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Altar of the Chapel of Jesus Maria in Tarragona
Chapel of Jesus Maria in Tarragona. Tarragona (Tarragonès)

The only work Gaudí created in his native province is the altar for the chapel of the school of Jesus Maria in the city of Tarragona. This was one of two commissions that he received from this religious order, to which the architect entrusted the education of his niece when he became her guardian. The architect’s intervention in the chapel began after it was blessed in December 1879 by its vicar, Joan Baptista Grau i Villaspinós, who years later as Bishop of Astorga would commission Gaudí to build the city’s Episcopal Palace.

In beautiful polychrome, the altar is made of alabaster and marble, its front graced with three angels in relief on a blue ground with gold stars. Behind, two marble steps bear the imposing gilded wood cylindrical monstrance with two angels, one on each side. Gaudí also designed a group of seats of honour, which disappeared in 1936 at the start of the civil war as did the monstrance, although this was later recovered.

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