Antoni Gaudi is considered one of our Great Architects because his works define the Spanish architectural canvas. Antoni Placid Guillem Gaudi i Cornet’s works were influenced heavily by religion and nature. Though he was a part of the Catalan Modernista movement, his disciple, Joan Bergos, defined five periods in Gaudi’s works: preliminary period, mudejar-morisco, emulated Gothic, naturalist and expressionist, and organic synthesis. Gaudi’s works are extremely interesting because of their unusual combinations of textures, shapes, and decoration. While some of his works are geometrically focused, others seem to have no defined shape. Because of this, it is sometimes difficult to classify Gaudi’s work into one style.
Seven of Gaudi’s works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, which means they hold special cultural and physical significance. These recognized works include his most famous work, the Sagrada Familia. This minor basilica is the most-visited monument in Spain, but it is still incomplete. When Gaudi died, the work was only 15-25% complete according to his original model. Gaudi was known for modeling his works instead of drawing them, and the original model of the church was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The current model of the completed church being used to complete the work is a result of reconstructed plans and modern adaptations. The construction is projected to be completed by 2026, which is the centenary of Gaudi’s death.
After Gaudi’s death, his works were criticized by international architects, who regarded them as “baroque and excessively imaginative.” Fortunately, his reputation started to recover in the 1950s when Salvador Dali and architect, Josep Lluis Sert began to champion his work. The Friends of Gaudi Association was founded in 1952 with the aim of conserving his legacy. In 1963, the Gaudi residence in Park Guell was named “Casa Museu Gaudi.” There, visitors can observe many furniture creations of Gaudi and see how the architect worked. Virtual visits of the home are available online on the Casa Museu Gaudi website.
Currently, you can tour Gaudi’s Barcelona works by contacting the Gaudi & Barcelona Club. This tour takes about 4 hours and you can visit his four most well-known works in the area with a group of Gaudi enthusiasts.