In 1890, Eusebi Güell moved the Vapor Vell textile factory that he had in Sants to Santa Coloma de Cervelló. His aim was to construct a workers' colony based on the utopian idea that had inspired British Garden Cities, in which workers could live in dignified living conditions.
Güell requested the collaboration of Joan Rubió i Bellver and Francesc Berenguer to construct the colony's different buildings and he also commissioned Gaudí to build its church. Between 1898 and 1914, Gaudí worked on an ambitious project based on the superimposition of two chapels in the aim of testing his building methods for the Sagrada Família. When Gaudí left the work, only the lower church had been built, known as the "Güell Crypt".
The Güell Colony Consortium was founded in 1993 to manage the colony's church and the pine groves surrounding it. It comprises the Baix Llobregat Regional Council, the Catalan government's land institute, the Barcelona Provincial Council and the Santa Coloma de Cervelló City Council.