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Colegio de las Teresianas, or Colegio Teresiano

Colegio de las Teresianas by Antoni Gaudí, 1888 to 1890, Barcelona

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Antoni Gaudí used parabola-shaped arches for the hallways and exterior doorways at Colegio Teresiano in Barcelona, Spain.
Colegio de las Teresianas, or Colegio Teresiano, by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona

Colegio de las Teresianas, or Colegio Teresiano, by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona

Photo © Flickr Member "Vito7"

Antoni Gaudí's Colegio Teresiano is a school for the Teresian order of nuns. An unknown architect had already laid the foundation stone and established the floor plan of the four-story Colegio when Reverend Enrique de Ossó i Cervelló asked Antoni Gaudí to take over. Because the school had a very limited budget, the Colegio is made mostly of brick and stone, with an iron gate and some ceramic decorations.

Colegio Teresiano was one of Antoni Gaudí's first commissions and stands in sharp contrast to much of Gaudi's other work. The exterior of the building is relatively simple. Colegio de las Teresianas does not have the bold colors or playful mosaics found in other buildings by Gaudi. Gaudi was clearly inspired by Gothic architecture, but instead of using pointed Gothic arches, Gaudi gave the arches a unique parabola shape. Natural light floods the interior hallways. The flat roof is topped with a chimney similar to the ones seen at Palau Güell.

It's especially interesting to compare Colegio Teresiano to the luxurious Palau Güell, since Antoni Gaudí worked on these two buildings at the same time.

During the Spanish Civil War, Colegio Teresiano was invaded. Furniture, original blueprints, and some decorations were burned and lost forever. Colegio Teresiano was declared a Historical-Artistic Monument of National Interest in 1969.

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