Park Güell in Barcelona, Spain
You’ve surely heard about Antoni Gaudi’s Park Güell . It’s one of the mediterranean city’s most scenic spots. Antoni Gaudi, the celebrated Catalan architect known for his unique modernist designs, left an indelible mark on Barcelona. Park Güell stands as one of his most iconic creations, a testament to his boundless creativity and innovation. Located in the Gracia district, it is divided into two zones: the monumental zone, a World Heritage Site, and the forest zone. This colourful park is a harmonious blend of nature and architecture, a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city and experience Gaudí’s brilliance first-hand.
Is Park Güell worth it ?
Definitely, yes. Park Güell is well worth the visit because it is a unique example of Gaudí’s talent applied to a whole landscape, not just one building. This attraction offers not only the opportunity to see the stunning creations of the Catalan modernist architect but also a chance to enjoy 2 or 3 hours strolling through a beautiful natural environment in the heart of the city.
Let’s dive in and look at the curiosities of Gaudí’s Park Güell…
Eusebi Güell entrusted Gaudí with the project of creating an urban oasis for wealthy families on a large estate that he had acquired in the area known as Montaña Pelada. Güell took inspiration from British residential parks and wanted to create something similar, therefore he named it Park Güell, using the English spelling of the word “park”.
Gaudí designed Park Güell to be a residential estate
The original plan was for Park Güell to be used as a modern housing estate. He didn’t intend for it to be a park at all. Gaudi’s original vision involved creating a modern housing estate to provide an escape from the city’s pollution and chaos. His plans included houses with modern amenities, a market, a laundry room, a church, and a public square.
Gaudí, along with his father and niece, moved there in 1906. However, they only managed to sell two of the intended 60 plots: the one that housed the Gaudí House-Museum and the Trías house. With the outbreak of World War I and a lack of buyers, the project came to a halt. The Barcelona City Council bought the park after the death of Eusebi Güell in 1918 and transformed it into a public park in 1926.
Park Güell is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
In 1969, Spain finally recognized Gaudi’s Park Güell as an important and historical site. They declared Park Güell a Monument of Cultural Interest because of its architectural and artistic uniqueness. UNESCO took another 15 years to declare it a World Heritage Site in 1984.
Later, in 2005, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization added six more Gaudí buildings to the list: the Güell Palace, Casa Milá, Casa Vicens, Gaudí’s work on the Nativity façade and the crypt of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, and the crypt of Colonia Güell.
This recognition emphasizes Gaudi’s exceptional contribution to the evolution of architecture and construction techniques in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. UNESCO highlights that Gaudi’s legacy extends beyond architecture into gardening, sculpture, and decorative arts.
Hall of One Hundred Columns… but there are 86?
The Hypostyle Hall is unquestionably one of the most emblematic places in Park Güell. This corner of the park also goes by the name “Hall of One Hundred Columns,” although it’s not entirely accurate since there are only 86 columns.
The pillars in the room uphold the upper esplanade, originally designed to function as a market place for the residents of this exclusive (and unsuccessful) real estate development. Regrettably, it never served its intended purpose. However, it has now become a popular spot for photos and stands as a testament to Gaudi’s inventive architectural style.
The Inclined Columns
Why are the exterior columns in Park Güell inclined? Gaudi’s own explanation sheds light on this mystery: “They asked me why I made inclined columns, to which I replied: ‘For the same reason that the tired walker, when stopping, supports himself with the inclined cane since if he put it vertical, he would not rest.”
Gaudí’s house was not designed by Gaudí
Gaudi lived in one of the houses within the park for 21 years; however, interestingly, he didn’t design it. His assistant, Francesc Berenguer, designed Gaudi’s house, building it between 1904 and 1906.
Following Gaudi’s death, they sold the house and used the proceeds for the construction of the Sagrada Familia, as Gaudi had instructed in his will. Initially, an Italian couple acquired the house. In 1963, the “Friends of Gaudí Association” bought the house and founded a museum dedicated to the architect’s legacy.
Trencadís: what is it?
The trencadís, a mosaic technique that combines ceramic fragments, is a hallmark of Gaudi’s work. In Park Güell, Gaudi used trencadís (the Catalan term for this union of ceramic shards and tiles) to cover the curved surfaces of structures in the park. Additionally, he specifically used remnants from the Pujol i Bausis factory in Esplugues de Llobregat and fragments from other sources. This unique mosaic technique adds a burst of color and vibrancy to the park’s designs.
Is it a salamander or a dragon?
Is Park Güell free?
Park Güell is not free. It is only free for residents of the area and accredited citizens of Barcelona. For tourist visits, you must purchase a ticket.
Eventhough Park Güell is free for residents all day, the Park Güell Monumental Zone requires tickets for anyone who is not a local.
Ticket Park Guell Prices
General Admission 10€
Children from 7 to 12 years old 7€
Children from 0 to 6 years old 0€
PARK Guell opening hours
Park Güell is open every day of the year
from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (from 10/29/2023, 5:30 p.m.).
Tourist visits are not permitted in the following time slotsq
“BON DIA BARCELONA”: de 7:00 h a 9:30 h.
“BON VESPRE BARCELONA”: de 20:00 h a 22:00 h. (a partir del 29/10/2023, de 18:00 a 22:00 h)
Practical Tips for Your Visit to Park Güell
Now that you’ve got a glimpse of what Park Güell has to offer, here are some practical tips for your visit:
- Purchase Tickets in Advance: Given the park’s popularity, it’s advisable to book your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues.
- Visit Early or Late: To enjoy the park with fewer crowds, consider visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes: You’ll be doing quite a bit of walking on uneven paths, so comfortable footwear is a must.
- Respect the Environment: Remember that Park Güell is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so be respectful of the environment, avoid littering, and do not touch or deface the artwork.
- Take Your Time: This park is a work of art, and it’s meant to be savoured. Take your time to explore its nooks and crannies, and get lost in Gaudí’s wonderful world.
Antoni Gaudi’s Park Güell is a testament to human creativity and the beauty that can be achieved when architecture and nature coexist in perfect harmony. So, when you find yourself in Barcelona, make sure to include this beautiful and historic park in your itinerary.
Wanna visit Park Güell? Come and join us.