Park Guell, Barcelona

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Park Guell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmelo Hill, in Barcelona (Spain). The park was built between 1900 and 1914 and was officially opened as a public park in 1926. In 1984, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site under “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.

 

Many experts have tried to link the park to various symbols because of the complex iconography that Gaudí applied to the urban project. Such references go from political vindication to religious exaltation, passing through mythology, history and philosophy.

 

Specifically, many studies claim to see references to Freemasonry, which is highly unlikely due to the deep religious beliefs of both Gaudí and Count Guell, nor have these references been proven in the historiography of the modern architect.

 

It was inspired by the English garden city movement; hence the original English name Park (in Catalan the name is “Parc Guell”). The site was a rocky hill with little vegetation and few trees, called Muntanya Pelada (Bare Mountain).

 

It already included a large country house called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House, and was next to a neighborhood of upper class houses called La Salut (The Health).

 

The intention was to exploit the fresh air (well away from smoky factories) and beautiful views from the site, with sixty triangular lots being provided for luxury houses. Count Eusebi Guell 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 Guell’s suggestion, bought it with his savings and moved in with his family and his father in 1906.

 

Work at the park commenced in 1900 and lasted until 1914 as mentioned before. After this date, Gaudi worked solely on the Sagrada Familia and did not take any other commissions.

 

This housing development wasn’t a successful one, as the park at that time was far from town and only 2 houses of the proposed 60 were ever sold. One of those two houses was Gaudi’s house, the Torre Rosa, built by Francesc Berenguer.

Park Guell

panorama of Barcelona city from Park Guell

Parc Guell 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.

 

Many people rate Park Guell 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. The park is situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of the city. This house is definitely a must see for everyone interested in Gaudi and his architectural style.