Barcelona City Council has announced plans to invest 900,000 Euros in restoring to restore the Güell Pavilions in the Sarrià district of the city. This is great news for the city’s heritage, as Gaudi´s architecture forms a huge part of Barcelona´s cultural identity. The Pavilions were declared a Monument of National Historic and Artistic Interest in 1969, but are only currently open to the public at the weekend or as part of prearranged tours.
Currently, Finca Güell Pavilions, located in the district of Les Corts, can only be visited in concert tours and weekend hours. Therefore very few people know the Pavilions, and very few tourists get to see them, instead visiting more central Gaudi sites such as the Casas Battlo and Mila.
The Güell Pavilions introduce us to some of Gaudi’s lesser known influences. The design largely features mudejar (Spanish Arabic) influences, though some of the more familiar curves of Catalan modernisme (art nouveau) can be seen in the design of the dragon in the wrought iron gate.
The council plans to establish a schedule of times visits for tourists, the proceeds of which will fund the restoration project that will return the Pavilions to their former glory. While tourists will be required to pay for their visit, Barcelona’s residents are to be entitled to free entry.
The mayor of Barcelona calls the Pavilions a “jewel of modernism,” and has hailed this opportunity to reveal a long forgotten piece of Barcelona’s heritage for the benefit of the city’s residents, as well as for its many visitors. He has also expressed his happiness at creating a cultural tourist destination, for those visitors who would like to learn more about Barcelona’s unique and delightful modernisme / art nouveau.
The Municipal Institute of Urban Landscape conducted comprehensive restoration, declared World Heritage Site by Unesco, and the improvement and open to the public, under a project called Jardí Gaudí (2014-2024). The total cost of the restoration is 900,000 Euros and the works are scheduled to open before the end of the year and be completed in 2016.
Already in the phase of the restoration work, the Institute will develop programs of cultural activities on campus, especially disclosure related to modernism and Art Nouveau.
To visit the Pavilions, the easiest way is to take the metro to Maria Cristina metro station on the green line (L3). Further information about visiting them can be found on the Barcelonaturisme website.