Do you know Antoni Gaudí’s personal history?

Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was born on 25 June 1852 in Camp de Tarragona. Some sources say in Reus, where he was baptised, and others at the house in Riudoms, the neighbouring village, where his family came from. His father and both his grandparents were boilermakers, and as Gaudí himself recounted, he learned his special skill in dealing with three-dimensional space by observing boilermakers at work.

As a child, Gaudi’s health was delicate, which meant that he was obliged to spend long periods of time resting at the summer house in Riudoms. There, he passed many an hour contemplating and storing up in his mind the secrets of nature, which he thought of as his supreme mistress and ultimate teacher of the highest knowledge, being the crowning achievement of the Creator.

After starting his secondary education at the Escolapian School in Reus, Antoni Gaudí moved to Barcelona in 1869 with his older brother. He completed his schooling and after meeting the entrance requirements in 1873 enrolled in the Provincial School of Architecture.

After gaining his architect’s diploma in January 1878, Gaudí set up his own firm. Some months later he was introduced to industrialist Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, with whom he struck up a lifelong friendship and professional relationship. Many of Gaudí’s works were commissioned by Güell, his most enthusiastic client.

In the final decades of the nineteenth century when he completed the Güell Palace he was already one of the most famous architects in Barcelona. This work saw the end of Gaudí’s first youthful phase, marked by a personal revision of Gothic and Muslim architecture and including buildings like Casa Vicens, El Capricho, the Güell Estate buildings, the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, the School of the Teresianas and the Episcopal Palace in Astorga.

From 1890 onwards Gaudí perfected his understanding of architectural space and the applied arts, giving his work unique and unsuspected qualities that stood out from the other Modernist architecture of his day. These were Gaudí’s mature years in which a succession of master works appeared: Bellesguard Villa, Park Güell, the restoration of Mallorca Cathedral, the church of the Colònia Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, and the Nativity façade of the Sagrada Familia.

However, the splendour of Gaudí’s architecture coincided with a progressive withdrawal in personal matters. While he increasingly disengaged from social life his religious feelings deepened.

In 1914 he abandoned all other work to concentrate on the Sagrada Familia. Aware that he would not live to see it completed, he did his best to leave it at an advanced stage for coming generations. In fact, Gaudí was only to see one of its towers in its final form.

Gaudí died on the 10th of June 1926 after being knocked down by a tram while making his way, as he did every evening, to the Sagrada Família from the Church of Sant Felip Neri. After being struck he lost consciousness, and nobody suspected that this dishevelled old man who was not carrying any identity papers was the famous architect. He was taken to the Santa Cruz Hospital, where he was later recognised by the Priest of the Sagrada Família. He was buried two days later in that very church, following a funeral attended by throngs of people: most of the citizens of Barcelona came out to bid a final farewell to the most universal architect that the city had ever known.

 

Western sacristy extends visitable area of basilica

Gaudí designed two sacristies connected via the cloister that will surround the temple. This is the western sacristy and has one underground floor and five finished floors above ground with a glass dome. Visitors may enter the sacristy from inside the Basilica. The Liturgical Path takes visitors around the interior of the floor. Liturgical items designed by Antoni Gaudí are on display in the cloister and in the sacristy there are two wardrobes: one to store liturgical vestments worn by celebrants and priests and the other for various liturgical items, such as chalices and patens. The cupola has been a great step forward in construction of the Basilica.

The unique exterior construction will be the foundation for the temple’s central towers.

Original elements

Hearse

Wrought-iron hearse designed by Antoni Gaudí for the temple’s crypt around 1898. Triangle-shaped candelabra formerly used for celebrating tenebrae, which corresponds to the prayers of the office of readings (matins) and laudes in the Paschal Triduum.

Two-branch candelabra

Wrought-iron candelabra designed by Antoni Gaudí for the temple’s crypt around 1898. Used to celebrate mass, placed next to the altar.

Cross candelabra

Candelabra with two candlesticks topped with a Latin cross, designed by Antoni Gaudí for the temple’s crypt around 1890, with two additional candlesticks Used to celebrate mass, placed on the altar.

Pulpit

Moveable wooden pulpit designed by Antoni Gaudí for the temple’s crypt. Reproduction from approximately 1943 of the original from 1898. Formerly used by preachers to deliver their sermons to the congregation.

Missal stand

Tabletop missal stand for the crypt of the Sagrada Família Used to hold the missal, placed on the altar.

Candlestick

Two tabletop candlesticks for the crypt of the Sagrada Família designed around 1890. Placed on either end of the altar, in front, with candles lit during mass.

Altar cards

Chalk altar cards for Casa Batlló designed 1904-1906. From the 16th or 17th centuries until the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), three altar cards were placed on the altar to help the priest say mass. Only the middle altar card was obligatory, with the hymn Gloria in excelsis Deo, the Cannon and the Credo. The other two altar cards (introduced in the 17th century) contained the prologue to the Gospel according to St. John and the words Lavabo inter innocentes manus meas, respectively.

Source: Sagradafamilia.org

 

Gaudí, landscape pinter and one of the first recycling conscious person

It’s well known that Gaudi was an enthusiastic of the Nature. Is one of his best known facets. What probably is not known is that the architect can be considered to be one of the first conscious recycling person, since any type of material was re-using in his works.
The mosaic “trencadís” that adorns the Park Güell and other many Gaudinian buildings were done using defective tiles that the architect was gathering from the nearby factories of ceramics as the Pujol and Bausis. Continuar leyendo “Gaudí, landscape pinter and one of the first recycling conscious person”

Mass tourism is damaging the Park Güell

Mass tourism is damaging the Park Güell. Thousands of people enter here daily without any form of control. The increased volume of visits is due to the Tourist Bus service, the principal means of transport by which tourists are transferred to this part of the city. Visitors continually disembark from the bus, and then move like a procession up the street that grants access to the park and they freely enter the grounds.

Then, the majority of them wander aimlessly about; some impatiently wait their turn to climb upon the lizard that greets them or take a photo in the main square’s viewing point. The most impudent even improvise football matches between the magnificent columns, using them as goalposts.

At the end of the tour, they buy the typical souvenir in one of the neighbourhood’s specialist shops with which to remember Gaudi’s work and then they return to the Tourist Bus stop.

What a sad sight for one of the largest architectural works in Southern Europe, declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1994.