One of Antoni Gaudí’s most significant works
A park and a work of art that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984. Truly considered to be an open-air museum, Park Güell is a symbol of Modernisme in Barcelona where Gaudí placed architecture and urbanism at the service of his fundamental source of inspiration: nature.
Conceived as a residential development for the most well-to-do classes of early 20th-century industrial Barcelona, Park Güell was designed by Gaudí with the aim of creating a space for luxury homes in a natural setting with the best views of Barcelona.
What to visit at Park Güell
In the monumental zone of Park Güell, which is open all year round, you can visit:
- Plaça de la Natura. A large esplanade bordered by a wavy bench covered with a trencadís broken tile mosaic that not only offers a view of the entire city, but has become one the most emblematic subjects of Barcelona postcards. Plaça de la Natura was to be a Greek theatre for the residential development, a space for spectacles and shows that was visible from every plot.
- The hypostyle hall. Designed to house the development’s market, the hypostyle is dominated by the 86 striated columns, some of which are at an angle, that support the weight of Plaça de la Natura. The columns are equipped with interior pipes designed to collect rainwater falling on the square. The small domes of the roof of the hall are ornamented with highly original trencadís ceramic mosaic panels that incorporate small everyday objects.
- The dragon stairway. A majestic stone stairway in three sections, along which the water collected from the tank under the hypostyle flows. At the top of the stairs is the trencadís dragon or salamander that has become the park’s icon and an omnipresent memento in Barcelona’s souvenir shops.
- The entrance pavilions. At the main entrance of what was to be the development there are two pavilions. The one on the left was designed to be the porter’s lodge and the one on the right to be the porter’s residence. Their roofs are traditional Catalan vaults in brick covered in ceramic trencadís. Moreover, the porter’s lodge is finished with a dome in the shape of a mushroom.
How do you get to Park Güell?
Hop off at the Park Güell stop on the Blue Route and climb Carrer de Larrard to the park’s entrance. Its opening hours vary in accordance with the season. Access to the monumental zone is regulated in order to protect the heritage of the site and prevent overcrowding. Even though tickets can be bought at the ticket windows at Park Güell, to guarantee access at the time you want it is advisable to purchase them on the park’s website.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? The stone benches in Plaça de la Natura are ergonomic. Gaudí wanted to adapt them to the shape of the human body and to give them that shape he asked a labourer to sit down for him.
- Local’s tip: The monumental zone of Park Güell is only a part of the immense park designed by Gaudí. The rest, which can be visited free of charge without queuing, allows you access to some of its most photographed spaces, like the viaduct.
- A must: For lovers of art, Modernisme and nature. For families with children who want to take a break from their urban visit.
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