{Spain} Casa Museu Gaudí

July 18, 2012


I was hoping to report back on some museums from the day trip we took to Poland on Monday, but those of you who follow me on Twitter will already know that sadly all the museums in Szczecin were closed. Next time we will remember not to travel there on a Monday! But I still have yet some more Barcelona museums up my sleeve ;-)

Casa Museu Gaudí - Gaudí House Museum

The Casa Museu Gaudí (or Gaudí House Museum) is located in Parc Güell on top of a hill to the north of Barcelona. The park was originally envisaged to be a closed residential community, with the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí commissioned to design it, but the development project ultimately failed. Parc Güell is now a public park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the museum occupies one of only a couple of houses that were ever built. In fact, it was the residence of Gaudí himself from 1906 until 1925.

I wasn’t actually planning to go and see the museum. I had decidedly taken a day off from museums to visit one of Barcelona’s many parks instead. But then the museum was just sitting there, waiting for me to go inside! There was quite a queue out front, as it’s so small they control the number of people they let inside at any one time, but I only waited about 10-15 minutes and as an ICOM member I got in for free, which was a bonus.

Casa Museu Gaudí - Gaudí House Museum - Mosaic Tiles

The museum contains some of Gaudí’s personal belongings, such as his walking stick, a template in the shape of his head used to make his hats or his death mask, and some of his reconstructed or partly reconstructed rooms, such as the bedroom or his old desk. And, of course, there’s the building itself, which Gaudí designed, including some gorgeous floor and ceiling mosaics. The main focus of the museum, however, is furniture – both designed by Gaudí for various notable families and buildings around Barcelona, but also by artists who collaborated with Gaudí at some point or another. Some of the furniture that was actually used in the building that is now the museum is shown in its original setting and in old photographs, and there is one room dedicated to Gaudís masterpiece – the Roman Catholic Church ‘La Sagrada Familia’ – mostly with some models and scale models on display.

Casa Museu Gaudí - Gaudí House Museum - Piano and Piano Rolls

A small exhibit on the ground floor is dedicated to the Italian couple who bought the house after Gaudí’s death, and who owned a musical instrument shop in Barcelona. It is therefore not surprising that the display includes a piano, but what did amaze me was the library of around 800 piano rolls that went with it. As a musician myself, this was the highlight of the museum for me.

Parc Güell - Park Güell - Gaudí mosaics

Parc Güell - Park Güell - Gaudí twisted stone columns

Not only the museum building, but also the rest of Parc Güell itself shows Gaudí’s architectural influence, from the mosaic detail on the serpentine bench and lizard fountain, to the twisted stone columns surrounding the main terrace. And as I mentioned, the park lies on top of a hill, so you also get fantastic views of the city – though it includes a very steep climb to get there, but luckily escalators built into the side of the hill take you most of the way!

Parc Güell - Park Güell - escalator

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    […] impressive. If you’re looking for a nice day out away from the city centre, I can recommend Parc Güell on top of a hill to the north of Barcelona, which also includes the small Casa Museu Gaudí (Gaudi […]

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