No stay in Barcelona is complete without a visit of the Park Güell. Come along to admire Gaudi’s work and enjoy some relaxing time.
This post includes affiliated links because I really wanted to recommend you some books about Gaudi’s work. If you decided to purchase one of the recommended books, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Antoni Gaudi is the architect behind the Park Güell and other buildings in Barcelona, including his masterpiece, La Sagrada Família. His style is instantly recognizable, as it is like no others.
By incorporating organic shapes, colorful mosaics mixed with modern style constructions, Gaudi transcended the mainstream architecture mouvement of the beginning of the 20th century and left his print on Barcelona, forever and for our greatest pleasure.
If you wish to learn more on Gaudi, here are 3 books that might be of interest to you:
Catalan industrialist Eusebi Güell first learn about Gaudi’s work at the Paris World fair of 1878. Thereafter, fascinated by his work and distinctive style, Güell became Gaudi’s sponsor and commissioned, amongst others, what was to become the Park Güell.
The Park Güell: a failed residential project
Location, location location! You’ve heard that before when talking about real estate. The history of the Park Güell shows things were no different last century.
In 1900, Güell bought some land at the North West of the city. What was then a bare and rocky mountain with few trees and little vegetation, was to become a dream residential area. There, with Gaudi, Güell envisioned a great project: A new development site of exquisite housing, for the wealthy to enjoy fresh air & incredible views, in modern houses, with all the comfort brought by the latest technology and with Gaudi’s artistic touch.
Fortunately for us today, the project failed!
Only 2 houses were built and the wealthy people of Catalonia did not embrace Güell and Gaudi’s vision. They considered the site as too remote and probably didn’t like Gaudi’s architecture that much. So is the fate of many visionaries and artists: rejected during their lives, adored after their passing.
After Güell’s death, his family gave the site to the city of Barcelona which converted it into a municipal garden for our greatest pleasure.
Park Güell is a UNESCO World Heritage site under the “Works of Antoni Gaudi” which includes 7 sites in or around Barcelona including Casa Mila, Casa Batllo and of course La Sagrada Familia.
Visit of the Park Güell
The park is divided into 2: the Monumental Area where you will admire Gaudi’s most famous work and the gardens around. In other words: the part where you have to pay to access and the free part! Both parts are equally worth it. The gardens are relaxing & charming and offer great views on the Monumental areas. The gardens also have some interesting pieces of architecture.
Check out the pictures below for a full visit!
On the right of the Monumental area, you will find the Lovers Viaduct. Winding paths will take you to little hiding places where you can only feel like holding hands with you special someone and maybe more…
On the Left of the Monumental area, you will find the Viaduct of the Washerwoman. These viaducts and colonnade pathways were created by Gaudi to assure easy access from one part of the park to another.
If you are anything like me, you will wonder how this ceiling is holding!?!
The pillar with the washerwoman
This part of the viaduct is extremely impressive and somehow disturbing!
After your tour of the free part of the park, you will want to access the Nature Square which you can see below.
The main attraction of the Nature Square is the undulating bench which resemble a sea serpent.
Truth be told, no matter how colorful and absolutely mesmerizing this bench is, it is actually not that comfortable!
Gaudí was assisted by the architect Josep María Jujol for the creation of this bench as Jujol was a specialist of “trencadis” or the art of decorating with broken ceramic.
Can you spot the Washerwoman on the picture above?!
The view from the Nature square isn’t bad either as you can see the whole Barcelona and the sea in the distance.
Depending on how you arrive at Park Güell, you might have already climbed up the monumental staircase leading to the Hypostyle Colonnade.
There are 3 fountains along the way. The first one is the dragon head picture above and the second one, the emblem of the Park: the Salamander, pictured below. Better be patient to get a picture of this one!
The Hypostyle Colonnade is a series of imposing doric columns which supports the Nature Square above.
Raise your nose to admire the mosaic work on the ceiling!
After your tour of the Monumental Area, go back in Park and have a picnic somewhere while admiring the view!
The Technical Bits
The official website of the Park Güell is : www.parkguell.cat
You can buy your ticket online or on site. If you decide to buy your ticket online, do plan your visit accordingly as your ticket is only valid for the time chosen. If you prefer to buy your ticket on site, there will most likely be queues. Avoid the main entrance and you might save a lot of time.
Ticket is for the monumental zone. Cruising through the rest of the park is free.
You can visit the Casa del Guarda and the other pavillon at the entrance of the Park where the gift shop is located.
Gaudi’s House can also be visited for an additional entrance fee (www.casamuseugaudi.org).
How to access the park? Prefer getting there by bus, it will get you closer to it than the subway. Bus options are indicated on the official website.
There are restaurants in the park, playgrounds, water fountains… and the further up you go, the quieter it gets and the easiest it is to find a place to rest. last tip: Go all the way up, you won’t regret it!
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