Travels

Discovering El Capricho de Gaudí in Comillas

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View from in front of the main gate of El Capricho de Gaudí

When we hear the name of Gaudi images of the Sagrada Familia, Parque Güell or Casa Batlló come to mind, but few people know that one of the first works in which the great Catalan master left his mark is outside the borders of his native region. Gaudí's Caprice, in Quotation marks, is one of its three unique creations that you can visit outside of Catalonia.

I landed in Santander on a Wednesday of a May camouflaged in rains and low temperatures, posing as November. About 140 years ago a Cantabrian Indian also returned - enriched - to his homeland. I don't know if in the same rain.

Maximum Diaz of Quijano and Fernández San Juan was born in Comillas in 1838 and, although Spain was not yet ruled by Rajoy or Zapatero, decided to pack up and leave a country whose empire disintegrated at a speed almost higher than that given in the destruction of posts of current work.

While the Motherland agonized bled in internal struggles and permanent bankruptcy, overseas possessions continued to offer opportunities for rapid enrichment to experienced and enterprising people.

Maximo Díaz de Quijano returned to Comillas enriched and wanting to have his own summer rest residence near the sea. And not just any one, but one that could rival in beauty and design with the Marquis de Comillas palace. Máximo Díaz's sister was sister-in-law to the marquis and the issue of family rivalry in Spain I think she was born as soon as the Arabs left.

The creativity of the genius led him to build banks embedded in the same railing

The order was accepted by a young Catalan architect that began to amaze the society of the time with an avant-garde vision where it balanced the weight of functionality and decoration. His name was Antoni Gaudí and Cornet, it was 1883 And he was 31 years old.

I was 5 years older than him when I first crossed the doors of the recent Gaudí's Caprice. At my age I had not built anything like it and, although I had done the Americas, I had not managed to enrich myself as Díaz de Quijano. The feeling of failure - aggravated by the gray day - faded quickly when we found the smiling welcome of our guide Carlos.

I think there are dozens of different ways of living or experiencing a visit to the same place. It depends in part on the interest the visitor has in it but, to a much greater extent, it depends on the person who shows it to you.

Carlos is one of those enthusiastic people who loves his job and manages to arouse interest even in the most reluctant visitors. I was not among these extreme specimens, so with me it was even easier.

From the Horseshoe Courtyard -Just in front of the main entrance- Carlos told us the story of El Capricho, its innovators -for the time- architectural features and anecdotes about its creator and its owner. The story was so intense and interesting that even the clouds decided to pay attention and abandoned their tedious task of pouring water on us.

The interior stained glass windows are decorated with nature motifs that you love so much

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