We have come to the final part of my “Mad about Gaudi” tour. This one, believe it or not, was classed as an unsuccessful project (but I’ll explain). I’m talking about:
- Park Güell:
Entry cost: FREE! 🙂 (you just need to pay to go into the Gaudi Museum which is inside the park – 5.5 euros for adults)
Fast facts: It is situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district and was originally part of what we would today call a townhouse development or gated community, but a very fancy & exclusive one. It was the idea of Count Eusebi Güell who then got Gaudi to design it.
Building work happened from 1900 to 1914 and the original plan was for 60 properties to be built. In the end however only two ever got built (neither designed by Gaudi). Güell himself moved onto the property in 1906. One of the houses was supposed to be a show house (this one was designed by Francesc Berenguer & called Torre Rosa), but after no sales were achieved, Güell got Gaudi to purchase it for himself. Gaudi moved in with his family and spent the last 20 years of his life there. Today this property has been converted into the Gaudi Museum.
The park became municipal property in 1923 and today it is a municipal garden.
In true Gaudi style, the park is filled with lots of cool little surprises. As you enter, you’re welcomed by two houses which to me looked like Hansel & Gretel’s gingerbread house. Then as you go up the stairs, a smiling dragon waits to greet you. (this little guy’s quite famous – as you will see in all the souvenir & gift shops). Go up further and you get to a platform with beautiful mosaic embellished seating and great views.
The park is a huge piece of property. You can explore along the various paths, go up even higher and get even better views over the city.
It’s a place to relax and just be… fill those lungs with fresh air and reflect on your day… it might have been an unsuccessful property endeavour, but I’m very happy that it lead to this great space which is open to everyone to enjoy today.
And that’s it folks. All 4 Gaudi sites I shared with you guys are today UNESCO World Heritage sites. Along with 3 more sites: Palacio Güell, Casa Vicens and the Crypt in Colonia Güell (just outside Barcelona). I didn’t have time to check out those 3, but at least I got to see the main ones, which was my goal.
Gaudi was an amazing creative thinker, way ahead of his time, and someone who has left us with some incredible buildings & spaces to look at in total wonder today. I highly recommend a Gaudi tour of your own if you ever make your way to Barcelona. It is a must!