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Altar and decoration of the Church of Jesus Maria of Sant Andreu del Palomar
Parish of Sant Pacià and School of Jesus Maria of Sant Gervasi. Barcelona

When his sister died in 1879 Gaudí was left in charge of her daughter, Rosa Egea, and he sent his niece to the School of Jesus Maria in Tarragona. His contact with this religious order led to him receiving some commissions. The first was for items for the church of the order’s school in Sant Andreu del Palomar, now a district of Barcelona. The church itself was constructed between 1876 and 1881, and from 1879 onwards Gaudí produced a Neo Gothic altar, a Byzantine-style monstrance, a Roman-inspired floor mosaic and a set of wall candelabra. The altar and monstrance were destroyed when the church was set on fire during Tragic Week in 1909. Inside the church, which currently belongs to the parish of Sant Pacià, only part of the mosaic remains, made from colourful pieces of marble, glass and terracotta that trace out geometric and floral shapes. The candelabras have been conserved separately, in the school of Jesus Maria at Sant Gervasi de Casseroles, taken there by the nuns in 1890 when the school at Sant Andreu was sold to the Marist brothers. In these original gilded wood wall lights the candle is held in the open mouth of a winged dragon. 

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