Park Guell is a very unusual park designed by Gaudi, located in the Gracia district in northern Barcelona. The area where the pack is located started out as an ambitious housing development project, thought up by Eusebi Guell, a well known Catalan industrialist.
He hired Gaudi in 1900 to work on the garden village. Work continued until 1914 when it was clear that the project was a commercial failure. At this time Gaudi had already created roads and walkways, two gatehouses and a plaza. The city bought the park and it was opened to the public in 1922 as a park.
You enter the park through the aforementioned gatehouses. Just to your right is a small building which contains some information on the history of the park and a scale model.
The stunning Gaudi designed steps in front are guarded over by a mosaic lizard, which is the main symbol of the park. Ascend the stairs to the Sala Hipostila - a mass of 84 stone columns, which were originally intended as a market area.
Climb further until you get to the large open space, which offers fabulous views across the city. Here you will no doubt take a seat on the fabulous Banc de Trencadis - a mosaic tiled bench which winds its way around the edge of this upper deck. The bench was designed by Gaudi's colleague, Josep Maria Jujol.
You may also be interested in visiting the Casa-Museu Gaudi, where Gaudi lived for most of his last 20 years (details in a separate tip).
Park Guell was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.
Jun to Sep - Daily from 10am-9pm
Apr, May & Oct - Daily from 10am-8pm
Mar & Nov - Daily from 10am-7pm
Dec to Feb - Daily from 10am-6pm
Admission cost: free
In 1900 Count Eusebi de Güell y Bacigalupi, a Catalan count bought a small rocky, treeless hillside property on El Carmel with little vegetation but with beautiful views of the harbor and asked his friend, Gaudi to create a miniature garden city to express the spirit of Catalonia as an independent nation.
Gaudi had created roads and walkways, steps and plazas with tiled benches curving around them, fascinating buildings, colonnades, viaducts, grottoes, etc.
The two gatehouses are guarded by the best known symbol of the park, a dragon-like mosaic lizard. You meet with it in various forms - refrigerator magnets, pot holders, coasters, post cards - in every Barcelona souvenir shop. Unfortunately, the lizard was vandalized a couple of years before.
At one of the high vantage points of Park you can see the famous house of Torre Rosa, which interestingly enough designed by his disciple Berenguer, in which Gaudi lived for the last 20 years of his life. Gaudi's old home is now transformed into a small museum for interesting furniture designed by the artist, drawings and some personal objects.
The park with its terraces which remind the path layout of Buttes Chaumont in Paris, is very popular and well visited place; the buildings, walkways and stairs are all created by a very amazing fantasy, it is difficult to describe, must see this!
Many think it very beautiful and surrealistic, but a lot of people describe a visit here as a nightmare. You should visit it and create your own opinion.
If you do not like the architecture of Gaudi, then you will probably appreciate the views of the city as the best part of this park.
To avoid the rather difficult climb, you can enter the park by the other entrance, which had a series of escalators on the right of the Avinguda de l'Hospital to bring you to the top of the hill.
Open daily: November to February from 10am–6pm; March & October from 10am–7pm; April & September from 10am–8pm; May to August from 10am–9pm;
Admission is free except Gaudi’s home (4 €)
Other website: http://www.gaudiallgaudi.com/AA010.htm
This park was built by Antoni Gaudi, it is unique and a must see in Barcelona. There are many different areas that make up Parc Guell. The center and perhaps most interesting part consists of the large snake bench. Each part of the bench has a different looking pattern and color. My favorite part of the parc is the hallway that is tipped it almost looks like an optical illusion and reminds me of a wave. Then down below this part is the famous lizard. Good luck trying to get a clear picture of it! Just accept that someone else will be in the shot or you'll be waiting forever. Above this more popular area are pathways to walk on and even these are decorated with palm trees and unique benches made of rock. Gaudi's intention in making these designs of rock was to use nature as much as possible. The beautiful ceramic designs on the ceiling are actually all made with recycled ceramic and glass pieces. His innovation by using nature and recycled objects truly show Gaudi's innovation and modernity.
Park Guell (apparently this is the correct spelling) is another of Gaudi's creations.
