The next stop on our visit of Barcelona with NO tourists is el Parque de la Ciutadella, a former military fortress turned public park. I’ll lead bike tours through here but don’t actually spend too much time inside. So let’s check it out.
The most emblematic part of the park has to be the fountain officially called the Cascade or the Waterfall, better known as the Gaudí Fountain. While he didn’t design it, a young Gaudí did help with the central waterfall and a few other aspects.
The fountain is topped off with a depiction of Aurora’s Chariot in gold and stairs line each side giving us access to a temple above. I’m gonna be honest, in 10 years I’ve never climbed them. I’m gonna do it to give you some views!
The entire park was set to be decorated with prehistoric animals like the mammoth you can see here. He’s the only one. Legend has it that his trunk used to be facing upwards but over the years he has lowered it to make new friends.
After the Battle of Spanish Succession in 1714, this land was used by Phillip V as a military fortress, basically to keep Barcelona under wraps, and for over 150 years Barcelona was a military city. Only three buildings are left from the original citadel which are: the current Catalan Parliament you see here, used as the arsenal building, the Governor’s Place, which today is a school, and the Old Military Chapel, still used as a church today.
The statue in the back, just outside of the zoo is of General Prim who in 1859 gifted the citadel to the city allowing it to be turned into the park.
After the citadel was taken down, the park was designed by Josep Fontseré in 1872, the idea was to have a green area inside an industrial city that was really lacking for space. Today three almost hidden buildings, also designed by Fontseré, align the main pathway. These buildings were set up as part of a museum for various exhibits but today are currently closed.
In 1888 the mayor of Barcleona decided to host the World’s Fair to show off all that the city had to offer. Check out that moustache! Not many monuments are left in the city from that World’s Fair, but here we find here is the Castell dels Tres Dragons or the Castle of the Three Dragons, designed by modernist architect Lluis Domènech i Muntaner, a spectacular piece of architecture!