Antonio Gaudi

15 Interesting Facts About Antoni Gaudi

Antoni Gaudi was a unique architect, and his talent made him famous all over the world. He has devoted most of his life to working on one project that is still not finished.

  • Antoni Gaudi designed 17 unique buildings with an inimitable style. The most famous of them is Sagrada Familia, but it is still not finished.
  • The great architect was born in Catalonia, an autonomous community within Spain. Therefore, he is de jure considered a Spanish architect, but he always considered himself a Catalan, not a Spaniard.
  • The biography of Antoni Gaudi often mentions his obsession with the construction of the Sagrada Familia, which became his life’s work. In his last years, it came to the point that he moved to the construction site and lived there! He often neglected to eat and wash, devoting all his time to work.
  • This architect did not leave any descendants. In his youth, he proposed to a woman with whom he was in love but was rejected by her, and since then, apparently, he hasn’t had any love interests.
  • Gaudi has suffered from rheumatism since childhood, although this disease mainly affects elderly people. Because of this, he wasn’t able to play with other children, so he fell in love with walking alone, and this habit remained with him forever.
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
  • Antoni Gaudi moved to Barcelona as a young man and studied for five years to get the opportunity to enter an architectural school. He lived in Barcelona almost all his life, and most of the buildings he built are located there.
  • Gaudi was not only an architect but also a master of artistic casting. He designed and manufactured fences, gates, benches, and other objects.
  • Instead of making blueprints and working on them, Gaudi drew sketches, which he then turned into the likeness of three-dimensional objects with the help of a system of mirrors. Some researchers of his work believe that this was because the architect didn’t wear glasses, although he suffered from astigmatism: one of his eyes was nearsighted, and the other was farsighted.
  • The Catalan industrialist and philanthropist Eusebi Guell, the richest man in Catalonia, had a huge influence on Gaudi’s life. He was very impressed with the ideas and projects of the young architect, and he made him ambitious orders, which brought Gaudi fame.
  • Antoni Gaudi became the chief architect of Sagrada Familia only because there was a conflict between the first architect and the customer. After the first architect left the project, Gaudi, who was only 31 years old at the time, was invited to take his place. He continued to work on this project for 44 years, until his death, and donated all his savings to it.

Building designed by Gaudi
Another building in Barcelona designed by Gaudi
  • The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona has been built since 1882 and is built on donations exclusively. Many architects had a hand in it, although most of all, of course, the influence of Gaudi is felt, who understood that the work would not be completed during his lifetime, and therefore he planned many details in advance.
  • Of the 17 buildings built by him, 7 are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Also, the Catholic Church has been discussing the possibility of canonizing Gaudi as the patron saint of all architects for several decades.
  • One of the oddities of this genius was that he adored circular shapes, considering them to be manifestations of the divine, and at the same time avoided straight lines in every possible way, claiming that they were only a creation of human hands.
  • At the age of 73, Gaudi did not notice a tram during a stroll, and the tram eventually hit him. Dressed in shabby clothes and untidy, the architect was mistaken for a homeless tramp, and taxi drivers even refused to take him to the hospital, saying that he wouldn’t have the money to pay for the ride. As a result, Gaudi was taken to a hospital for the homeless and beggars, where they were unable to provide him with normal medical care, and a few days later he died from his injuries. He was buried in the crypt of the Sagrada Familia.
  • The line of the great architect was interrupted. He left no descendants, and when he was young, his brothers, sister, niece, and parents died.

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