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The Casa Museu Gaudí, as it is known in Catalan, can be found in the Park Güell in Barcelona and contains a selection of items designed by Antoni Gaudi during his lifetime. It was opened up as a Museum in 1963 and remains one of the most popular tourist spots in the city.
Gaudi himself lived in this stunning property from 1906 to 1925. It would be his base whilst working on a number of projects around the city. Those visiting this Museum will be able to see how the artist lived during his own lifetime, with many rooms prepared exactly as they would have been at that time. Other open rooms are decorated with many of his artworks including drawings and furniture. The architecture itself remains well preserved and retains the magic as originally delivered by Gaudi all those years ago. There is the usual decorative detail and design flourishes outside as well as several structures that reach into the sky. The style is entirely in keeping with the artist's other major architectural designs but retains a unique charm due to its homely nature and the fact that he himself lived here for two decades.
The History of Gaudí House
This building was part of a larger project which was cancelled in 1914. The overall commission for Gaudi was to put together designs for around sixty residential properties but ultimately only two were built. When considering the beauty of this single construction, one can only imagine what might have been had the finance for the overall work stayed in place. On a more positive note, the land left over has been used for landscaped gardens and other natural features that has ensured the preservation of the park. Trias i Domènech, a notable doctor, lived in the only other building to be completed. There was another house there which already existed, and this was owned by Eusebi Güell. The overall project included gardens and all of the utilities and services required for a small, but luxurious estate and therefore represented a huge amount of planning for the Catalan architect. Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi was responsible for the overall idea and also the funding behind this ambitious plan that aimed at drawing together the rich and famous into this specific spot in the city.
The Gaudí House, as it is now known, failed to find any buyers when first completed. It took around two years to build, from 1903-1905, whilst the contractor also worked on a number of other areas of the project. With no sale in place, Gaudi purchased it in 1906 and moved in with his father and niece. They would both pass away soon after but he continued to live there by himself for the majority of the rest of his own life. He was not alone, though, hiring staff to help out with chores around the house as well as regularly inviting close friends for social events. The house would pass into private hands before a successful series of campaigns would eventually see it moved into public ownership, at which point the conversion to a museum was carried out. It is currently owned by the Construction Board of La Sagrada Família Foundation, a body which seeks to protect the cultural history of various buildings and artwork in the city of Barcelona. It remains one of the architectural highlights of the city and receives a healthy number of visitors every year that helps to ensure it's successful preservation for future generations.
It's Life as a Museum
The building is now organised floor by floor, with only some available to the public as part of the Museum. The second floor, for example, is home to the Enric Casanelles Library but you will need to arrange a visit prior to arrival in order to take a look around. The ground and first floor are open during normal working hours and several rooms remain pretty much as they were during the artist's lifetime. The bedroom and study both offer intriguing insights into his relatively simple life, which contrasts dramatically against the beautifully crafted building designs that appeared throughout his career. The rooms also help us to understand the important role of religion in his life too. Some items from his oeuvre have been added to other parts of the building, including several items of furniture that were intended to be used in some of his other projects. You will also come across a selection of sculptures, paintings and drawings too, most of which are hanging from the walls.
The museum was officially opened on the 28th of September, 1963. It was always intended to be a way of connecting Gaudi's life to the masses, allowing even the poorest of society to get the opportunity to enjoy and learn from his creative contributions. There were intentions to house students within the building before the decision was made to concentrate entirely on setting it up as a museum. Besides the display of items from his lifetime there is also an element of research being carried out here which aims to discover more information about his life and career as well as continuing to promote his achievements to the new generations of art and architecture enthusiasts.
Tickets for Gaudí House
A variety of ticketing options are available for tourists visiting Barcelona. You may require a multi-venue ticket that covers several different Gaudi attractions, as well as some of the other things to do in the city. The museum is included in many of these. Alternatively, you may just wish to visit this location and nothing else - single tickets to see the museum are priced at around five Euros at the time of writing. This cheap price is in line with the intention of the foundation that currently owns the venue, who aim to attract as many people as possible and to make Gaudi's career accessible to all. Spanish or Catalan visitors may wish to simply pop into the house whilst wandering around the park, and leave the other attractions for a later date. International visitors will typically be in the city for a long weekend and perhaps visit at least three or four different insitutions or enjoy other excursions.
Tourists can buy Gaudí House tickets online at Sagradafamilia.org which may be the best option for those who are travelling from abroad and want to have as much organised as possible in advance of arrival. That website offers a great range of tickets to suit pretty much any need and allows you to create a rough itinery for your upcoming holiday. Their information and buying options are provided in Catalan, Spanish and English, which should cover the majority of potential visitors. Most guides suggest leaving around two hours for your visit to the Gaudí House museum, which includes a wander around the surrounding gardens, but to see the rest of the park will clearly take longer.
Reviews of Gaudí House
Tripadvisor features a large number of reviews from tourists who have visited the Museum. It is currently averaging around 3.5 out of 5, though the majority of reviews have described it as an excellent experience. It may remain an attraction aimed more at followers of the artist's career rather than the average Barcelona weekender who has little interest in this art form. Even those with a fleeting interst in Gaudi, though, can also spend time in the park whilst here which would make it a particularly worthwhile visit. Below are some of the comments of recent visitors to the museum:
"...Always a must see in Barcelona - Absolutely marvelous from start to finish. Get the headphones. Guides are great. Wonderful coffee table books..."
"...Colors and architecture are worth at least a quick visit if you are in Barcelona..."
"...Amazing house with so many architectural design touches. Beautifully restored and a very interesting support guide accompanies on an iPhone like device..."
"...There is not a lot to see in the museum but, combined with the visit of Park Guell, Sagrada Familia and some of the houses designed by Gaudi, provides a better idea about Gaudi..."
"...Worth the visit - Beautiful - We did this after the Sagrada morning tour and had to take a cab, but walking through the Park and then into the museum was well worth it. A good combo day tour--online they figure tours to give you plenty of time to do both. We stopped in between the 2 for a bite to eat. La Sagrada tour at 10:00 am and Gaudi House 1:00 pm - although they let us in at 12:30 pm..."
Directions to Gaudí House
The Gaudí House Museum can be found on the fringes of Guell Park in Barcelona. The whole park resides on Carmel Hill, found in the mountain range of Collserola. UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site in 1984 as part of a larger effort to draw together the highlights of Gaudi's work in Barcelona. As a major tourist destination, many travel companies will provide an easy access to both the park and also the museum.