If you’re a fan of Barcelona’s Modernist architecture, then explore a little more of it by taking an excursion south to Colonia Güell. Located 20 minutes from Barcelona, and in the municipality of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, the 19th-century estate exemplifies all things Catalan Modernism.
The industrial village was commissioned by its namesake Eusebi Güell, and was born out of the need to provide his textile mill’s workers with a place to live. The result is a colony featuring Modernist-style brick homes and buildings replete with iron and mosaicked detailing. Many of these exemplary works were designed by some of the era’s most notable architects.
Colonia Güell is home to another Modernist masterpiece as well, or at least part of it anyway. The Gaudi Crypt, designed by Catalonia’s beloved Antoni Gaudi, was also built upon the orders of Eusebi Güell. Unfortunately, the funds for the project eventually ended, and so did its construction, leaving only the crypt completed. In the year 2000, updates were made to the structure, allowing visitors to stand on its roof, which actually would have served as the church’s floor.
Colonia Güell is open seven days a week but closes early on weekends. Note that tickets are required, and therefore it is advised to buy them in advance. You can get there by car, which takes roughly 20 minutes from Barcelona, or by train, departing from Plaça Espanya and stopping at the Colonia Güell station.