Parc Güell history
Parc Güell, built between 1900 and 1914, was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site. The idea behind the site came from Count Eusebi Güell. The Count wanted to build a type of gated community for Barcelona aristocracy – consisting of 60 houses surrounded by an extraordinary park.
The designer of the park, Antonio Gaudi, was an Art Nouveau and Modernist architect situated in Barcelona. He was a master of combing color and natural shapes into something out of this world.
Arguably, no other architect in history has ever had such an absolute influence on a city as Antonio Gaudi has had on Barcelona. There are great works of his Modernist style all over the city and this beautiful park is one of his most interesting works.
A change of plans
The gated community Count Eusebi Güell had planned for did not work out. Due to poor response from potential clients, only two of the planned 60 houses ended up being built – neither of them designed by Gaudi.
One of these two buildings was intended to be a show house, but as no buyers came, Gaudi decided to buy it himself. He moved in with his family together with his father in 1906 and lived there on and off until his death in 1926. The building is today known as “la Torre Rosa” or “Casa-Museu Gaudi”.
A public park
Even though the gated community became an epic failure, the park remained a private garden of the Güell family until the 1920s. By then, the family handed over the park to the municipality which transformed it into the public park we have today.
Why visit Parc Güell ?
Antonio Gaudi’s Parc Güell is a park which is truly one of a kind. Nowhere else is there a park where beautiful rough stone creations, ceramic tiles, and landscaping details creates such an amazing fantasy world, while at the same time not overpowering the natural setting of the park environment.
Inspired by nature
Throughout the park, Gaudi’s strong influence by natural shapes is evident. Here visitors can find walkways supported by twisting rock pillars that seem to be growing out of the ground like trees.
One can also find several animal inspired sculptures, the most prominent one being the dragon found at the entrance to the park. The dragon is adorned with beautiful colored tiling, called “trencadis”, which Gaudi often used in his creations.
The focal point of the park is however the main terrace, surrounded by a long bench shaped as a sea serpent. The curves of the serpent bench form a number of enclaves, creating a great social atmosphere for all the visitors.
Many people rate Park Güell as a must see when visiting Barcelona; not only to enjoy the park but the amazing panoramic view of the city from the main terrace area. In 1984, Barcelona’s most magical park became listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List; a true testament to how extraordinary this fascinating site is.
La Torre Rosa
One of the houses that did end up being built – La Torre Rosa – is today museum. The museum has notable examples of furnishings designed by Gaudi and other personal memorabilia. This house is definitely a must see for everyone interested in Gaudi and his architectural style.
Parc Güell location
Parc Güell is located in Barcelona, in eastern Spain. The park is situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of the city. For the exact location of Parc Güell, check out the location map to the right.