Darlene Foster's Blog

Reus, the Birthplace of Gaudi

Posted on: June 24, 2019

I love everything Gaudi and was delighted to learn that his birthplace was very near where we were staying on our recent holiday in the province of Tarragona. So, of course, we made a visit. Reus is another charming Spanish town with its own flavour. It is known as an important producer of wines and spirits, texiles and the birthplace of architect Antoni Gaudí.

Plaza del Mercadal

We found the old town square, which is the best place to start when visiting these towns as everything stems from there. There are always plenty of cute coffee shops with outdoor terraces, great for people watching and grabbing a snack. 

An interesting building around the square is Casa Navas, a house built in 1901 in the Catalan Art Noveau style designed by a contemporary of Antoni Gaudi, for the textile dealer, Joaquim Navas. Surprisingly, there are no buildings designed by Gaudi in Reus.

Casa Navas

In the town hall stands a bust of their most famous resident born in 1852, the son of a coppersmith. He left Reus at age 16 when he moved to Barcelona to study and begin his amazing career.

The bust of Gaudi in the town hall.

A modern building houses the Gaudi Centre Reus dedicated to the life and work of the brilliant architect. The excellent interactive displays on three floors include examples of his inovative structures and details of where he got his ideas, many of them from nature. I noticed a number of school children being taken through while I visited. They appeared to be enjoying the centre. 

Inside the Gaudi Centre


A replica of part of Park Güell in Barcelona


The San Pedro church where Gaudi was baptised and confirmed.

I wandered down the side streets, imagining I was treading where Gaudi once walked as a young boy, his imagination already running wild. Looking down I noticed the paving stones are Gaudi inspired.

And then I came across this intriguing statue on the side of a building. Fortunately there was an explanation on a plaque.

The figure is called the Jew of Arrabal. In the mid-eighteenth century, the owner of this building erected a satirical statue pointing an accusing finger to the home of a neighbour he had had a legal dispute with. It became a popular sculpture in the city over the years. The original, from 1768, was badly damaged and has been recreated using the same colours.

These are the gems you find when you venture down the side streets of these wonderful Spanish towns. I’m sure Gaudi had passed by the statue many times.

Note – I didn’t take many pictures of this visit as my camera’s battery died just as we arrived. The pictures shown were taken with my cell phone and aren’t very good. But I hope you get the idea.

54 Responses to "Reus, the Birthplace of Gaudi"

I didn’t know Reus was the birthplace of Gaudi. I thought he was from Barcelona. Interesting read! I like the photos too.

He is associated with Barcelona as he lived there from age 16 until his death, and that is where his work can be seen. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and photos.xo

I love the Gaudi designs in Barcelona. But we missed Reus. All most interesting, Darlene. xx

Thanks, Joy. We enjoyed our day in Reus.

Looks to be an interesting place to visit. I’ve always admired towns and cities that celebrate their culture and cultural ancestors, and not just for commercial reasons. What would Stratford be without honouring Shakespeare for example, or Coalbrookdale without Abraham Darby?

Exactly! I especially like the little out of the way places that people of note originated from. I once visited Chawton, where Jane Austen spent many years and found it delightful.

You have just enough photos to give us the idea. To me, some of Gaudi’s work is a little bit too distorted for my taste – gaudy, even. But his style is certainly distinctive!

Thanks for the explanation of the finger pointing figure. I would say the artist/owner is not very subtle – ha!

Once I learned that Gaudi was inspired by nature, I viewed his work differently. I now love it and notice different things every time I see it. His cathedral is amazing, especially inside. His use of colour is a delight to the senses. I believe he was well ahead of his time. The finger pointing sculpture was so funny to see. I wish I had been able to take more and better pictures.

What a delightful little place! I love the style of Casa Navas and the cheeky hanging figure: Nice to see there is a sense oh humour in Art. 👍

It was such a great find! I turned a corner, and there it was on the side of a building. I’m so glad there was an explanation in 4 languages.

That’s nice of them.

I am not familiar with Gaudi so had to Google him before reading your post. An interesting man!

He was amazing and a one of a kind person. Many interesting buildings in Barcelona were designed by him. I’m glad I gave you someone new to research! xo

You need to get a power pack, Darlene, so that you can charge your camera as you are touring. This is such a fascinating place to have visited. I loved that statue. It reminded me a bit of The Merchant of Venice with its thought process.

