Antoni Gaudí was the founder of the bizarre but brilliant Park Güell, by far the most famous park in Barcelona. The architect built it for entrepreneur Eusebi Güell as a dream village at the edge of the city that looked like a fairytale forest. The village was never built (only two of the sixty planned houses were eventually constructed) but Park Güell is nonetheless one of the most unique parks in the world.
Dreamy opulence is maybe the best way to describe Park Güell. Bright colours, unusual architectonic shapes and natural curves… This is where Gaudí let his imagination run wild. You can clearly see how his visions were integrated within the landscape. The park was built between 1900 and 1914, and is located on top of the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district. Two buildings flank the entrance. The entrance also originally featured two life-size mechanical gazelles, which were unfortunately destroyed during the Civil War.
From 1906 to 1926 Antoni Gaudí himself lived in one of the two completed houses in the park. It is now known as Casa Museu Gaudí, and serves as a museum exhibiting his drawings and furniture. One of the highlights of Park Güell is the famous sea serpent bench that is covered in mosaics and winds along the panoramic terrace. Officially the longest bench in the world, the word is that it was inspired by the story of Adam and Eve. Other notable features are the double stairway with mosaic salamander and the stunning fountain at the top.
Also unique feature is the ‘Room of 100 Columns’. The columns (only 86 if counting correctly) support the square above and create a lovely shaded pavilion where you can escape the Spanish summer heat. Study the ceiling and you’ll see various alcoves decorated with religious, mythological and astrological symbols. Resting on the columns is the 'Gran Plaza Circular', which features the famous benches covered in brightly coloured ceramic tiles and spectacular views over Barcelona.
Tip: The route via the paths to the top of the hill provides even better and more panoramic vistas over the city.
More information on: www.parkguell.es