Palau Güell: a superb private residence designed by Gaudí
Palau Güell, a superb private residence and a UNESCO world heritage sight, was one of the first major works of the worldwide architectural renaissance which took place in the late 19th Century.
Palau Güell: a luxurious palace in the heart of the city
It was built between 1886 and 1891 for Eusebi Güell, a rich industrialist. A close friend and patron of Gaudí, he was also instrumental in the construction of Parc Güell and in supporting work on Sagrada Familia.
Palau Güell was Eusebi Güell’s family home, and the interiors are incredibly luxurious. The best possible materials and the region’s most talented artisans were put to work on its construction. The relatively austere façade contrasts sharply with the inside of the palace.
Palau Güell: restorations
Palau Güell is a truly fascinating place to visit, as it is the only example of domestic architecture designed by Gaudí and has not undergone any major changes since its creation.
Time leaves its marks, however, and the house has aged. A number of particularly careful restoration projects have been carried out on the building, the last between 2004 and 2011.
The latest work was based on an in-depth study of the building’s structure and of Gaudí’s vision for the house. The architect’s wishes were followed to the letter in every respect, particularly in terms of colours and lighting, with spectacular results!
Visiting Palau Güell
Visits to Palau Güell start off in a former store-room, before moving on to the basements, stables, the foyer, various reception rooms, the courtyard, the bedrooms, a bathroom and the terrace. The visit is very thorough, giving access to almost every room in the house.
Over the course of the visit, you’ll see a number of Gaudí’s signature architectural elements, such as the parabolic arches which feature so prominently at Sagrada Familia or the mosaic chimney-pieces. However, the residence is very different from Gaudí’s best-known works, one of the things which makes it so interesting.
The wrought iron and carved wood elements of the building are also remarkable.
Palau Güell is still well worth seeing, even if you’ve already planned on visiting La Pedrera and Casa Batlló. In fact, these two masterpieces have more in common with each other than with Palau Güell.
By visiting the three different sites, you’ll get a good idea of the development of Gaudí’s style over time, and of the true extent of his talent.
Prices and opportunities for free entry to Palau Güell
- Full-price tickets cost €12, €9 for concessions (students and EU residents over the age of 65), €5 for children aged 10-17 and certain disabled visitors
- Entry is free for under-10s and for severely handicapped visitors
- Palau Güell offers free entry every first Sunday of the month, all year round, with tickets available from 10 – 1.30pm then from 1.30pm. In other words, if you arrive at 1pm and all of the tickets for the “morning” session have gone, it’s worth trying again from 1.30.
- Other free entry days include 23rd April, 11th and 24th September and on “museum night” in May.
- Exceptionally, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, during 2018 the entry will also be free on the day of his birth (December 15) and the day he died (July 8).
- Summer opening (1st April – 31st October): 10am – 8pm
- Winter opening: 10am – 5.30pm
- Last entry: 1 hour before closing
- Closed on Mondays (except public holidays), 25th and 26th December, 1st January and the third week of January.
Accessibility at Palau Güell
- The building is only partially accessible for the mobility-impaired, and you won’t be able to access all floors.
- There are reserved parking spaces for disabled visitors.
- An audio-guide with subtitles is available, along with a video guide in sign language.
- An audio-guide is included in the ticket price, and is available in several languages, including English.
- There are two versions of the guide: a long version (40 minutes) and an “express” version (20 minutes).
- If you choose the long option, allow between an hour and 90 minutes for your visit.
- Palau Güell has a cloakroom where you can leave your belongings.
Enjoy your visit!