Barcelona will gain in September a new visitable modernist monument, the Tower Bellesguard. This Antoni Gaudí’s most singular work, located to the feet of the Tibidabo Mountain, will offer daily visits for the first time in his long history, both to his gardens and to the interior. The initiative arises from the grandsons of her owner, Amèlia Roche, they have adapted the estate in order that it could receive groups and individuals from Wednesday 18th of September, Monday to Saturday and in two different modalities. Bellesguard has several particularities that grant it a historical and artistic value different from that of the big milestones of the Barcelonian modernism, as La Pedrera or the Batlló houses. Antoni Gaudí constructed it for Jaume Figueras, merchant and personal friend of the architect, who wanted to construct his flaming residence in an emblematic space and full of political meaning.
In the 14th century the hill where it is placed sheltered the castle of Martí l’Humà, the last king of the Casal d’Aragó. The modernist genius took advantage of few elements that were staying of the medieval fortress – much before already had been a defensive Roman tower and surely also a Iberian settlement – and designed a new building with appearance of castle with battlements and more straight lines of those who are habitual in his style. He broke the rigidity with a skin of blackboard and many volumes lodged in the front as banks of mosaic, railings of wrought iron, colouring large windows, brick trimmings, etc.
After using it as housing, the widow of Figueras – he died before seeing it finished-, was seized during the Civil war and used as orphanage.
In 1944 the oncologist Lluís Guilera Molas, father-in-law of the current owner, bought the tower and turned her into a small oncologic hospital, stage of which abundant documentation remains, set of instruments and photographies. It was declared National Cultural Interest Building from 1969. In the last decades it has been only a familiar residence and it will continue being so now that will open to the public.