Colonia Guell – the unique industrial village

I hesitated for a long time before finally going to Colonia Guell. I can do it later I thought. I am a big fan of Gaudi. Totally. He is one of the kind. Unique lonely genius. I follow his work. Considering all that it is hard for me to explain why I waited so long before going to this village.

Summer excursion to Colonia Guell

Finally convinced by visiting family I did. It was a lazy summer afternoon. When we arrived to Santa Coloma de Cervelló around 11 AM, the streets where empty, the heat was overwhelming, as well as the quietness of the place. I did not really know what to expect. The fact we went there during this summer day intensified the atmosphere of this unique place.

Colonia Guell - Entering the village

Entering the village

I loved the fact there were hardly any people around. The village looked like it stopped in the history 100 years ago (if you take out all the cars). If visiting you cannot miss the museum that gives you the great introduction to the place. Especially if you don’t know much about it. It is important to understand what they tried to achieve there, so many years ago. And why it was so revolutionary.

Museum and the old days

The museum is not big or boring at all. It presents the short story of the village and the best of it is the dark room where the 15 min movie is displayed on the walls around you.  Watching the movie is like ‘spying’ on a daily life of a regular family back in the old days.

colonia guell - museum movie 2

At the shop – 100 years ago

It was real fun for us and for the kids.

The general idea was to create social  life in the industrial village and improve the living conditions of the workers and their families. Eusebio Güell, the owner, was trying to provide it with cultural and religious facilities of a modernist design which were developed by different architects, most notably Gaudí to whom he entrusted the building of the church.

It was an unusual idea in comparison to other industrial colonies in Catalonia. Usually such colonies were limited to simple houses next to the factory. The life of workers was  hard and dull. Güell took one step ahead to make the change to their living by founding the school, church and have doctors to live inside the village.

The walk around the village gives you the idea how carefully designed it was and well kept. Take the audio-guide and you will hear the stories of most of the houses that you will be passing. You will find out where the doctor or manager of the mill used to live etc..

colonia guell - city street

The streets of Santa Coloma de Cervelló

 

The Church – behind the scenes

The icing on the cake is of course Gaudi’s church and its story. Güell told the archicted ‘do as you please’ and he did. He was working on the project of the church for a decade! It was quite innovative and ambitious. The work begun but after building the crypt of 40 meters project, the Güell family decided to stop financing it.

colonia guell - to be vs it is

The project of church ‘to be’ vs the crypt ‘as is’

When I looked at the project I thought ‘what a pity it had never been finished’. I would be an magnificent work of art. Looking at Sagrada Familia and the detailed way Gaudi planned his work, the reflection I have is that he would have to live 200 years, in a good shape, to finish this all.

Here is the inside of the Crypt.

The interior of Gaudi's church in Colonia Guell

The interior of Gaudi’s church in Colonia Güell

The walk, the kids and the cat

After careful visit of the church we went for a walk around the village. It is picturesque, full of colors and Spanish(Catalan?) atmosphere.

colonia guell - kids in colonia guell

Who is the little door for? Dwarfs maybe?

All of us enjoyed it a lot.

 

Colonia Guell -Cute doors

Cute doors

 

On the way we met a very handsome and friendly cat.

 

colonia guell - Hey Kittie, please don't go away

Hey Kittie, please don’t go away

We finished on the playground for kids (of course) having delicious home made picnic.

 

TRAVEL TIPS:

Location: By train – Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) from Plaza España , Lineas S33, S8 y S4. Trains every 15 minuts. Station: Colonia Güell. By car - Access from road B-2002 between Sant Boi de Llobregat and Santa Coloma de Cervelló. From the C-31 (direction Sant Boi de Llobregat), the C-32 (exit 53), A2, and A7 (Direction Sant Boi de Llobregat). Parking is free
Ticket: 7/5.5 EUR adult/student
Opening Hours: Summer till 31.10 10-19/10-15 weekdays/weekends, Winter till 30.04 10-17/10-15 weekdays/weekends

Official website for ColoniaGüell – really good one actually http://www.gaudicoloniaguell.org/en

 

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