Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gaudi's Capricho

It was good to see that Google’s home page on Tuesday, June 25th was in homage to a great Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí, who lived from the mid 1800’s to the first quarter of the 20th century. He resided and did most of his work in the eastern part of Spain, in the province know as Catalonia. Many of you have been to Spain and seen his wonderfully colorful and almost silly creations which make cement, iron and stone seem to flow nonsensically and blossom and grow into bright botanical creations. His monuments are so imaginative and innovative that seven of them were inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage in 1984, (see link below.) The guy was a genius and definitely broke the mold and opened up a whole new territory for architects the world over to explore.

If you have visited Barcelona and seen his beautiful cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction, or his fantastically bright Parque Güell, or walked downtown and looked up at the facades of many apartment buildings he designed, you know what a surreal experience it is to see his work. But many people do not know that he also designed buildings in other parts of Spain, including a whimsical palace in Astorga, (close to León, where I lived for 5 years) complete with spires, turrets and flying buttresses, and on which Walt Disney’s castle was based.   He also did work on the Cathedral of Mallorca.

But what does this have to do with my novel, you may be asking? It turns out that Gaudí also designed a cute leisure villa called “El Capricho” (The Caprice) in the coastal village of Comillas, very close to Santander. And yes, this work of Gaudí’s is in my novel. As a matter of fact, two of my characters take a day trip to Comillas, which is less than an hour’s drive from Santander, and walk around the small palace, taking in the striking effects that Gaudí produced using different colors (red and green bricks and tiles, and yellow ceramic sunflowers). Besides taking in Gaudí’s creation, they see the other sites in the small town before finally stopping for lunch, which is when…oh! I almost spoiled it. Something important happens to my characters in Comillas, something very nice, but you’ll have to read my novel to find out what! Meanwhile, please enjoy the links to his works which I've placed below the picture. Also, this is my 7th post, so if you've missed the prior ones, please be sure to read them while you're on my blog site.

Above is a picture of El Capricho, located in Comillas, Spain, and featured in my novel.  Isn't it marvelous! Photo credit:
Link to Gaudi’s works in UNESCO:
Link to List of Gaudi’s works with pictures of them: (be sure to look for the Astorga castle)