In 2013 Barcelona planned to lower the number of people coming to the Park Güell by implementing an entrance fee. The number of visitors had climbed to 9 million people a year and after the new measures had already dropped to 2.3 million. Today, Barcelona’s second most visited monument is more empty than ever.
The main entrance with the guard house and administrative center, originally placed to patrol the entrance to the community, usually alerts the tourists of the various access points they must use around the park for their timed visits to the monumental zone. But today, two almost gingerbread-like houses linked by the original gate of the Casa Viçenc (the first house Gaudi built in Barcelona) are going to give us the direct access that was originally planned, so let’s take advantage.
One of the most iconic photos from the park has got to be along the steps leading to the Market. ON any given day you’ll be required to wait your turn to get the picture you want alongside the popular Dragon fountain, today we have it all to ourselves.
The Park Güell was built between 1900 and 1914 by Antoni Gaudí under the patronage of Eusebi Güell who thought the new expansion of Barcelona was erasing the old cultural and religious ideas of the city. The plan was to offer a residence for the 60 wealthiest families interested in moving to an area that had just recently been incorporated into Barcelona. Lack of interest and the outbreak of the First World War saw only two of those proposed houses built (where both Guell and Guadi would live)
Known as la Torre Rosa, the Pink Tour, this is where Gaudí lived for almost 20 years!
The main plaza was inspired by the old Greek theaters. It is the largest space within the park and offers great views of the entire city. It was built to be accessible from all sides of the community and a meeting place for all residents. You can see that in the design of the bench that runs around the plaza. The curves form creates private grouping areas where you can meet up and speak. The bench was designed by Josep Maria Jujol; Gaudí’s assistant.
86 columns line the Market place, all created in Doric style. 90 columns would have fit but Gaudi, with the help of Jujol, decided to replace 4 of them with colorful mosaics of the sun in each of the 4 seasons of the year along with 14 moons representing the lunar cycle.
With the work stoppage the city bought the land and turned it into a public park in 1922. In 1984 the Park Guell, along with several other of Gaudí’s works, became a UNESCO world heritage site. While it’s worth a trip to the monumental section my favorite spot in the Park is up at the top where you can see the entirety of Barcelona.