Out of all the projects taken on by Antoni Gaudí, no other encapsulates the complete and perfect harmony of nature and architecture than Park Güell. The Park Güell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell who sought to create a stylish and lavish park for the aristocrats of Barcelona. The park contains stunning stone structures, spectacular detailed tiling and fascinating buildings, eventually becoming Barcelona’s most unusual public park.
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The architect chose an uneven site covering a surface area of 15 hectares where 40 detached houses were to be built. Only two were actually completed, and Gaudí lived in one of them. It is now a museum devoted to the architect’s life and work. Gaudí prepared the site of Park Güell between 1900 and 1914, showcasing his urban-planning concerns by building paths, arcades and viaducts that were fully integrated into Barcelona’s natural surroundings. The park is located in the Gracia district.
While passing through the entrance of Park Güell, the remarkable dragon fountain without fail captivates the attention of passers-by. This dragon is bejewelled in beautiful coloured tiling and there is something rather mesmerising and enchanting about it. There is a beautiful walkway supported by twisting rock pillars that appear to be growing out of the ground like tree trunks. Although these pillars are somewhat peculiar in shape, they somehow also feel strangely natural. Gaudí was strongly influenced by natural shapes and used them much in his work.
If you reach the top of Park Güell, there is a blissful terraced area overlooking the city, where you can get a sublime view of the park and of course Barcelona City. Here you will find an explosion of colour with the beautiful tiled mosaic seats. The vibrant colours of the tiles are truly breath-taking. Park Güell also has a small house in the park, which is where Gaudí lived at one point. The house has now been converted into a museum and contains interesting furniture and artefacts which were also designed by Gaudí.
In Park Güell there are two houses, which were completed as well as pavilions for visitors and park keepers. The pavilions, designed by Gaudí, seem to be inspired by Hansel and Gretel, with curved roofs that are covered with radiant coloured tiles and ornamented spires. The staircase at the entrance of the park is a magnificent sight, at first glance the view takes you aback, and this was also designed by Gaudí. The dragon-like lizard, which is ornate with multi-coloured tiles, is at the centre of the staircase and it is the best known symbol of the park.
Park Güell is located in the district of Gràcia. You have to pay to get access to the monumental area of the park where all the buildings we wrote about in this blog are. It is recommended to order a ticket online in advance to be sure you can enter the park because the number of visitors per day is limited. However, you can also walk freely in other parts of the park.
Good To Know
- Address: Carrer d’Olot, 5 08024 Barcelona, Spain
- Transport: By Metro – Vallcarca or Lesseps stations (Green Line, L3) On leaving the metro follow the street signposts for the park | Bus – 24 and 92. | Barcelona Bus Turístic, stop Park Güell.
- Prices: Parc Guell has a partially paid entrance for the Mosaic section, it is a maximum of €8.
- Schedules: Autumn-Winter; from 27 October – 23 March: 08:30 h to 18:00 h | Spring-Summer; from 24 March – 26 October: 08:00 h to 21:30 h.
If you’re visiting the park by metro, then be prepared for a 20 minutes walk minimum. The last 200m walk is up a steep hill. If you have difficulties going up steep steps then catching a taxi or bus may be a better means of transport. You can find the bus information at the tourist information office at Plaça de Catalunya.
People with reduced mobility may have difficulty getting around within the Monumental Zone owing to the architectural characteristics of the Park, with flights of steps and uneven paths.
Park Güell is undoubtedly a visit not to be missed during your stay in Barcelona and especially a unique experience!