Colònia Güell was a workers’ colony located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, presently a town of around 7,000 inhabitants 20km outside Barcelona. The area was a manufacturing suburb that grew rapidly around the turn of the 20th century. In 1898, Antoni Gaudi was commissioned by Count Eusebi de Güell, who wanted to provide a place of worship for the booming suburb, to build a Church. It was never actually completed because the money ran out as a result of economic hardships. When work stopped in 1915, only the crypt was completed, though it is nevertheless listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site. In 2002, a restoration was carried out by architect Antonio González Moreno who was widely criticized for allegedly mistreating Gaudi’s work. Through the construction process of Colònia Güell, Gaudi is said to have experimented with an array of techniques and architectonic details, many of which would later be used in his famous tour-de-force, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
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