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Palau Güell, or Guell Palace

Palau Güell, or Guell Palace, by Antoni Gaudí, 1886 to 1890, Barcelona

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With limited space but an unlimited budget, Antoni Gaudí built Guell Palace in Barcelona for a wealthy industrialist.
Palau Güell, or Guell Palace by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, Spain

Palau Güell, or Guell Palace by Antoni Gaudí in Barcelona, Spain

Photo © Flickr Member "Cebete"
Palau Güell, or Guell Palace, was the first of many commissions that Antoni Gaudí received from Eusebi Güell. Guell Palace only takes up 72 x 59 feet (22 x 18 meters) and is located in what was at the time one of the least desirable areas of Barcelona. With limited space but an unlimited budget, Gaudí built a home and social center worthy of Güell, a leading industrialist and the future count of Güell.

The stone and iron Guell Palace is fronted with two gates in the shape of parabolic arches. Through these large arches, horse-drawn carts could follow ramps into the basement stables.

Inside Guell Palace, a courtyard is covered by a parabola-shaped dome that stretches the height of the four-story building. Light enters the dome through star-shaped windows.

The crowning glory of Palau Güell is the flat roof dotted with 20 different mosaic-covered sculptures that ornament the chimneys, ventilation covers, and stairwells. Functional rooftop sculptures later became a trademark of Gaudi's work.

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