Architectural Work of Antoni Gaudí

Casa Botines

The Casa Botines (built 1891-1892) is a Modernist building in León, designed by Antoni Gaudí. It was adapted to serve as the headquarters of Caja España, a local savings bank. While Gaudí was finishing the construction of the Episcopal Palace of Astorga, his friend and patron, Eusebi Güell recommended that he build a house in the center of León. Simón Fernández and Mariano Andrés, the owners of a com ...
Founded: 1891-1892 | Location: León, Spain

Episcopal Palace

The Episcopal Palace of Astorga is a building by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí. It was built between 1889 and 1913. Designed in the Catalan Modernisme style, it is one of only three buildings by Gaudi outside Catalonia. When the original Episcopal Palace was destroyed by a fire in the 19th century, Bishop Grau decided to assign the design of the new building to his friend Antoni Gaudí. The two had become frie ...
Founded: 1889-1913 | Location: Astorga, Spain

El Capricho

El Capricho is a villa in Comillas, designed by Antoni Gaudí. It was built in 1883-85 for the summer use of a wealthy client, Máximo Díaz de Quijano. Unfortunately the client died a year before the house was completed. Gaudí, who designed only a small number of buildings outside Catalonia, was involved with other projects at Comillas. He was the assistant of Joan Martorell on another summer residence, the palacio ...
Founded: 1883-1885 | Location: Comillas, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).