Visit Northern Spain, and See Beautiful Work by Gaudi!

In Cantabria, El Capricho is one of the first works of Antoni Gaudi. When you hear the name of Antoni Gaudi, the thought immediately goes to Barcelona: Casa Battlò, Casa Milà, Parco Güell. And above all, that incredible masterpiece that is the Sagrada Familia. However, in northern Spain, there is another (spectacular) work signed by the famous Spanish sculptor, painter and designer: it is Villa Quijano and is located in Cantabria, in the Comillas area. Nicknamed “El Capricho” , it was designed in 1883 by Gaudi and built under the direction of the architect Cristobal Cascante. Why this nickname? Because, the term “capriccio”, in the musical sphere indicates a free composition. The owner of the villa,  Máximo Díaz de Quijano, was a great music lover: thus, this explains the name of “El Capricho”. Original and splendid to see, like every other work signed by Antoni Gaudi, Villa Quijano has gaudy colors , extrovert forms, and was designed so that daily activities could follow the movements of the sun: rooms for morning activities facing south, rooms for afternoon activities to the west. A bit like a sunflower, but in a house format (moreover, sunflowers are largely part of the villa’s decorative motifs). Conceived to house the family, the servants and even the carriages, El Capricho is characterized by that cylindrical tower that looks like a tree and by the columns of the arcades. The architecture is vaguely Arabic, as in all the early works of Gaudi: here the stone meets the ceramic, the bricks marry with tiles and iron. The facade is colorful, eclectic, dynamic. There are strips of horizontal tiles, which contrast with the verticality of the tower and the shelves of the frame. And then, as decoration, elements stolen from the music. Although El Capricho is not a place very popular with tourism, a visit here is a must for those who choose to visit Cantabria. A region rich in beauty, starting with Santander (the capital) and up to that iconic beach that is El Sardinero. And then its forests, over all the Picos de Europa National Park with its trails and its ski slopes. Finally the caves, which in the region are one of the major attractions.

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