The Park Güell is the second most visited monument in Barcelona with 2,780,000 visitors in 2015. A very popular tour, full of emotion, magic and full of surprises in a place that only Antoni Gaudí could know how to get them out of the ground!
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A major attraction of this Barcelona park is a walk where you can discover some of the most beautiful symbols of the city, such as the famous salamander mosaic or the large terrace surrounded by undulating benches which offers a dazzling view of the horizon.
The Park Güell was inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List in 1984 for its contribution to the development of architecture and building techniques at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
The Park Güell: a story that nearly ruined Antoni Gaudí!
The history begins in 1900 when Eusebi Güell, who gave his name to this park as to other major works of Catalan modernism such as the Palau Güell, buys land on a hill in the south of Barcelona to make it a garden city. The patron who made a fortune in the textile industry during the industrial revolution of the late nineteenth century once again called the most fashionable architect of the time Antoni Gaudí.
This garden city had to include a chapel and a total of 60 houses. But the cost of construction exploded in such proportions that only two houses and the Park were completed. The works ended in 1914 and the park became the property of the city of Barcelona ten years later.
The only consolation for Gaudi, is that he was able to buy one of these houses when they were put up for sale. He lived there until the end of his life. Now a days, the Gaudí residence can be visited as a Museum.
The called garden cities was a popular concept in England at the end of the 19th century. A kind of rational city, situated in the countryside, offering equilibrium between jobs and houses, agriculture and industry. Gaudi took some inspiration from the English model of "Garden City", finally only maintaining the word Park Güell instead of Parque Güell.
What to see in Park Güell
The Guell park, with an area of 17 hectares, is above all a garden. Gaudí created an original work with curves that integrates with nature or which tries to reproduce it with for example the columns of the alleys simulating trunks trees. The architect wanted a residential area loaded with symbols of Catalonia and Christianity.
A large part of the park has open access. But for the most interesting part you need to buy a ticket.
The Entrance and Concierge Pavilions
The main entrance is by Carrer d'Olot. The two mushroom-shaped pavilions that frame the entrance were built to accommodate the administration of the residence and the guard service. Today they are souvenir shops.
The Monumental Staircase
In front of you, once past the entrance, the monumental staircase consists of several staircases and several fountains, the most famous of which is in the form of a salamander, a mosaic salamander now a symbol of the city.
The Hypostyle Hall and its 86 sloping columns
The Sala Hipóstila, composed of 86 columns 6 meter high, was to serve as a market and refers to a forest. All its columns are inclined in order to better support the load of the large terrace which is above. Very cleverly these columns and the vault are built in such a way that the rainwater is recovered in cisterns located under the market to allow the ecological watering of the gardens, as well as the feeding of the fountains. In the ceiling of this room, circles of mosaics represent the four seasons and the lunar cycles.
The Corrugated Bench and its colorful mosaics of the Nature Square
The nature Square, designed as an ancient agora, is located above the Hypostyle Hall. It is the emblematic place of park. You know it without having seen it because its long bench of mosaics is one of the most photographed monuments of Barcelona. The bench is 110m long and is said to be the longest undulating bench in the world.
But what really attracts all the attention is its ergonomic shape designed to sit comfortably and its famous mosaics.
Gaudi used here, more than anywhere elsewhere, the technique of « trencadis » which consisted in re-using bursts of recovering ceramics to make new decorative motifs, typical of modernist Catalan architecture. This bench is the best example of this.
The Park and Calvary
A short walk through the park will introduce you to the gardens of Austria, a viaduct and Calvary made up of three crosses, it is the highest point of the hill.
The Casa-Museu Gaudí
Gaudí lived 20 years in this house which has become an interesting museum to visit, because it contains an important collection of works of the master. On the ground floor, there is an exhibition of furniture designed by Gaudí for the houses Batlló and Calvet and on the first floor the office and the artist's bedroom.
Visit the Parc Güell: Rates
Admission to the park is at a fee from October 25, 2013: it costs 8 euros on the spot full price. Entries are limited so we strongly advise you to purchase the tickets in advance.
The last thing to be aware of is that the tickets purchased online are valid for a specific time of the day, so it is good to know in order to pass the entry without a queue
Opening hours of Park Güell
- From October 30 to March 26: from 8:30 am to 6:15 pm (last access at 5:30 pm)
- From March 27th to May 1st: from 8h to 20h30 (last access at 19h30)
- From 2 May to 28 August: from 8h to 21h30 (last access at 20h30)
- From 29 August to 29 October: from 8h to 20h30 (last access at 19h30)
How to get to Park Güell?
- Bus 24 leaves from Plaça Catalunya and drops you not far from the park.
- By underground, you have to get off at Lesseps L3 or Vallcarca L3 stations and walk about 20 minutes.
The Vallcarca station is located at the top of the park where you will only have to go down to the main entrance. The station Lesseps is located at the bottom of the Park, so you will have to climb using escalators ..
Park Güell BarcelonaCarrer D'Olot, 08024 Barcelona, Spain
Website: Park Güell - Barcelona
Opening hours: Autumn-Winter from 25 October to 23 March - from 08:30 h to 18:00 h // Spring-Summer from 24 March to 19 October -from 08:00 h to 21:30 h
Prices: Children from 0 to 6 years :0€ // General: 8€ // Children from 7 to 12 years : 5.6€ // Over 65 years: 5.6€
Phone: +34 902 20 03 02
Metro/Bus: Metro: L3 Lesseps & Vallcarca / Bus: 24 - 31 - 32 - 74 - 92
Barcelona metro map