Barcelona and Gaudi ’ s relationship began in La Rambla. He needed a “little push” to become known and the street gave it to him.

Beginnings are complicated and Barcelona and Gaudi ’ s ones are no exception. Furthermore, all geniuses have gone through hard times before being known. For example , Matt Groening worked as a chauffeur and washing dishes in a daycare center before creating The Simpsons. Moreover, Tom Cruise was so desperate with his life that he considered the idea of ​​becoming a Franciscan priest. 

As for Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), this click happened to him. When he graduated in the School of Architecture of Barcelona, ​​his grades weren’t brilliant. His opportunity came when the City Council of Barcelona assigned him the public lighting of two spots that todar, are a mandatory stop for those who visit Barcelona. These were the Plaza Real (Royal Plaza) at La Rambla, Barcelona main street, and the Pla del Palau.

barcelona and gaudi.
Plaza Real (Royal Plaza) at La Rambla in Barcelona.

A simple chandelier

While studying, Gaudí worked as a draftsman for renowned Catalan architects such as Francisco de Paula Villar, Joan Martorell or Josep Fontserè i Mestre. What is more, with this one he made the entrance gate of the Ciutadella Park. That explained why Barcelona’s City Council thought of him.

Gaudí made two different designs for the streetlights, one with three arms and another with six. Both of them had  a stone base on which stands a column of wrought iron and bronze. He decorated them with a representation of Mercury’s winged helmet and two coiled snakes.

The architect didn’t want the streetlights to be ostentatious and shrill. In fact, when he presented the project to the Town Hall, he pointed that he wanted to make a chandelier of noble simplicity without rickets. Even more , he wanted to give each party the importance it requires and subjecting it to strictly meet the needs for the purpose it has been created.

Royal Plaza’s streetlights were unveiled in 1879 and impressed that time’s society. A few years later, in 1883, Barcelona and Gaudí would meet again to design Casa Vicens. The cherry on the cake arrived when Catalan industrialist Eusebi Güell noticed his talent, giving place to a relationship not only based on money, but also friendship. It converged in masterpieces like Palau Güell (in carrer nou of La Rambla), Parc Güell or Colonia Güell.