Sightseeing at Park Guell, Barcelona

Sightseeing at Park Guell, Barcelona

If you are a fan of Gaudi, or not, you should visit Park Guell if you go to Barcelona. It (probably) won’t be like anything you’ve seen before.

Things to see in Park Guell, Barcelona

A collaboration between entrepreneur, Eusebi Guell, and architect, Antoni Gaudi, saw the creation of Park Guell in 1900. Gaudi wanted Park Guell to be a private estate for rich families, but out of the 60 plots available only 1 was bought, so that idea was abandoned. Guell and Gaudi both lived in the park during the early 20th century and it was opened as a public park in 1926 (www.parkguell.barcelona/en).

Park Guell is a lovely green space, situated on a hill which means it has different levels, and it also has outstanding views over Barcelona and the sea.

Things to see in Barcelona
Views of Barcelona from Park Guell (with the Sagrada Familia on the left)

I walked from the city to Park Guell and the first thing I saw was the entrance and 2 interesting looking buildings which form the Porter’s Lodge. I think they look like they belong in a fantastical land. Their roofs are mosaiked with ceramic tiles – you’ll see a lot of that in the park.

Things to see in Barcelona

From the porter’s lodge, you will see the Dragon Stairway.

Things to see in Barcelona

On either side of the stairway, two tiled walls curve outwards. They are topped with decoratively tiled parapets with a grotto under the one on the right-hand side.

Moving up the stairway, there is a bed of green plants with the stairs on either side.

Further up, another of Gaudi’s creations in the form of a snake’s head bursting forth from the Catalan flag.

Things to see in Barcelona

Then, a colourful dragon (El Drac), beautifully decorated with trencadis tiles which are a typical Gaudi feature.

At the top of the stairway is the impressive Hypostyle Room with its Doric columns supporting the ceiling.

There are beautiful mosaics on the ceiling.

And, you can sit on a mosaiked bench which runs around the roof for views across the park and city.

Things to see in Barcelona

The roof of the Hypostyle Room also forms part of the Greek Theatre area.

Things to see in Barcelona

Gaudi planned for this area to be used for open-air shows but, these days, it’s a good spot to rest for a few minutes. (Parkguell.Barcelona/en).

Things to see in Barcelona

The bench goes all the way around this open space. Gaudi used a curved design, so it would compliment the natural setting of the park.

The Laundry Room Portico is a fine example of Gaudi’s architecture – the stone work on the columns was cleverly designed to resemble tree trunks.

To connect the different areas of the park, there is a system of roadways, paths and viaducts, again created in a way to mingle man-made structures with natural forms.

Things to see in Barcelona

Last, but not least, are the Austria Gardens, so named because the different varieties of plants, shrubs and trees were donated from Austria in 1977 (Official website for Park Guell).

I am happy I spent the day wandering around Park Guell – it’s not that big, but it is a true sight to see.

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