Along with Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch is considered one of the trio of the great Modernista architects.
He also had an important political career, which included time on Barcelona City Council and as a Deputy in the Spanish Parliament in Madrid, and from 1917 to 1924 was President of the Mancomunitat of Catalonia.
Puig i Cadafalch was born in Mataró in El Maresme on October 17th 1867 into a family of textile manufacturers and was interested in a combination of history, arts and sciences from an early.
In fact, in 1883, aged 16, he enrolled to study architecture at the Escola Provincial d'Arquitectura whilst taking maths and physics at the University of Barcelona and a year later beginning fine arts studies at the Acadèmia de Belles Arts.
Both his career as an architect and art historian and as a politician were marked by the idea of history being the backbone to a lost national Catalan identity and he combined this with a passion for the Catalan language, traditional Catalan law and political organisation of Catalonia during the 11th and 12th centuries.
Amongst his best known architectural works are Casa Amatller (1898-1900) and Casa de les Punxes (1903-1905). Puig i Cadafalch was an internationally acclaimed expert in Romanesque Art with several books published on the subject and he also promoted the archeological dig which uncovered the Greek ruins at Empúries from 1908 onwards.
Following Franco's victory in the Civil War in 1939, he spent the latter years of his life in relative obscurity although his intellectual career was recognised by many universities, who awarded him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.
Josep Puig i Cadafalch died in Barcelona on December 23rd 1956 at the age of 89 and his body lies in the Cemetery of Els Caputxins in Mataró.
You can read more about the great architect and get an idea of what to visit in my article on Josep Puig i Cadafalch's Works in Barcelona.