Mosaic Lizards
Cascading staircases
A world of Gaudi surrealism
Wonderful views of Barcelona

Güell Park – Gaudi’s crazy garden

Gaudi’s Güell Park is undoubtedly one the most rewarding, joyful, and inspiring visits in Barcelona. You may well recapture your youth, your spirit of fun and come to appreciate the mind of a quasi-surrealiest who in fact held an interest only in Nature.  The Güell Park (or Parc Güell in Catalan) is a multi-faceted Barcelona park space with gardens and those fantasyland Gaudi buildings, located not far from Barcelona City centre in the foothills of the craggy backdrop to Barcelona, the range known as Sierra de Collserola. This is near the Gràcia district of Barcelona. The park can be visited easily as a stand-alone tour, or as part of a Barcelona Panoramic or sightseeing tour.

Guell Park lizard goes for it  Guell Park StairwayGuell Park detail

Eusebio Güell, the man who commissioned this park from Gaudi,  was one of Gaudi’s biggest fans. A man with serious amounts of cash, mainly made in textile business in Cuba and other parts of the world,  he was one of the serious Catalan entrepreneurs in the Industrial Revolution. Park Güell was deisgned and built between 1900 and 1914, and officially opened to the public in 1926, becoming a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1926.

The park is a monument Gaudi’s most prolific naturalist period. Gaudi was inspired not by man-made Geometry, but by the organic shapes that you would find in nature. Basically this meant “no straight lines”. To these natural forms, Gaudi added some icing on the cake (well it certainly looks like icing): ornamental designs, mosaic, some scary monsters and dragon (Gaudi is never far from a childhoood nightmare) and a few Hansel and Gretyl houses.

Gaudi’s bedrock is baroque, on it sits a rich structure free of rigidities or classical formulae. You’d want to remember this, if you are posing around trying to chat someone up in a Barcelona cocktail bar later at night…

The Güell Park pre-dates the Sagrada Familia and was a testing ground for some of the naturalist ideas which flourished there so spectacularly. Güell and Gaudí’s idea for the park was as a space of beauty, for recreation and for living: with comfortable, well-designed homes fitted with technology and artistic touches. There are also many symbols of political and religious ideas prevalent in Catalunya at the time of building: the imposing entrance stairway, the Calvario (Calvary) monument,  not to mention elements of Greek mythology (the temple of Apollo).  The delicious weirdness of the Güell Park owes everything to Gaudi’s loves of the use of these tantalising, enigmatic and puzzling symbols…