Take in the large domed ceilings and artistic details in one of Gaudí’s earliest buildings.
The Palau Güell (or Güell Palace) was one of Gaudí’s first major works as an architect. It has all the characteristics that Gaudí became famous for, including detailed work with glass, ceramics and wrought iron, and a modernist sense of space and light. The palace is just a few steps from La Rambla in the Raval district. It has been restored to its original condition and is open for tours.
Gaudí designed the mansion for wealthy industrialist Eusebi Güell, who was also his patron. Güell lived in the house with his wife and ten children in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The centerpiece of the house is a large hall with a domed ceiling. It was designed for functions. The family’s private rooms line the 56-foot (17-meter) high hall.
Fewer than 200 visitors are allowed in the mansion at one time. This means there is often a long line, so get there early and be prepared to wait. A 40-minute audio guide is included in the ticket price. The guide points out the features of each room and gives an insight into Gaudí’s techniques. There’s a special 20-minute audio guide for children.
The tour starts in the basement, which functioned as stables for the family’s horses. Look up to take in the mushroom-shaped columns. The audio tour moves through the main floor, including bedrooms and living spaces, and into the great hall. Gaudí hired artists and craftsman to help him incorporate artistic details into nearly every aspect of his buildings; Palau Güell is no exception. Move onto the roof, where 20 oddly shaped chimneys have been decorated in colorful broken tiles and statues.
Temporary exhibitions to do with Gaudí are held in the attic space.
The Palau Güell is closed on Mondays and on public holidays during December and January. Come on foot from La Rambla or by bus or metro from anywhere in the city.