Guell Palace, Barcelona
The Palau Güell is a mansion in Barcelona designed by the world famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí for the Catalan industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell.
It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí".The home is centred on a main room for entertaining high society guests. Guests entered the home in horse drawn carriages through the front iron gates, which featured a parabolic arch and intricate patterns of forged iron-work resembling seaweed and in some parts a horsewhip. Animals could be taken down a ramp and kept in the livery stable in the basement where the servants resided, while the guests went up the stairs to the receiving room. The ornate walls and ceilings of the receiving room disguised small viewing windows high on the walls where the owners of the home could view their guests from the upper floor and get a 'sneak peek' before greeting them, in case they needed to adjust their attire accordingly.
The main party room has a high ceiling with small holes near the top where lanterns were hung at night from the outside to give the appearance of a starlit sky.
In 2004, visits by the public were completely suspended due to renovations; some of the stone used in the original construction was weak and has cracked over the years causing structural problems within the building. As of 1 February 2008, Palau Güell was partially reopened to the public, with access to limited parts of the building only. It is currently completely open with all restoration work completed in April 2011.