These were majestic lamp posts for electric street lighting that Gaudí designed for installation in the Passeig de Mar near Barcelona Port after the sea wall had been demolished, starting in April 1878. Gaudí’s collaborator in the project was engineer Josep Serramalera i Aleu, a former student colleague, who would take charge of its execution and who in March 1880 presented the project to Barcelona City Council, who finally rejected it.
Gaudí had two different proposals for the lights. The simpler were to be set on circular stone bases, topped by a city crown and attachment for banners. The more ambitious proposal was for giant lamp posts some 20 metres high, conceived as a homage to Catalan naval success. Set over large jardinières, the lights would support banners with images of the most famous admirals and battles in Catalonia’s history.