Eusebi Güell

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Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, portrait of 1915

Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, 1st Count of Güell (Catalan pronunciation: [əwˈzɛβi ˈɣweʎ]; 15 December 1846 - 8 July 1918) was a Catalan entrepreneur who profited greatly from the industrial revolution in Catalonia in the late 19th century. He married a daughter of the second Marquis of Comillas. His daughter, ca:Isabel Güell i López, became a noted female composer.


Guëll was born in Barcelona and was the son of Joan Güell i Ferrer, an entrepreneur from Torredembarra who had amassed considerable riches during his stay in Cuba and thanks to the numerous activities established at his return in Barcelona. His mother was the member of an ancient merchant family from Genoa who had moved to Catalonia in the late 18th century.

Güell became a 'Mediciesque' patron to architect Antoni Gaudí. They met at the start of the latter's career and found that they had mutual interests, including religion (both were devout Catholics). Güell saw Gaudí as the man who could provide him with uniquely designed buildings. Güell built a utopian town on the outskirts of Barcelona, including Gaudí's crypt of the Colònia Güell.

Reportedly on one occasion Gaudí said to Güell, "Sometimes I think we are the only people who like this architecture." Güell replied, "I don't like your architecture, I respect it." [1]

Cheaper production methods elsewhere in Spain caused a slow but steady erosion of profit. Güell bought land in Barcelona and employed Gaudí to build an estate for the rich. However, Gaudí's architecture was not very popular among the elite of his own time and place, and there were few takers: only two houses were built. In 1923, the Güell family gave the land to the city, as Park Güell.

King Alfonso XIII ennobled Eusebi Güell as count in 1908.[2] He died in his house in Park Güell in 1918.


Buildings by Gaudí that bear Güell's name include:


  1. ^ youtube
  2. ^ "Palau Güell, Map of the Visit, p. 4". Retrieved 29 January 2013. 

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