Eusebi Güell was a Catalan businessman and politician, who is probably best known as the patron of Antoni Gaudí and owner of some the Modernista architect's finest works.
Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi was born in Barcelona on December 15th 1846 and his father, Joan Güell i Ferrer, was from Torredembarra and made his fortune in Cuba and his mother, Francesca Bacigalupi i Dulcet, was a Genoese noblewoman.
The young Eusebi Güell studied Law, Economics and Applied Science in Barcelona, France and England and on his return, like his father, applied his talents to looking for business opportunities.
He established a textile factory in Santa Coloma de Cervelló, which would become the basis for the Colonia Güell and took on work from his father's Vapor Vell factory in Sants, which suffered from serious labour disputes. In 1901, Eusebi Güell founded the Companyia General d'Asfalts i Portland, better known as Asland.
In 1871, he married Isabel López Bru, the daughter of the Marquis of Comillas, and was on the board of his companies, including Banc Hispano Colonial, Companyia de Tabacs de Filipines, Companyia dels Camins de Ferro del Nord d'Espanya, etc.
Güell was an active member of the Lliga Regionalista and was elected to Barcelona City Council in 1875, to the Diputació Provincial in 1878 and later became a Senator in the Cortes in Madrid.
He was an active promoter of Catalan culture and was president of the Jocs Florals in 1900, a member of the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi, and president of the Centre Català.
Güell sponsored a number of artists and scientists but he is best known for his sponsorship and friendship with the genius Modernista architect, Antoni Gaudí, and his name is internationally known as part of Park Güell, Colònia Güell, Palau Güell and Celler Güell.
He wrote a number of books and in 1908, Spanish King Alfonso XIII made him the first Count of Güell.
Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi died at his home in Park Güell on July 8th 1918 and after his body was moved to the Palau Güell in the centre of Barcelona, a multitudinous funeral was organised in his honour, which was attended by all the local dignitaries. His bodies lies in the Cemetery of Poblenou.
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