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Palau Güell is one of the first works commissioned by the impresario and politician Eusebi Güell, who also employed the innovative architectAntoni Gaudí, whose unmistakable style has not yet found its equal.
The aim of this wealthy Catalan gentleman was to expand the family home which was situated in Barcelona's La Rambla and the end result was the realization of a magnificent example of domestic architecture in the heart of Barcelona, inside which, the Güell-López family lived until they moved toPark Güell.
The construction of the "palace" took 4 years, from 1886 to 1890: Gaudí knew how to design a functional building and adapted the project to meet the family's private needs and the busy social and cultural life that the property was going to need to accommodate. In 1888, the building was inaugurated to coincide with Barcelona's Universal Exhibition. Thereafter, the building appeared in a variety of different magazines covering the sector with a number of photographic reports and the building's fame spread as far as South America. The historical context in which one of Barcelona's most beautiful buildings was set is that of a prosperous industrial era which was also characterized by a strong demographic growth and great economic vitality. This period also saw the birth of new towns and a significant number of urban and architectural changes, as much social as cultural. The beauty of these great works was also their ability to embrace the historical and social changes: the history of the Palau Güell becomes even stronger if you think that during the Spanish Civil War, the building was used as an air raid shelter. Just like Park Güell, the building was declared a historical/artistic Spanish monument in 1969 and in 1984, it was listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site and today, it represents one of the mainstays of the booming tourist trade that keeps the city of Barcelona alive.
Getting to the Palau Güell is really easy, in view of the fact that it is one of Barcelona's main attractions situated on La Rambla, the most important avenue in the city. In order to get there, you can take the Metro and get off at the Liceu stop (Green Line L3) and walk up La Rambla. The building is located half way along at the crossroads of a tree-lined avenue, Carrer Nou of La Rambla 3-5, in the neighborhood of Raval.
The building is distinguished by its innovative concept of light and space, in fact, the famous Catalan architect introduced different features in the building as expressive representations of his vivid imagination and these are highlighted by the choice of classic traditional materials such as glass, stone, wood, iron and ceramics. Inside the building, you can admire the central hallway, the terrace with its extraordinary chimneys, the old stables and outbuildings, Señor Güell's studio and the private bedrooms.
Entrance for visitors to thePalau Güell is possible from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:30 in winter and until 20:00 hours in summer. (Bear in mind that the ticket offices closes an hour beforehand). You can buy your tickets online or at the ticket office at the Palau Güell which is located at No.1 Carrer Nou on La Rambla which is just 20 meters from the main entrance. The cost of entry is €15.00 which includes an audio-guide and children aged under 10 can enter for free.
You can also always choose to visit the palace with a private guide by filling out the simple form on this web page and requesting that your guide comes to to collect you from where you are staying. They will then accompany you on your visit inside the interior of Gaudí's palace to show you all its wonders with the knowledge of a true expert.
A visit to the Paual Guell will also enable you to attend a variety of different types of exhibitions: the permanent, temporary and sporadic exhibitions. Among the former, is the furniture at the Palau Güell which is located on the same floor as the bedrooms where the Güell family slept and which are normally closed to the public. Here you can admire some of the original furniture, which decorated the palace when members of the family were actually living here, as well as some modernist furniture which belongs to Barcelona's town council. Access to the temporary exhibitions is also included in the entry fee and, depending on the time of year, can be full of surprises. In order to keep updated about the temporary exhibitions which may be ongoing at the time of your visit.
A variety of different activities are organised during the course of the year at the Güell family's residence. Above all, for schools: children can participate in musical and artistic workshops in which, for example they can learn to make musical instruments and make colored mosaics. Also for children, but outside of school trips, they can find out about "Gaudi's secret documents" which is a fun and interesting visit lasting about an hour and a half and costs €3.00 per person: visits are reserved for the 10:00 - 14:00 hours slot and and are available on weekdays. These can be booked by sending an email to: servei.educatiu @ palauguell.cat. There are also visits which are geared towards families which will enable you all to have access to the wonders of the palace every second and fourth Sunday of the month and these also only cost €3.00. At these you can enjoy a lesson which will reveal a range of unusual facts about the fabulous Palau Güell. But the real magic of the palace comes into being at night at one of the numerous concerts that are organized on the terrace on summer evenings in July and August and which you can attend with a visit to the palace and where you can enjoy a glass of wine as you listen to the music. In addition to this, if you find yourself in Barcelona during the first week of the year, you definitely shouldn't miss out on theNew Year's Concertwhich is put on by the Orfeo Català Youth Choir to celebrate the new year at the Palau de la Música Catalana.