Art Nouveau and its imprint on Barcelona and El Raval

Palau Güell is associated with Art Nouveau, a new artistic and cultural movement that appeared in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • Reading and sitting room of the "Grand Hotel d'Espagne" by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
  • The lobby of the "Grand Hotel d'Espagne".
  • Detail of the "Grand Hotel d'Espagne".
  • Detail of the "Grand Hotel d'Espagne".
  • Refreshment kiosk on Rambla Canaletes in 1924.
  • Refreshment kiosk on Rambla Canaletes, designed by architect Josep Goday.
  • Writing room at the Cercle del Liceu, early 20th century.
  • Writing room at the Cercle del Liceu, current condition.
  • Room known as La Rotonda, at the Cercle del Liceu.
  • Room is known as La Peixera, at the Cercle del Liceu.
  • The Bruno Cuadros house, located on La Rambla.
  • Carme parish church in Barcelona.

Also known as Modern Style, Jugendstil, Stile Liberty or Sezessionstil, and Modernisme in Catalan, it is characterised by the use of curved lines and asymmetry; richness and detail in decoration; creative imagination and presence of colour; the use of flower and plant motifs, and the rebirth of traditional techniques and the decorative arts applied to materials such as wrought iron, glass, pottery and wood.


Gaudí is the greatest of the Catalan Art Nouveau architects, but he went further, interpreting it in his own way, and creating a very personal style.


In Catalonia Art Nouveau was widely accepted, particularly in Barcelona and its Eixample district, where it helped transform the architectural landscape.


The wealthy middle class commissioned their homes and other building projects from architects like Antoni Gaudí, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner; architecture was a status symbol. Art Nouveau was also seen, however, in the shops and homes of the lower middle class, craftsmen and working class, as well as in public buildings, factories and workshops.


El Raval was home to much of this Catalan Art Nouveau. Other buildings found here as well as Güell Palace are:

– the Cercle del Liceu (decorated by a number of artists, including Alexandre de Riquer, Francesc Vidal and Ramon Casas);

– the Fonda Espanya (by Domènech i Montaner);

– Casa Bruno Quadros (by Josep Vilaseca);

– the church and parish of El Carme (by Josep M. Pericas);

– La Boqueria Market;

– and shops: the old Farmàcia Genové, Antigua Casa Figueras, Almacenes El Indio, the bars Muy Buenas and Almirall, and Farmàcia Masó (by Ismael Smith).