The Gaudi Crypt, which is located inside the Colonia Güell, is a textile village packed with surprises just 20 minutes outside Barcelona. The Crypt is the church of twisted columns, the laboratory for the Sagrada Família, and it was here that the architect conceived his architectural innovations as a harmonious whole. The Gaudi Crypt was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.
When Eusebi Güell commissioned Antoni Gaudí to build a church for the community, he never specified a limit to the budget, the design, or the completion date. In 1908, he started construction on this ambitious project, but unfortunately, the 40-meter-high structure was never completed because money ran out in 1914. Only the lower crypt was completed, and Eusebi Güell chose to spend their money on other things. Gaudi’s crypt is nevertheless a milestone in his work, as it was the first building for which he combined all his architectural innovations in a single design. With its irregular shapes, the crypt can feel like a cave. No two columns are alike and the stained glass windows with the many mosaics complete the work.
Gaudi Crypt is nevertheless a milestone in his work, as it was the first building for which he combined all his architectural innovations in a single design
Inside are four irregular columns that surround the altar, situated in the center. The stained glass has an abstract cross-shaped design and blends almost imperceptibly with the iron that frames the windows, irregular as well. At the entrance, a composition made of ceramics represents the four cardinal virtues.
This combination of earthy colors, the multiplicity of forms inspired by nature and integrated with the exterior landscape, dialogue with space and nature, and strong symbolism make the crypt something of a magic cave, both natural and artificial, where Gaudí tried many of the ideas he would later incorporate in the Sagrada Familia.
Photography by David Cardelús