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Parc Güell - Barcelona

Type: Park
Tags: barcelona, garden, Gaudi, Parc Güell, park
City: Barcelona, Spain
Address & Details:

North of Gracia.
Open daily: May– Aug 10am–9pm; Sept & April 10am–8pm; Oct & March 10am–7pm; Nov– Feb 0am–6pm;
Admission is free (4 Euros to visit Gaudi’s home)

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Parc Guell is an astonishing place to see and bee in. It is very hard to describe the amazement and wonder that one will experience when walking through the amazing park. One can start from any entrance work their way to any end of the park admiring architecture, design and art throughout the park. Littered with beautiful creations by Gaudi, park Guell is a must see for art lovers (and for those that just want to have fun).

This park actually started out as a private community that was commissioned by Count Eusebi Guell. In 1900 the Count bought part of the hill of El Carmel and asked Gaudi to build a small private community with 60 homes, paths, recreational areas and decorative monuments. The site was actually a rocky hill with little vegetation and a large country house called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House. Guell’s idea was to take advantage of the clean air and the beautiful views of the harbor from the hill and create a community. But, in the end only two homes were built, neither designed by Gaudi and one was a show home. Because of its failure as a community, in 1922 the site was changed to a municipal park. And today it is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.

Although it does not seem so, the park was designed and created with the intention to, like any park, bring peace and calm to the visitor. Because Gaudi added many flamboyant structures and art into the park, the two entrance buildings, which are remarkably original with weirdly shaped roofs and unusual pinnacles, fit well into the park. The focus of the park is the main terrace. It is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent of which the inspiration came from the shape of buttocks left by naked workman sitting in wet clay.The curves of the benches form many enclosures which create a social and dynamic atmosphere. Many motifs of Catalan nationalism, religious mysticism and ancient poetry were incorporated into the park by Gaudi. Originally there was two mechanical gazelles at the entrance to the park to welcome its visitors, which were destroyed during the World Wars. Other parts of the park include the roadways that were built to service the homes in the park. These were designed to jut out from the hill side with a separate foot path underneath the. This was done to minimize the intrusion of the roadways and were designed and built with local stones so that they may appear more natural in the landscape. The structures that supported the roads and paths were designed to reflect natural forms such as tree trunks with supportive branching to hold up the roads. There is also a giant decorative lizard, a vast Hall of Columns (indented to be a market) and many mosaics. And at the top of the park is a large cross. From here there are complete views of Barcelona and the port. You can also see the Sagrada Familia and the Montjuic area from here.

With its flamboyant design, art and architecture this park is definitely worth a visit by everybody.

To get to the park, take bus #24 from Plaça de Catalunya right to the eastern side gate by the car park; or the metro to Vallcarca, from where you walk down Avinguda de l’Hospital until you see the escalators on your left, then follow the path right to the western park entrance (15min). Walking from Gràcia (and mLesseps), turn right onto the Travessera de Dalt and follow the signs up steep c/Larrard, which leads straight to the main entrance of the park on c/Olot (10min). The Bus Turístic stops at the bottom end of c/Larrard on c/la Mare de Deu de la Salut.