Welcome to the first installation of “All About”! Don’t worry, it’s not entirely replacing Travel Trivia Thursday, as each entry will end with a trivia section. This week’s All About will focus on the life and times of Antoni Gaudi. Not all the facts are fun, but they are interesting nonetheless.
Who is Antoni Gaudi?
If you’ve ever been to Barcelona, Spain you’ve probably seen a decent amount of Antoni Gaudi’s work. In case you haven’t heard of him, Antoni Gaudi was a Spanish architect and is well known as the face of Catalan architecture. He was fond of nature, and work is often cited as being inspired by his love of natural design and modernism. His most famous work is the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, but more on that later. Many people may not realize just how interesting of a life he led, and will be surprised by some of the information below!
Interesting Gaudi Facts
- He was sickly when he was young and became a vegetarian at a young age due to the advice of his physician.
- Elies Rogent, the Director of the Barcelona Architecture School once said of Gaudi, “We have given this academic title either to a fool or a genius. Time will show.”
- Antoni Gaudi did not like to draw plans for his buildings. He preferred to build 3D models of them to create a more accurate portrayal of what he was seeing in his mind.
- His nickname is “God’s Architect” due to the many religious images that are seen in his works.
- His first project was to make lampposts in the Plaza Real (Royal Plaza) in Barcelona. The lanterns are still there.
- He was single his entire life.
- He died on June 10, 1926 after being struck by a tram. At the time he was dressed in rags, and no taxi’s would pick him up. Finally the police intervened and he was taken to a hospital for the poor. This is where he chose to stay to receive treatment once he awoke. He was 73 years old.
- 7 of his works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO between 1984 and 2005.
- His most famous work and masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, is still incomplete. Gaudi took over the construction of the church in 1883, and worked on it until he died. The present design being worked on is based on models he left. Depending on who you ask, the estimated completion date for the massive church is either 2017 or 2026.
Gaudi Fact Trivia
Antoni Gaudi left behind a legacy. Today, you can visit the Gaudi Museum in Barcelona, which is located at the Park Guell. What creature hovers above a fountain at the main entrance of the Park Guell? Leave your answer in the comments below!
For more info about the brilliant architect, read our Antoni Gaudí Facts, Part II.