging in philanthropic activities.

Hotel 1898

Hotel 1898

Hotel 1898 Barcelona is a four-star hotel located on the famous Las Ramblas promenade of Barcelona, just a few minutes’ walk from Palau Güell. The hotel features 169 elegantly designed rooms and suites, all equipped with modern amenities and high-quality furnishings. The hotel offers several dining options, including a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine, a rooftop terrace bar with panoramic views of the city, and a bar serving cocktails and tapas. 

Hotel 1898 Barcelona has been awarded the ISO 14001 environmental management certification; it has implemented measures such as energy-efficient lighting, recycling waste, and reducing water usage. The hotel also sources its food locally, supporting the local economy and reducing its carbon footprint.

Hotel Barcelona Universal

Hotel Barcelona Universal

Hotel Barcelona Universal, which is located just a 10-minute walk from Palau Guell. This hotel is eco-certified by Biosphere Responsible Tourism and has implemented a number of sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing water consumption, and implementing waste management programs. The hotel also has a policy of using eco-friendly cleaning products and toiletries.

In addition to its eco-friendly practices, Hotel Barcelona Universal offers comfortable and stylish accommodations, with 167 rooms and suites that feature modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and air conditioning. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace with a pool and stunning views of the city, as well as a fitness center and a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine.

Hotel Barcelona Universal is a great option for travelers who want to stay in an eco-certified hotel that is conveniently located near Palau Guell and other top attractions in Barcelona.

Hotel Market Barcelona

Hotel Market

Hotel Market is a three-star eco-certified hotel located in the El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona, just a 10-minute walk from Palau Guell. The hotel is housed in a historic building featuring 46 rooms, each decorated in a contemporary style with modern amenities. The rooms are soundproofed to ensure a peaceful and comfortable stay.

Hotel Market is also committed to sustainability and has been certified by Biosphere Responsible Tourism for its eco-friendly practices. The hotel has implemented a range of sustainable measures, such as using renewable energy sources, reducing water consumption, and recycling. It also serves breakfast made with organic and locally sourced ingredients.

In addition to its comfortable accommodations and eco-friendly practices, Hotel Market has a restaurant that serves Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients. 

Hotels Del Comte

Hotels Del Comte

Hotel Del Comte is a budget eco-certified hotel located in the Eixample district of Barcelona, just a 15-minute walk from Palau Guell. The hotel is housed in a renovated 19th-century building that retains its historic charm while offering modern amenities, it features 48 cozy and comfortable rooms decorated in a contemporary style with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Hotel Del Comte is committed to sustainability and has been certified by Biosphere Responsible Tourism for its eco-friendly practices. The hotel has implemented a range of sustainable measures, such as using energy-efficient lighting, reducing water consumption, and recycling. The hotel also serves a daily breakfast buffet that includes organic and locally sourced products.

In addition to its eco-friendly practices, Hotel Del Comte’s location is convenient for exploring Barcelona, with easy access to public transportation and many top attractions in the area.

Hotel Photos Credit: All hotels images courtesy of Nananai World’s affiliate partner

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