Afternoon day 1: A World Heritage crypt
Your visit to the region starts in Santa Coloma de Cervelló – in particular, at a very special industrial colony: the Colònia Güell. Strolling around, you'll see the colony’s modernista buildings, and it’s a good idea to visit the Study Centre, situated in what used to be the consumer cooperative, where you'll find a permanent exhibition explaining the history of the entire colony.
A must-see is the crypt in the church, designed by Antoni Gaudí and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site – yet another marvel from the genius Catalan architect. Note the differences between each of the columns, the rich craftsmanship of the furniture and the pretty pine cone–shaped stained-glass windows, which almost seem to act as a sundial.
Industrialist Eusebi Güell commissioned Gaudí to build an entire church, and the architect worked on the site for a decade, developing the first catenaries using fine brass fishing chains to form the inverted curved arches. But the Güell family’s financial difficulties and the death of the entrepreneur meant that Gaudí could only complete the crypt. Nonetheless, it's hard to express in words the sensation one experiences in a place like this, so you'll just have to see for yourself. We recommend taking the guided tour or using the audio guide so you don’t miss any of the finer details.