A WALK THROUGH THE UNKNOWN GAUDÍ
Barcelona not only has the signature of Gaudí in La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera or Park Güell. Throughout the city we can find unknown buildings and works of the architect.
Take a walk through Barcelona, go to the most emblematic places of Gaudí in Barcelona and, on the way, discover his most unknown works in the city. How many can we find? Open your eyes wide.
Our official guide will explain everything so that you do not miss even the smallest detail.
Contents of Don Juan Bassegoda Nonell Book: “The Gardens of Gaudí“.
We will find on both sides of the Paseo Lluis Companys some iron pitchers of Antoni Gaudí. The snails on both sides, making allegory as always to the Nature…
On the corner with Trafalgar street, we will also find the statue in honor of Lluis Companys. President of Catalonia in 1934, imprisoned in Montjuic Castle for 3 years and shot during the Civil War after being arrested by the Nazis and handed over to the Spanish government in 1940.
The Ciutadella Park extends over the remains of the old fort that was built in the 18th century to control Barcelona militarily, together with the Montjuïc Castle, and to be able to subject the city to a crossfire if it revolted again. Once the space around the city was freed and the Cerdà plan began, the military imposed, for the demolition of the fort, the condition that the land should be converted into a park, as explained in his book below. It is exciting to discover Barcelona and the history of my Catalan ancestors of this beautiful Catalan land.
Fiesta del Arboluna raw stone with a text on which you can read: “Instauración de la fiesta del árbol. 1899”.
Figures, trees, fruits express their interiority through their exteriority. Antoni Gaudí.
In 1888 Gaudí made the Transatlantic Pavilion where a huge snack was served for the Tree Festival. Building created for the Universal Exposition of Barcelona of the same year. It was located in the Maritime Section of the event, next to a lighthouse also built for the occasion. It was demolished at an undetermined date.
The Gardens of Gaudí:
In 1877 in third year of projects Antoni Gaudi after an elevation and a plant for a project of a fountain in the Plaza de Cataluña in Barcelona the fountain had occupied the center of the square and its diameter in plan was 28 m by 19.75 in height. Taking into account that the dimensions of the Cataluña square are 180 m by 100 m, there would have been a large space around it whose landscaping or urban planning does not appear in the project, it is therefore a design of street furniture, in which water would have had a very important role.
While Antoni Gaudí was studying architecture, he was forced to work as a draughtsman for several architects in order to partially pay for his studies. This gave him the opportunity to get in touch with the Fonzerelli family, originally from Vinyols, a town near Reus. For all this it is very possible that he collaborated in the project for the park of the Citadel presented in the international competition of 1873.
Josep Font Mestres won a runner-up prize and was commissioned to direct the work on the park, a position he held until 1887.
The work of the park of the Citadel is fundamental in the history of gardening in Barcelona, as it meant the occupation of the land of the military Citadel, ceded by General Juan Prim to the city.
Josep Fontserè, assisted by the architecture students Antoni Gaudí and Cristobal Cascante, had the collaboration of numerous sculptors such as Puiggarí, Flotats, Vallmitjana, Nobas, etc… and designed a series of buildings in the middle of a romantic garden inspired by Luxembourg in Paris or the Longchamps Park in Marseille. It was precisely from the latter that Fontserè took his model for the waterfall, inspired by Henri Espéreandiu’s Chateau d’Eau. Juan Oliver was in charge of the gardens.
It is therefore clear that Gaudí worked on the described works of the park between 1872 and 1885, being the director of the same Fontserè who had won the competition in 1870.
As for the participation of Antoni Gaudí, who was then a paid draughtsman, it is known that he was in charge of the gazebo for the municipal band, whose balustrade he carefully designed, with interesting sculptural details by Lorenzo Matamala Piñol, a friend and later a loyal collaborator of Antoni Gaudí.
Years later, in 1882, in the center of the traffic circle was placed the statue of Bonaventura Carles Aribau, work of the sculptor Fuxà with a project of the architect José Vilaseca Casanovas.
Antoni Gaudí also designed the wrought iron and cast iron grille that surrounds the park with a perimeter of 1 km, which is made in the workshops of the New Vulcan, in the port of Barcelona.
Antoni Gaudí is also responsible for the grotto under the waterfall, with a great naturalistic effect.
Gaudí carried out another work, although not strictly gardening, in the park of the Citadel.
It is the calculation of the great elevated water reservoir. A huge pond built on brick pillars for irrigation water surrounded by the entire park.
Fontserè could not solve this structure, which Antoni Gaudí had calculated so well that even his professor of Strength of Materials at the School of Architecture, Juan Torres Guardiola, had approved it without an exam.
“The building of the Ciutadella Water Reservoir was built to meet the water demand of a park and is located next to it, on a standard island in the Eixample. The volume of the building is almost cubic, four winds, with all the same facades -solid brick, the only material used- and completely devoid of ornamentation; it is a pure service building, transcended based on the rigorous order of its facade, defined by the external buttresses supporting the tank. It is aligned against Wellington Street, without touching any chamfer. The tank is located in the open air, elevated to pressurize the water by gravity. The interior space is a hypostyle room, the result of converting the supporting walls of the laps that support the tank into pillars by piercing them through a regular system of arches. It is one of the most beautiful interior spaces in the city.
It is undoubtedly a unique experience, where we can see unpublished work of Antoni Gaudí, because there is not even a sad plaque to prove it. But from Barcelona Art of Travel, we are official guides that in our constant eagerness to learn and discover the works that may be of interest to outsiders and locals of the place, we encourage you to try this magnificent experience and discover the real Antoni Gaudí.
Thanks to Pere Jordi Figuerola Rotger. Founder Member of the Gaudí Research Institute and Jose Manuel Almuzara of the Association for the beatification of Gaudí for your wise words.
Live this experience in: ROUTE THROUGH THE UNKNOWN GAUDÍ OF BARCELONA