Barcelona, El Raval district
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet
This town mansion (translated literally a "palace") was designed by Gaudí for Count Eusebi Güell. It was commissioned in 1885 and completely finished in 1890.
The home is centered on a main room for entertaining high society guests. Guests entered in horse drawn carriages through the front iron gates, which feature a parabolic arch and intricate patterns of forged iron-work resembling seaweed and in some parts a horsewhip. The ornate walls and ceilings of the receiving room disguised small viewing windows high on the walls where the owners could view their guests from above and get a 'sneak peak' before greeting them. The main party room has a high ceiling with small holes near the top where lanterns were hung at night from the outside to give the appearance of a starlit sky.
In 2004, visits were suspended due to renovations; some of the stone used in the original construction was weak and had cracked over the years causing structural problems within the building. As of February 1, 2008, Palau Güell has been partially reopened to the public.