VISIT PARK GUELL, BARCELONA
About The PARK GUELL PROJECT
Gaudi planned and directed the construction of the park from 1900 to 1914 for Eusebi Guell for a residential park intended for sixty single-family residences. The project, however, was unsuccessful, and the park became city property in 1923. Though never fully completed, it remains one of Gaudi’s most colorful and playful works.
Park Guell, intended to serve Guell’s private city, became all of Barcelona’s, then the world’s favorite. Gaudi let loose his imagination. He shaped nature into colonnades, archways, and covered galleries with well-camouflaged artificial structures.
It’s a playground for the mind: visual jokes, like columns that simulate palm tree trunks, rubble-surfaced arches that grow out of the ground, and quilts of ceramic tiles. A graceful pavilion is made of twisted angle iron – cheap to make, looks good, and does not lie about its material, yet its shape is as softly curved as climbing vines.
The centerpiece is the intended covered market, a majestic forest of fluted columns. Its roof forms a vast terrace with a view of the city. An undulating continuous bench surrounds it, the back of which forms a balustrade, its entire surface encrusted with ceramic shards of all colors, some randomly arranged, some in patterns. The seat is unusually comfortable for a stone bench: Gaudi had a workman drop his pants and sit in soft plaster to record the correct anatomical curve – foreshadowing the science of ergonomics by half a century.
Past the entrance, a smiling dragon stretches in the middle of the divided stairway. Children love it, and few adult visitors can resist patting the beast on the head – the park has that kind of spirit. Park Guell is one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks.
On any day, especially on weekends, you can see hordes of tourists and locals staring awestruck at the gingerbread gatehouses and snapping photos of the giant ceramic lizard/dragon on the stairs leading up the hillside. Below sits a reservoir for the park’s fountains. Above rests a terrace lined with an organic, tile-covered bench ergonomically designed against a worker’s back on the site.
Park Guell PHOTOS