The Catalan architect, key figure of modernism and one of the pioneers of the avant-garde of the twentieth century, is hit by a tram.Lying on the sidewalk, his unkempt appearance condemns him. He died three days later.
Barcelona, June 7, five past six p.m.. Antoni Gaudí i Cornet is about to cross the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes at the intersection between the streets Girona and Bailén. Leaning on his cane with rubber pad, delivered to their artistic dreams, cross the street slowly. A tram which runs from line 30 runs over him. The artist receives a terrible impact on the ribs and temple. Critically injured, he is lying on the ground unconscious.
His worn clothes, fastened with safety pins instead of buttons and dusty shoes that cover their wrapped in strips of cloth feet, give a poor appearance.
Most passersby, taking him for a beggar because of his unkempt appearance, denied their help. Only two of them are offered to assist him: Antonio Roig, managing the port, and Antonio Noria. They are trying unsuccessfully to arrest four taxis; the first three refuse to transport the wounded, fearful that the blood staining the upholstery of their vehicles. The fourth not even stop to see the body lying on the sidewalk.
A policeman approaches the tumult surrounding the artist and imposing his authority, requires a taxi to take him. To ensure that it will be properly cared for, he rises to the vehicle. The officer ordered the old man to move to the nearby dispensary Round San Pedro, 37.
The logbook will record center cursory examination of the wounded: ‘trauma at the height of the right ear and commotion of the patient, who calls himself Antonio Gaudi … It seems that the artist is appreciated regained lucidity for a brief moment, long enough to provide their identity, so far unknown data because the artist was undocumented. In their pockets not wearing more than the book of the Gospels, a rosary, a handkerchief and the little key from his desk.
The doctor on duty, to the serious condition of the injured, ordered his transfer to Hospital after administering a spasmodic.
Finally the fate wants Gaudí is transferred to the Hospital de la Santa Creu, but it’s too late. The next day is recognized by the chaplain of the Sagrada Familia, Mosen Gil Parés, good friend.
Gaudí died three days later, he has 73 years.
The coffin covers much of the city. The funeral procession is multitudinous, the chapel is visited by hundreds of locals. The turmoil generated is such that hardly contain urban agglomerations.
The authorities prohibit sending crowns, but this does not prevent the florists of the Rambla, the Boqueria vendors and neighbors throw flowers as the coffin.
The shops are closed and trams are forced to interrupt their journeys by the crowds that add to duel.
The revered architect is buried in the chapel of Carmen, in the first niche of the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, the only part of the temple which was built next to the Nativity facade.
Funeral ceremonies are officiated by the most prominent members of the clergy: Gil Pares, and the chaplain of the Güell family, Ricardo Persina.
Telegrams of condolence from King Alfonso XIII, the bishops of Mallorca and Avila and the mitred abbot of Montserrat, who granted indulgences to those who perform some act of piety in memory of the deceased are received.
The majestic burial bears witness to the prestige that the architect has acquired among his fellow citizens. Known as the hermit of the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí then is a very popular and much-admired character. A man who despite his haggard appearance has managed to earn the respect and affection of his fellow citizens.
His masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia, called ‘the cathedral of the poor’, their only vital goal remains unfinished. Since 1915 he had given exclusively to erect forty years working feverishly in the atoning temple, begging to finance its construction even to sleep multiple times in a small cubicle on premises.
At his death, its construction is in the hands of architects and artists.
Antoni Gaudí, universal architect, fought for his ideals, died as a poor, was buried like a king and has passed into history as one of the cornerstones of modernism and one of the great masters of contemporary architecture.
His tombstone reads:
Antonio Gaudi i Cornet (A.C.S.)