Tracey Jackson

Jan 7 2014 | 7 Comments

@GAUDI #INSTAGRAM

L1070725 side ciew

Last week when we were still in Barcelona(and it was 66 and not 6) I Instagramed a photo of the Sagrada Familia church.

A few minutes later I got a “like.”  One is always very grateful for likes, but this one came from someone calling themselves @bellesguardgaudi.

I immediately went to their Instagram page and it appeared to be a Gaudi house. So I messaged them back and said “How can we see your house?”  I didn’t know who they were. I was just blatantly fishing for an invitation.  And they responded with I could call them or “buy tickets at #ticketmaster.”

Okay, so no personal invitations for a glass of Cava and some jambon were being sent, but we did have a link to go see a Gaudi house. So, we called and booked for a private tour  the next morning.

It turned out that despite the fact we would not be hanging out with the owners and maybe tasting their homemade olive oil, we would get to tour a private Gaudi home.  We would also learn that Bellesguard, which in Catalan translates into “beautiful views or “good viewing point” had only been open to the public for two months. The house is quite famous with the residents of Barcelona, it is referred to as The Dragon House because the top floor is shaped like a dragon. But despite everyone knowing about the Gaudi house on the hill, few have seen it. It has been a private residence since 1909 and only inhabited by two families.

Bellesquard was built by Gaudi between 1900 and 1909 as the summer residence for Maria Sagues.  They chose the sight, which in those days was considered out of town, because it was the former property of the Catalan king, Martin the Humane.

A few facts you might not know about Martin the Humane, his cousin in – law was Frederick the Simple. Which could not have gone down well at family functions. There was Martin the Humane having to break woodchuck with his cousin known as “Simple.”

The other thing I find amusing he is said to have died of indigestion and uncontrollable laughter. Which is an uncommon combo – though if he were to be suffering from it today, I’m sure Merck would have some pill to cure it; though no doubt with dastardly side affects.

Anyway I guess Gaudi and the Sagues felt if it was good enough for Martin it was good enough for them and it does have a spectacular view.

The house was sold to the present family in 1944. We actually exchanged Happy New Years greetings with the lady of the house.

Martin the Humane’s former house sits in back, it has been refurbished, actually rebuilt and was for many years a nunnery and now a college.

I do want to thank the @Bellesguard folks for sending up the smoke signals in the form of a like. Glenn said it was actually his favorite sight in Barcelona.

L1070809 house

 

The star in the window is open to multiple interpretations but most likely is the North Star that led the Wisemen to Bethlehem

The star in the window is open to multiple interpretations but most likely is the North Star that led the Wisemen to Bethlehem

 

Gaudi was deeply religious the fish is a common symbol.

Gaudi was deeply religious the fish is a common symbol.

The front door has the fish on both sides.

The front door has the fish on both sides. Apparently he spent years collecting the stones that make up the house.

L1070817 close up

The stairwell when you enter. There are only two rooms open to the public. The family still occupies most of the house.

The stairwell when you enter. There are only two rooms open to the public. The family still occupies most of the house. That little tip of wood near the plant is the entrance to their quarters.

L1070735 chandkier close up

Gaudi made the furniture for his houses. These are the only remaining ones from this house. The rest were wood and burned during the war for fire wood.

Gaudi made the furniture for his houses. These are the only remaining ones from this house. The rest were wood and burned during the war for fire wood.

Gaudi never uses straight lines, though there are some in this house.

Gaudi never uses straight lines, though there are some in this house.

 

The curves are quite beautiful.

The curves are quite beautiful.

 

This Juliette balcony is referred to as the intercom. People were to stand there and talk to whomever might be entering or see them before letting them in.

This Juliette balcony is referred to as the intercom. People were to stand there and talk to whomever might be entering or see them before letting them in.

This is called the living room.  It is the best shot I have of it.

This is called the living room. It is the best shot I have of it.

L1070757 another ciew

 

The top floor is the Music Room, where concerts are still held.

The top floor is the Music Room, where concerts are still held.

L1070767 nook of mcusic

View from the music room.

View from the music room.

This starts the dragon. This is his mouth and nose.

This starts the dragon. This is his mouth and nose. You just have to go with me here.

 

These would be his eyes and part of his body with his tail.

These would be his eyes and part of his body with his tail. I know the eyes kind of look like the mouth, but the guy is working with windows.

The tail is painted in the Catalan  colors.

The tail is painted in the Catalan colors.

Another shot of the view.

Another shot of the view.

 

Just poking around.

Just poking around.

The detail of the iron on the windows is moving.

The detail of the iron on the windows is moving.

L1070815 wokring on

I like this as it shows the new mixed in with the old. It's someone's home.

I like this as it shows the new mixed in with the old. It’s someone’s home.

 

The building that was the sight of Martin The Humane's castle.

The building that was the sight of Martin The Humane’s castle.

L1070807 gardens

 

  • Lisa

    I’m enjoying your trip with you! How gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!

  • QuietGuy

    Interesting topic one wouldn’t ordinarily find easily online, fine photos; keep up these good efforts. Am looking forward to your architecture and design columns in the future.

  • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

    Glad you enjoyed it Lisa. We had a grand time. This is the last of the postings from this trip. Next one looks to be Mexico City in Feb or March. That should be fun as I have never been there. Stay tuned.

  • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

    In terms of architecture it is not easy to top Barcelona, it seems to be their oxygen. But I do love design and I think one of the great things about travel is the way it opens your eyes and mind. After visiting Barcelona I am much more aware of architecture than I have been before and hopefully that will translate into my future blogs. There are few cities if any where the major celebrity figure dead or alive is an architect or designer. Barcelona gets the award on that one.

  • jenzach

    Yes, I meant to write on this blog, but was reading the movie one as well and got mixed up. So, WOW! This is just wonderful.

  • jenzach

    BTW, Mexico City – you may need to hire a bodyguard – and I’m not kidding.

  • http://www.traceyjacksononline.com/ Tracey Jackson

    Thanks Jen. I know people who have been to Mexico City and say that it is not as bad as the press makes it out to be.