Pavellons de la Finca Güell
Fantasy and technical innovation come together in the former gatehouses of the Güell Estate, on Barcelona's Avinguda Pedralbes. The beauty and colour of the buildings don't eclipse the main protagonist of the ensemble: the giant mythological dragon from the Garden of the Hesperides, a synthesis of Gaudí's symbolism and craftsmanship.
Eusebi Güell's desire to extend his family's holiday home in Barcelona resulted in Antoni Gaudí's first commission from the man who would become his main patron. Gaudí worked on the project from 1884 to 1887, relandscaping the garden and building the two gatehouses, which were intended to be the caretaker's house and the stables. The perfect synthesis of innovation and decorative craftsmanship comes to life in both buildings and the magnificent wrought-iron gate in the shape of a dragon, that connects them.
Güell Estate's gatehouses have a stone base and brick parabolic arches with bright ceramic decorations in geometric shapes. On one side of the gate, a turret, crowned by plant motifs, features a medallion bearing the initial of the owner of the estate. And, in the centre, the dragon on the gate spreads its menacing bat-like wings, its forked tongue visible in its gaping maws. It represents the mythical dragon from the Garden of the Hesperides, which commemorates Hercules' daring feat which was captured so skilfully by the Catalan renaixentista poet Jacint Verdaguer in his epic work L'Atlàntida.
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