For some history about this park, you can read: http://www.gaudiclub.com/ingles/i_vida/park3.htm.
My tip is to go up to the Calvary - a "dry-stone tower crowned by the three Crosses of Calvary.
The crosses which are present today are not in the original place, since the originals were destroyed in 1936."
The view is quite amazing and if you can manage to get it for yourself (it was a bit crowded when we went) you can just sit and relax.
Notice the school on the top of the hill (I guess you would have to look northeast...), that must be quite a view...
I would definetly recommend taking the bus and not the metro/subway. It is very high up and the bus will take you to the entrance while you have to walk uphill for about 1 km if you come by metro. We took bus 24 from Plaza Catalunya.
I decided to go by metro to Lesseps and walk the 1300 metres up the hill to the park because I wanted to check this district (Gracia) too. Don’t do it if you feel tired or with hot weather. Plaza Lesseps was interesting by the way, with some black metallic spikes, it seems we were stepping on the deck of a ship! Definitely one of the ugliest squares I ever seen! Cases Ramos is an interesting modernism building though and there is also a church in the corner (pic 1), we took a big breath and we started to walk up the hill.
Park Guell opens at 10.00am and there’s no entrance fee for the park but I wish there was one when I saw hundreds of people that have occupied the stairway at the entrance (pic 1)! Hopefully, if you walk further inside the park you will enjoy it more. Hopefully, there are maps en-route so I liked to stroll around the narrow pathways. Gaudi created this park for Eusebi Guell, a really rich man that wanted to create a new district in distance from the city. Although the plan was to build 60 houses only 2 came in light. The City Council of Barcelona took the property in 1922 and since then it’s a municipal park.
You can visit Gaudi’s House(pic 2) that Gaudi lived in 1906 but have in mind that never designed it. The museum (entrance fee 7 euros) has some furnitures and drawings he designed. I enjoyed many multicolour sculptures of Gaudi along the park, the serpentine bench, and of course the view of the city from some parts of the park. Check also some colonnaded footpaths like Sala Hipostila (pic 3) with 89 columns with some of them having internal channels which carry the rain water to the water tank!
A trip to this park is a must during your time in Barcelona. This park was designed by Antoni Gaudi, whose art noveau style made hime one of the most well known artists in Spain.
Just a note...if you have problems walking, this may not be the place to go, as you must walk up a rather steep hill to get to the park.
There are some small souvenir shops along the way to the park that have lots of Gaudi style trinkets for you to take home. I would buy any Gaudi memorabilia at these shops while you're here as this area seemed to have the biggest selection.
One of the star attractions of Barcelona is the Parc Güell, the second most visited park after the Ciutadella. Probably only because of its location in the north of the city. The park owes its magnetic attraction to th fact that it was designed by Gaudí.
In creating the park, Gaudí used shapes which harmonized with the landscape. Always aware of the struggle betwen man and nature, he built a complex garden of staircases, animalike sculptures, curvy ramps, and viaducts.
Today, the park is declared a monument of world interest by UNESCO and has had this status since 1984.
Lastly, expect a climb regardless of how you get to the park (well perhaps unless you drive). I think the best way to get there though was with the Bus Turístic. The Metro is a much longer walk away from the park. Admission to the park is free!
See my travelogue on this park.
Park Guell is the next stop, but we didn't get off the Bus as we had previously been here the day before.
The previous day, we caught the Metro to Vallcara station [Green line L3] We then walked a short way to where a lot of escalators went up a very steep hill to one of the Parks entrances. Thank goodness for them is all I can say. They are a life saver!!!!
I would say to you to get off and have a look around Park Guell as it is free of charge and is interesting, but I advise that it takes awhile to walk around.
When we were there, not all the paths were open as they were doing maintainence. It was extremely busy with lots of school children. There are hawkers around, but they didn't pressure anybody to look or buy.
It is a hilly park, so you may want to be a little fit also.
Go, and have a good time!
Open from 10am, closing times vary through out the year.
