In the city of Llinars del Valles, 40 km. from Barcelona, stood a small
house with a circular watch tower, facades of masonry and brick, balconies
adorned with forged iron, and a splendid door of forged iron as well, all
attributed to Architect Antonio Gaudi. The house was the summer home of Sr.
Damia Mateu and was known throughout town as "La Miranda."
There is a photo of the Miranda from 1939 which has been conserved and
in which one sees the Miranda as one of the only houses to survive the
Spanish Civil War. But, in the 1960's, due to unparalleled real-estate
speculation, this magnificent house was destroyed, making way for a new
apartment block. The only parts of the house which avoided dumpyard were
the iron gates of the garden entrance which currently stand in Park Guell,
and a few pieces of the iron grates which went along with the gate.
There is no existing document which verifies that this work is in fact
the work of Gaudi, but the builder who participated in the said work, Josep
Font i Serra, always explained to his contemporaries how he would go to the
cable car station in 1906 to pick up "Don Antonio" (Gaudi), so that he could
go check on the evolution of his works.
In the most recent International Conference of Gaudinist Studies,
celebrated in Holland, we had the chance to speak with Maria Merce Bachs,
president of the Pro-Miranda Association of Llinars de Valles, which was
established in 1996 -- with the finalization of the compiling of all
documents and elements of the Gaudi house -- with the goal of carrying out