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Gaudi

Architecture Work

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Restoration of Mallorca Cathedral
(1904-1914)
Plaça de la Seu. Palma de Mallorca (Balearic Islands)

Early in 1902 Pere Campins i Barceló, Bishop of Mallorca, asked Antoni Gaudí to restore the cathedral in Palma de Mallorca. The reform was to include the repair of the façades of the Gothic temple, badly damaged by an earth quake in 1851, and redistribution of the interior. The architect visited the island on several occasions during 1902 and 1903, in October presenting the restoration project. The work was started in 1904 and continued in phases until 1914, when Gaudí abandoned the project before work could be begun on the façade due to disagreement with the contractor.

Gaudí's alterations to the interior of Mallorca Cathedral clearly demonstrate both his highly developed sense of space and his bold approach. Immune to possible criticism, to make the church brighter and better suited to the liturgy Gaudí dismantled the Gothic choir in the middle of the central nave and displaced it to the sides of the presbytery, where he also dismantled the altarpieces and a tribune. Once he had achieved a unified visual perspective that favoured dialogue between the officiant and the faithful, the architect changed the position of the altar and covered it with a new baldachin. Although in principle this was a provisional model pending the definitive work that was never carried out, it is a prime example of Gaudí's design. 

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