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©Miguel Ángel Melero
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Finca Güell (1884-1887)
The gate works with a single sheet that is supported on a rigid vertical post, made from a solid iron bar, which turns on its axle. The gatepost is attached to a cross-plant pillar that is over 10 metres high, which has a piece of artificial stone at the top, with bas-relief images of various orange trees on its four faces. The pillar is crowned by a metallic orange tree made from antimony. Halfway up there is another piece of artificial stone with a letter "G" surrounded by plant elements.
To the left of the great gate stands the pedestrian gate, with a parabolic arch. It is covered with a moulding with plant shapes. On top of the pillar which separates the two gates, there is a bell within an spiked armature.
The materials used in the construction of the pavilions and the enclosing wall were stone, adobe, brick and ceramic.
Stone from the nearby Garraf region (along the coast south of Barcelona) can be found in the meter-high socle that runs arround the entire perimeter of the buildings, allowing the adobe to be isolated from humidity from the soil. Adobe is a very ancient building system, which is based on dirt, although it may be mixed with straw or lime. At Finca Güell, Gaudí used a mixed system, in which the earthen wall is reinforced with brick pillars and horizontal layers. This system is very economical, easy to make, and offers extraordinary acoustic insulation and a sensation of comfort inside. The interior vaults and arches are built with brick, using the "Catalan vaulting" technique (partitioned vault). Brick was also used to make the balustrades and cornices of the roof, as well as the balustrade of the perimeter wall that encloses the estate; however, in these cases, the bricks are placed in triangular hexagonal pattern with simple decorations.
Finally, one may observe the first time Gaudí used elements covered with broken ceramics - trencadís - in his work, on the roof the vaults and the joints of the bricks on the outer facade.
Inside, the two pavilions are guarnished and brightened with plaster. Outside, they are coated with moorish-style lime mortar ataurique, on the outer facade. The walls that face the inner garden are decorated with lime mortar.
When he designed the main gate, Gaudí was probably thinking of the legend of the Garden of Hesperides, from Greek mythology. In this myth, there is a dragon who watches over a garden with an elm, a willow, and a poplar, which represent the Hesperides, doomed to become trees for having lost the golden oranges. The fruit is represented at the top of the pillar that holds the gate in place.