One of the attractions for visitors to Barcelona is undoubtedly its striking modernist architecture, unmatched by any other. But beyond the most monumental places known as the Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, Casa Batllo and Parc Güell, designed by Gaudí there are several buildings that are less known and cherished, but no less valuable. One is the Bellesguard Tower (“beautiful view” in Catalan), as it is commonly known the Figueras House, designed by Gaudí and built between 1900 and 1909 taking advantage of the remaining elements of what was once the castle of the king of Aragon “Martin I el Humano”. Currently owned Guilera family, is located right below the Collserola mountain, specifically in the street Bellesguard 16-20. ShBarcelona suggests you visit this tower with a guided tour.
Its name is due to the fantastic view you can enjoy from the top of this tower and where you will see some techniques used in the construction of the Sagrada Familia. In Bellesguard, listed as a Site of Cultural Interest in 1969, highlights its neo-Gothic facade, which resembles a castle and is away from the usual facade of Gaudi, but definitely closer to the architect for its strong symbolism in all elements. The colored stones of the facade make this part of the construction vary according to the color of daylight.
Also worth mention the beautiful mosaic benches by Domènech Sugrañes i Gras, using the technique of “Trencadís” (crisp). The furnishings in the house are not preserved as they were burned during the Spanish Civil War when the site served as orphanage and the furniture was used as burning wood which gave warmth to children who were staying in it. After this turbulent period, the house was acquired by Lluís Molas Guilera and became a hospital, the autopsy room is preserved. On the outside of the tower, we can still see remnants of the medieval castle of the fifteenth century, one of its most important aspects. Inside we see more clearly modernist forms and natural lighting with stained glass, wrought iron lamp at the entrance, and a dragon (a common figure of this architect) on the terrace.
Researching the past Bellesguard
Within this construction has been found Iberian pottery of the second century BC and Roman pottery of the year 50 AD, and since then they have inhabited important characters of Catalan society, which makes the property is a place full of secrets undiscovered. Therefore, there is a research team in charge of unraveling them through publications and articles, the stages of its history and those who lived in Bellesguard until Gaudí planned its reconstruction. Any contribution of the population of the city, being graphic or oral, is welcomed by the interdisciplinary research team.