The interest of escaping the social conflicts arisen in the city made the new industry to be conceived within the framework of an industrial colony; with housing of the workers next to the mill, within the property, constituting an urban nucleus with its own social and economic life albeit overseen by the company.
In contrast to most industrial colonies in Catalonia, Eusebio Güell worked to improve the social conditions of his workers and applied his cultural patronage in the Colonia, providing it with cultural and religious facilities of a modernist design which were developed by different architects, most notably Gaudí to whom he entrusted the building of the church.
The master builders also left the imprint of their talent in many of the buildings as can be seen in many different facades and cornices.
The industrial colonies where conceived as a socioeconomic organization whose main goal was industrial productivity. The mill took up most of the time of the men and women of the colony, for them it was the guarantee of having a regular income in times of economic scarcity.
However, over the years, trade unions and the workers movement arose in the colony. In the beginning of the civil war the mill was collectivized and run by its workers. At the end of the war, the mill was given back to its owner, the Güell family who in 1.945 sold it to the Bertrand y Serra family. Over the next few years the mill continued its industrial production and own municipal personality, separate to that of Santa Coloma de Cervelló who began to grow and surpass the colony terms of population during the 1960’s.
During the uncontrolled urban development of the 60’s and 70’s, the Colonia Güell remained intact as its main goal was textile production. During the textile crisis of 1.973 the mill ceased its production which had a big social impact in the Colonia. Over the next few years, the property was sold; the mill was divided and sold to different companies, the houses to their inhabitants and the facilities and land to the public institutions.
In 1990 the Colonia Güell was declared «Heritage of Cultural Interest» by the Spanish government and the protection of some of its most relevant buildings was established as well as the building standards for the future.
old mill, church, consumer cooperative and Gaudí path. In 2002, Gaudí year, a new car park for visitors was built as well as the organization for the visits to the totality of the Colonia.