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©Miguel Ángel Melero
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Finca Güell (1884-1887)
Gaudí designed two other gates for entering the estate, which can still be viewed today. One is located across from the cemetary Les Corts. It is built with red bricks, with rectangular patterns, and covered with green and white ceramics. The other gate, which was torn down when the School of Pharmaceutics was built, and rebuilt in front of this building, on Carrer Joan XXIII, across from the Hotel Princesa Sofia. Brick was also used as the primary material; the gate is composed of an arcade between two side panels, which end in two points coated with ceramic. The grill of this gate is now in the garden of the Gaudí Museum, in Park Güell.
Through some photographs that were loaned to the Royal Gaudí Chair in September 1983, by the Viscount of Güell, grandson of Eusebi Güell, it is known that Gaudí designed other elements for the estate, which were not preserved. These elements include: an open-air manège for the horses, a mirador-stairway on the roof of the house, and a mirador over the parabolic arch next to the enclosing wall.
After the death of Count Güell, part of the lands belonging to the estate were ceded to the Royal House, which built the Royal Palace of Pedralbes and a pretty garden, in which two of Gaudí's works were preserved. One is a shaded house, built with an iron frame in the shape of a parabola, near the forecourt of the palace. The other is a fountain that was camouflaged amongst the vegetation for over 40 years. This fountain is made up of a semi-elliptic bench, with red sandstone seats and a granite rubblework back. In the center, there is a pillar with a bust, from the lower part of which protrudes a forged-iron dragon that pours water onto a basin, which bears the crest of Catalonia on the front.
One story tells how, during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, the gardeners of the Parque de Pedralbes were afraid that, if the dictator became aware of this Catalan symbol on any of his visits, he would make it disappear. So they decided to plant ivy and bamboo, to hide it a bit. But they hid it so well that it wasn't found again until 1983! Like the aforementioned shaded house, it can be seen near the forecourt of the Royal Palace.
When Avenida Diagonal and the surrounding streets were planned, Finca Güell was divided into two parts, and the secondary gates lost their function. In 1956, the part that remained above Diagonal was acquired by the construction board of the University of Barcelona; the Law School and Colegio Mayor Ilerdense residence hall were built there in 1958 and 1968, respectively. The main gate to Finca Güell fell into decay through lack of use, until 1978, when, after thorough resotration, it became the seat of the Royal Gaudí Chair (founded in 1956).
In 1969, the Güell pavilions were declared National Historical-Cultural Monument, and since 1984, their garden is a Historical-Botanical Garden, and is used to impart classes and doctoral courses in Gardening and Landscapes, at the School of Architecture, with the cooperation