From la Boqueria market to Güell Palace (5 minutes walk)
• Exiting la Boqueria cross la Rambla and walk left on the left side of the street
• After about 300 m you will have to turn right on Carrer Nou de la Rambla
• In 100 m you will find Güell Palace on your right
Not far from la Boqueria we find this masterpiece of Gaudí. The building was finished in 1889 and served as a home for the Güell family for decades until it was purchased by the Provincial government of Barcelona .
You can still see the commodities that Gaudí designed to make noblemen's protocol-ridden lives more convenient - disguised holes in the walls allow a secret peek on arriving guests before greeting them and the main ballroom's ceiling could be turned into a starlit sky at night by hanging lamps on the roof from outside - or just by the Sun itself during the day.
Now the ornate mansion is open for visitors again after being fully renovated. The luxurious and creative inner design is also the handiwork of Gaudí - from windows to furniture. Even at the 19th century - when noblemen were used to overly pompous ornaments - it was highly appreciated. It is worth to note that this was the first building the architect used "trencadis", irregularly shaped colourful mosaic pieces to decorate walls - a technique that later influenced a great deal of Catalan Art Nouveau.
Details about visiting the site:
• Admission fee: 10 Euro for individual visitors, 8 Euro/person for groups, children younger than 12 years of age enter for free
• Opening Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from April to September, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from October to March (Last admissions one hour before closing)
• The place runs with a capacity of 185 people so bigger groups should book a tour in advance
Why worth visiting:
• One of the early masterpieces of Gaudí
• On every month's first Sunday admission is free (but no group tours are allowed)
• Teachers and guides of groups enter for free
About a block from la Boqueria you can feast your eyes on something other than food: this UNESCO World Heritage site is a good choice giving you a peek into the luxurious life of the 19th century Barcelona aristocracy and one of the early masterpieces of Gaudí.