the Colònia Güell, one of the most pioneering purpose-built industrial villages of the 19th century is located in the town of Santa Coloma de Cervelló, 23 Km to the south-west of Barcelona. Gaudí developed the architectural innovations of his later works in the church crypt, which has been designated a Unesco World Heritage site.
In 1890, social unrest made it necessary for the industrialist and patron of the arts, Eusebi Güell, to move his textile mill to Santa Coloma de Cervelló. the new project involved the creation of an industrial village with amenities which would improve the workers' quality of life: terraced houses, an athenaeum, theatre, school, shops, gardens and church. some of the leading modernista architects of the day were involved in the construction of the village, resulting in highly beautiful spacious buildings. Antoni Gaudí was commissioned to design the church and his project consisted of an upper and lower nave, towers at the sides and a belfry measuring 40 m in height. In 1914, when the lower nave had been completed, the Güell family withdrew funding for the project. the church, now known as the crypt, included Gaudí's architectural innovations for the first time. catenary arches, outer walls and vaults in the shape of hyperbolic parabolas, decorative broken mosaic tiling, known as "trencadís", and the integration of materials into their natural surroundings.
The mill closed in 1973 due to the crisis in the textile sector. in the year 2000, refurbishment began on the more than 20 unique buildings in the Colònia Güell.
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