Colonia Güell is situated in the village of Santa Coloma de Cervelló some 20 kilometres from Barcelona. It was formed on the country estate Can Soler de la Torre by Eusebi Güell.
The industrial entrepreneur moved his textile manufacture over here from Barcelona’s Sants district in beginning of the 1890s.
The relocation of factories from the city centers was quite common in the end of the 19th century. Colonies were created where workers lived next door to the factories.
Unlike other industrials, Güell did seek to improve the living conditions of his employees beyond the average. In addition to guaranteed wages he also improved the social and cultural environment.
Thus in 1898 Güell asked his friend Antoni Gaudí to create a church for his workers. Gaudí started with several studies to develop a modell of the church which was installed in a pavillionnext to the construction site.
In 1908 construction finally began. It envisaged an upper and a lower church building with several towers that were crowned by a central dome of 40 meters.
Six years later, in 1914, Güell informed Gaudí that he would no longer be able to finance the works. Only the works on the bottom ship could still be completed. In November 1915 the bishop blessed the bottom ship of the church which became popularly known as the Crypt in Colonia Güell.
A replica of the model of the crypt can today be found in the museum below Sagrada Familia. The Crypt in Colonia Güell became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Crypt of Colonia Güell – Facts
Admission: 5.05 Euros per person, 30% senior’s discount
Audio Guide 2.00 Euros (Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian and Japanese)
Opening hours: Summer season (May to October) from 10.00 – 14.00 hrs and 15.00 – 19.00hrs
All weekends, public holidays and winter season(November to April) from 10.00 – 15.00 hrs
Closed: 1st and 6th of January, during Easter and Christmas
How to get to Colonia Güell?
Take regional train S4, S8 or S33 from Plaza Espanya to Colonia Güell.
Official website with a virtual tour through the Crypt of Colonia Güell: www.virtualcoloniaguell.com