Because we have received so many comments requesting more information on the Catalan artist’s fascinating life and amazing works, we are more than happy to provide you with a second edition to the original blog post: Facts About Antoni Gaudi. Read on to learn more interesting details about about who Gaudí was and see examples of his most famous creations.
A lot of details about Gaudí’s life remain a mystery as he tended to keep to himself and despised having his photo taken. It is thought that he was born in Riudoms or in Reus, Spain in 1852 but no one has ever been able to locate his birth records on the artist. Many sources describe Gaudí as having suffered from rheumatic pain his entire life, most likely it was rheumatoid arthritis. In 1868 he moved to Barcelona to study at the Convent del Carme, and he was enlisted in the Spanish military from 1875-1878. Due to chronic poor health, he wasn’t sent to fight in any of the Third Carlist War battles.
Although Gaudí is often regarded for his architectural genius, he didn’t receive many high marks during his studies. In 1878 he earned his degree in architecture from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, but it is said that upon learning of this accomplishment, he simply said that he had already considered himself to be an architect long before having received the certification.
Antoni Gaudí was often described as having difficulty in controlling his short temper towards those who he didn’t consider a close friend or relative. As a younger man he tended to indulge in life’s luxuries, such as dining at gourmet restaurants, dressing in designer clothing, and hanging out with an elitist crowd. In older age, and leading up to his death, Gaudí chose to lead a minimalist lifestyle and was often mistaken as being homeless.
In June of 1926, Gaudí was struck by a tram while on his regular walk to the Sant Felip Neri church in Barcelona. His need for medical attention was initially ignored, and people continued to walk right past him without acknowledging the existence of the badly injured man. By the time a police officer took notice and transported Gaudí to a hospital via taxi cab, his health had all but failed him. Five days later on June 12, 1926 the great architect passed away. (*Antoni Gaudí photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
Antoni Gaudí World Heritage Sites
Today, seven of Gaudí’s masterpieces have earned UNESCO’s esteemed rank of World Heritage Sites. This means that these particular works will be protected and honored just as are the other significant monuments on UNESCO’s list, like Stonehenge, the Vatican City and the Pyramids of Giza. Click on the photos below and a second window will open, linking to the official web page.
Rent a car in Barcelona during your next visit to Spain, and take the Gaudí Route. Each and every site will leave you in awe, and the extraordinary works of architecture will surely earn your appreciation.