Parc Guell is my personal favourite, when it comes to Gaudí architecture. Especially on a sunny afternoon this place is great. Originally the park was planned to become a kind of "garden-city", where architecture and nature would mingle. However only 3 of the planned 60 houses were built. 2 at the entrance and one housing a museum dedicated to Gaudí. Nevertheless, there are a lot of very spectacular features in this park, especially close to the entrance.
In the picture you can see the entrance gate, a bit further the famous "Dragón", behind that the market hall on top of which is located the terrace with the winding bench.
Well, not only is this a wonderful place to visit, it is FREE which somehow makes it an even more special and wonderful place to visit!
Gaudi the landscape gardener! Count Eusebi Guell bought a hillside property and hired Gaudi to conjure and create (1900). The project was abandoned (1914) but Gaudi had already managed to create a plaza, the gatehouses, paths, roads...
The entrance is guarded by a dragon/lizard. Then there is the Sala Hipostila. The Sala Hipostila was meant to be a market - 84 stone columns. On top of the Sala Hipostila is the Banc de Trencadis which is a continuous wiggling bench that curves itself around the perimeter.
The Casa Museu Gaudi is the house in which Gaudi lived for the last 20 years of his life.
As stated previously, Parc Guell is a UNESCO World Heritage site created by Antoni Gaudi. The centrepoint of this Parc is a huge open space, with a huge balcony with seating that snakes all the way around the outside. The front part of the balcony appears very elevated, and gives wonderful views of the city.
This picture shows the Gran Placa Circular with its elevated balcony, and the view over to the city. The Sagrada Familia can be seen in the background. As before it is possible to see Gaudis trademark broekn ceramics decorating the balcony.
This is a bit out of the way from other sites in the city, but the trek is worth it. Park Guell is another venture of Antonio Gaudi, and in fact he lived in one of the two homes that got completed. The intent of Eusebi Guell, the owner of the land was to have 60 homes developed. Gaudi developed the serene park between 1910-14, as part of the motif to entice people to live here. Eventually the park that was intended to replicate an English garden became a visiting place to the locals to get away form the grime and crowded city center.
There are a variety of shapes and designs throughout the park, beginning with the sitting arena with thousands of mosaics imbedded into the concrete, the irregular and rough terrace walls and bird nests appearance, columns holding up an upper portion, and winding road 7 trails to the top. The mountain was flat on top, and is now simply a place where a bench rests. It is about 1/2 mile from the main entry to the top, with winding streets all the way. Entry to the park is free, but the small museum is 2 Euro. the park is open dawn to dusk generally
On entering the Park from this side entrance high on the hill, we had lovely views over the city and of the Sagrada Familie Church. It was pretty hazy in the afternoon, I wondered if it would be clearer in the morning for viewing.
Following the path took us to a large cross at the Park's high-point. A winding, narrow pathway led to the top where there wasn't much room for manouvering. Be careful as there isn't any railings to save you from falling! From here, we could view all of Barcelona and the bay.
So now we are going for a walk around the Park. We hadn't gone far along the footpath, when we found the unusual structure of what looked to be Tree trunks. Interesting, and so was the Busker playing a Spanish Musical Instrument. Other points of interest were a colonnaded pathway, the huge square with the Serpentine bench which was full of people sitting on it, old gates and houses, and Gaudi's design's.
Perhaps it was the time we were here, but I expected to see a more lush garden, in fact, it was fairly dry and nothing spectacular, it was Gaudi's works that made it.
I almost missed going to Parc Guell on my first visit to Barcelona, I literally went the day before I left the city. I ended up spending the entire day at the park, taking in the great views, landscaping, architecture, design and natural wonders. Built over fourteen years, it was originally going to be a housing development but ended up as a public park.
I prefer to enter the park from Vallarca Metro Station because it means you ascend the largest hill via escalator (assuming they are working) while you are still fresh and not tired from the walking. Exit the metro station and walk about one kilometer to the park entrance (clearly marked by signs). Take in the fantastic views of the city on your way up. When you reach the large, curved viewpoint you will see fantastic, curved mosaic benches that make for perfect photo opportunities. There is a small coffee shop behind you. Wandering through the park you can visit Gaudi's house (now a museum), see the famous mosaic lizard statue and look at houses that seem to come straight from Hansel and Gretel.