Barcelona is an architecture lover’s delight since around almost every corner you can find beautiful buildings from many different time periods in the city’s history. One of the most important movements in Catalan architecture especially is Modernism, which includes many of the famous landmarks that come to mind when you think of Barcelona. Antoni Gaudí is the most well-known architect from Barcelona, but his colleague, Josep Maria Jujol, helped him to design and create many works across the city. Without Jujol, Barcelona wouldn’t be the same as we know it today.
Josep Maria Jujol was born in Tarragona but spent much of his adolescence in Barcelona and became fascinated with the architecture of the Gothic neighborhood, spending hours walking the streets and sketching the buildings. Later on, he began to study architecture and that is when he met and studied with his mentor, Don Antoni. Don Antoni influenced Jujol‘s work and helped him find his way as an artist. At this time, Modernism was developing and becoming an important part of Barcelona’s identity, and Jujol began several projects in this time that demonstrated his talent and eye for unique artistry.
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Influence and works with Gaudì
Jujol and Gaudí met through a mutual friend and collaborated on many projects throughout the years. Many of the works that we associate with Gaudí are actually the result of a collaboration between these Modernist architects. Their first project together was the famous Casa Batlló, one of the most recognizable buildings in Barcelona. The two worked well together and continued working on other projects that are now symbols of the city like Casa Milà and Parc Güell. Jujol created the famous mosaic benches in the park that are a favorite stop for tourists to enjoy the view and maybe take a photo or two. Together, Jujol and Gaudí helped to design Barcelona as we know it today.
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Even though Jujol worked with Gaudí to create many famous works, he also had many solo projects that are noteworthy in their own right. In Barcelona, we can see Casa Planells, a vision of Jujol‘s own design and creativity. This house features many of the aspects of Modernism that we know today but is distinct from the projects he worked on with Gaudí. Jujol also created and worked on many buildings in his birth city of Tarragona, creating theaters, churches, and large houses commissioned by various owners and benefactors. Josep Maria Jujol designed the sanctuary of Monserrat, a very important symbol in Catalonia. The Virgin of Montserrat is important to the Catalan people and Catalan history, so this project is significant. Without Jujol and his vision, Barcelona would look very different today. His influence has helped to give Catalan architecture and Modernism a place in Barcelona.
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* Main photo by Benutzer Bautsch via Wikimedia Commons