Most of the well-known Gaudi buildings are located in Barcelona, but his work can also be found just outside the city. Such is the case of the church of Colonia Guell, also known as Gaudi Crypt.
This temple, built for the textile estate of Santa Coloma de Cervellò, became an experimental lab for all the architectural innovations that Gaudi developed in future works.
SAVE MONEY: Entrance to Gaudí’s Crypt is included free with the Barcelona Pass, a tourist card that features free entrance to more than 20 top attractions.
A comprehensive history of Gaudi Crypt
To begin with, the Guell family commissioned this project to Gaudi in 1898. The same promoters behind Park Güell and Palau Guell.
Gaudi was given total freedom and unlimited budget to build the church for the textile state of Colonia Guell. This industrial colony greatly improved the living conditions of the workers at the time.
Gaudi’s project was bold and ambitious, featuring a five naves structure and a 40 meters high central dome.
Construction started in 1908, but fearing that the building would cost too much money and would be too big for such a small town, the Guell family cut the funding in 1914, forcing Gaudi to abandon the project.
A crypt and not a church
During that time, Gaudi was only able to build the lower nave, which made up the church’s crypt.
In spite of being unfinished, it was kept that way because of its beauty and harmonic lines. Finally, it was consecrated in 1915 by the Bishop of Barcelona. A couple of years later, the roof was completed by another architect.
The legacy of Gaudi Crypt
The freedom Gaudi had in the church of Colonia Guell, allowed him to experiment with new materials as well as applying new ideas into the design.
As a result, many of his most famous innovations can be seen as a whole in the crypt. A visit will take you further into his genius innovations and the symbolic interpretations of his design.
The crypt was heavily refurbished in 2000, making it a tourist attraction of its own. Since then, it’s possible to walk up to the roof, a place that would have been the church’s main floor. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005.
Visit Colonia Güell
Beside visiting the crypt, take a walk along the streets of the former industrial colony, and discover other examples of Modernist architecture.
We encourage a visit to the Interpretation Center, that features a permanent exhibition that covers the history of the textile state.
RECOMMENDED: Entrance to Gaudí’s Crypt is included free with the Barcelona Pass, a tourist card that features free entrance to more than 20 top attractions.
How to get there
Your journey ends in Colonia Güell station. Once there, cross the road and follow the blue signals on the floor that will guide you to the visitors center.