Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Parc Guell is yet another of several
great gifts to the city of Barcelona from architect Antonio Gaudi.
Built between 1900-1914, this 20-hectare park sits on the hills to the north
of Barcelona's main areas. It provides a peaceful oasis of lush
greenery and outstanding architectural elements.
Located on the northern edge of the town, visitors to Parc Guell have a
spectacular vista of much of Barcelona arrayed below them. The terraced gardens provide an
excellent combination of the natural and artificial. Seating available
shows another example of the colorful mosaic tile that Gaudi loved to
incorporate in his design for the park.
Stop for a few moments at the small cafe on the outer edge before
entering and have yourself a cool drink. After all, Barcelona can get very hot at times and many of
the hills there are steep. For visitors needing something with a little more sustenance, there are
several small restaurants nearby to choose from.
As you enter Parc Guell, take note of the outstanding dragon-themed
fountain (shown above) as you enter. Take a moment to enjoy the multi-colored tile adorning
it. Then stroll down the flower-festooned walkways dotted with many
mosaic tiles that show Gaudi's distinctive influence and style.
But there are just as many interesting sights further within the
confines of the park itself. There's a museum dedicated to Gaudi's art, filled with photos
and other items both instructive and decorative. Once the architect's
house, it contains furniture which was designed by Gaudi himself.
Once outside again, located alongside the lush shrubbery
reside many worthy sights, including sculpture, columns, restaurants and museums. Even the
very benches are works of art. There is one enormous, curved example
that is famed throughout the city, the Paseo
Further on are still more examples of wondrous sights.
The Hall of the
Hundred Columns (Sala de las
Cien Columnas) is an array of classical
supports. But what they support is drawn from later styles, such as the
romantic-era balcony, which is covered in mosaic tiles of a more modern
Nearby there is a walkway which is supported by twisted rock pillars,
introducing yet another style. Irregular and yet organic in appearance, they
demonstrate another facet of the organic eclecticism
GETTING TO PARC GUELL
There are several entrances to the park and visitors will want to
choose accordingly. Taking the metro to the Lesseps stop, brings
one to the base. That leads to a steep climb up the hill on which the park
rests. Challenging, but great exercise in Barcelona's fine air. Taking
the metro to the stop at Vallcarca
brings the traveler via outdoor
escalators to the top of the park, allowing for an easy walk down the
Admission to the park is free and most buildings open at 10 a.m.