I need to remember to plug it in the night before! I think hubby has something in the car for his iPod I could have used but didn’t think of it. I also thought of the Merchant of Venice when I read the explanation of the little statue. It was another wonderful place to visit.

Also love Gaudi! We saw his Barcelona creations again last summer when we met our kids and our 14 & 17 year old grandkids there, and needless to say they were duly impressed.

Gaudi is definitely impressive. How wonderful that your grandchildren got to see it with you. I wrote about his buildings in Amanda in Spain.

I love the architecture and history lesson….great pics Darlene….would love to go there!!

Another place you would enjoy, Kirt.

Darlene, I am a huge fan of Gaudi…who isn’t? Visiting his birthplace sounds wonderful. I have recently visited Comillas, where he built a house for a friend. He was well ahead of his time, a genius. Thank you for introducing me to his birthplace.

The more you see and learn about Gaudi, the more you admire him and his work. It was so great to see where his life began and how he started to form his ideas.

I live Gaudi too! Especially park Guell. In fact we almost got married there! Lovely post. Particularly like the carved paving stones and the figure on the side of the building.

Peta

Oops that should read “love”. Typing on my phone 🙂

That would have been an amazing place to get married. So pleased you enjoyed the post, Peta. I knew what you meant. But living Gaudi is not a bad idea. Oh to spend even a day in his amazing mind.

A fascinating visit and glad they have a centre dedicated to their famous ‘son’. The statue on the building with the pointing finger is quite the find, especially with the explanation!

The Gaudi centre was magical. Very modern, informative and fun for the whole family. I was so glad I wandered down that little street and found the statue.

I love Gaudi’s architecture as well. Thanks for sharing!

It’s always nice to learn a bit about the child who became the man of great vision! I’m sure he would have been a dreamer even then.

Darlene, thank you so much for taking us along on your tour of Reus. You give us a real sense of the place and even if none of Gaudi’s buildings are there, his presence is evident in the town. Ps. Too bad about the camera but your phone photos are fine … and you’ve just reminded me to load my camera before a trip! Wishing you a lovely rest of the week! 😀😀

Thanks, Annika! I’m pleased you enjoyed the visit. Have a great holiday! PS I enjoyed The Storyteller Speaks.

Darlene, so happy you enjoyed my book and thank you for letting me know – now I can’t stop smiling! 😀❤️

I put a review on Goodreads.

😀 Heartfelt thanks for this … it means so much and always special to hear how one’s book touches others! 🤗

I loved Gaudi’s work in Barcelona. I think for me it was what I enjoyed most about the city, his vibrant and fun architecture! This looks like a great place to visit Darlene, and follow in the footsteps of this great man. 🙂

Gaudi’s work certainly makes Barcelona the vibrant, exciting place it is. It was fun to see where he spent his formative years.

Lovely architecture. 🙂

I love the architecture in Spain. xo

Me too. I took a load of shots of the outside of a chapel in Llorret once because it was so captivating.

Got a GREAT idea of the place and the architecture and the immense beauty of it all. What a great trip, Darlene.

It was such a great get-away. There was more in the area than we realized.

Came here from Stevie! Love this!!!

Thanks for stopping in. Glad you enjoyed the post!

Thanks for adding another interesting stop to my future itinerary! Tremendo! -Rebecca

You will love it!! Thanks.

[…] I love Darlene’s tourist posts. She takes amazing photos and I always learn something new via Reus, the Birthplace of Gaudi […]

Great post Darlene. You have to wonder what went on in Gaudi’s first 16 years that led him to his amazing career!

From what I have learned he was an extremely curious child and spent a lot of time outdoors in nature which inspired much of his work. He was obviously blessed with an incredible mind. Thanks for commenting, Dave.

The architecture in Reus is amazing. I could building-gaze all day!

A place you can easily do that. Thanks for stopping in.

Isn’t it fun what you discover on the back streets of a city while exploring. I thought the a satirical statue pointing at the home of a neighbor was fun. He may have lost a legal battle but he certainly did get even. 😀

Exactly and if you don’t leave the beaten track, you will never discover these treasures.

These are amazing photos! I loved your descriptions too Darlene! I hope you enjoyed your holiday!

It was wonderful, thanks. So glad you enjoyed the pictures.

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