meeting antoni gaudí: park güell

Sunday, June 30:  After leaving Sagrada Familia, I hop back on the Barcelona Bus Turista.  I simply intend to take the two-hour route without getting off.  However, I see along the way that we pass Park Güell, and since I have quite a long time before my 6:00 time slot at La Perdrera, I decide to make a stop.  I’m really happy I did, as this turns out to be one of my favorite Gaudí creations.

Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gracia district of Barcelona. It was designed by Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí.” (Wikipedia: Park Güell)

The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site. The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain).  (Wikipedia: Park Güell)

Entrance to Park Güell
Entrance to Park Güell
Entrance to Park Güell
Entrance to Park Güell
Mosaics
Mosaics
along the entry
along the entry
along the entry to the park
along the entry to the park

It has since been converted into a municipal garden. Park Güell is skillfully designed to bring peace and calm. The buildings flanking the entrance, though very original and remarkable with fantastically shaped roofs with unusual pinnacles, fit in well with the use of the park as pleasure gardens and seem relatively inconspicuous in the landscape when one considers the flamboyance of other buildings designed by Gaudí.  (Wikipedia: Park Güell)

the house at the entry
one of the whimsical houses flanking the entrance to the park
Gardens
Gardens
me in the gardens
me in the gardens
gardens at Park Güell
gardens at Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell

The intention was to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and beautiful views by building luxury houses on sixty triangular lots. Count Eusebi Güell added to the prestige of the development by moving in 1906 to live in Larrard House. Ultimately, only two houses were built, neither designed by Gaudí. One was intended to be a show house, but on being completed in 1904 was put up for sale, and as no buyers came forward, Gaudí, at Güell’s suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906.  This house, where Gaudí lived from 1906 to 1926, was built by Francesc Berenguer in 1904. It contains original works by Gaudí and several of his collaborators. It is now the Gaudi House Museum (Casa Museu Gaudí) since 1963. In 1969 it was declared a historical artistic monument of national interest.  (Wikipedia: Park Güell)

Park Güell
Park Güell: one of the two houses in the Park.  This is the one where Gaudi lived and now houses the Gaudi House Museum

Roadways around the park to service the intended houses were designed by Gaudí as structures jutting out from the steep hillside or running on viaducts, with separate footpaths in arcades formed under these structures. This minimized the intrusion of the roads, and Gaudí designed them using local stone in a way that integrates them closely into the landscape. His structures echo natural forms, with columns like tree trunks supporting branching vaulting under the roadway.  (Wikipedia: Park Güell)

Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
one of many performers at Park Güell
one of many performers at Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell

Below is the only other house built in the park.

one of two houses at Park Güell
one of two houses at Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
view from Park Güell
view from Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell

The focal point of the park is the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a convivial atmosphere. Gaudí incorporated many motifs of Catalan nationalism, and elements from religious mysticism and ancient poetry, into the Park.  (Wikipedia: Park Güell)

the serpent seat at Park Güell
the serpent seat at Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
me on the serpent's seat at Park Güell
me on the serpent’s seat at Park Güell
serpent's seat at Park Güell
serpent’s seat at Park Güell
mosaics
mosaics
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell

After walking all over this park and still only making a small dent its immensity, I traipse back down the hill and catch the Barcelona Bus Turista and sit enjoying the views for nearly another hour, until I get off at La Pedrera.  Below is one of the cool houses we pass along the way.  I love the architecture found throughout Barcelona, even if it wasn’t designed by Antoni Gaudí.

architecture along the Barcelona Bus Turista
architecture along the Barcelona Bus Turista

7 thoughts on “meeting antoni gaudí: park güell

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