Commissioned as a private residential development by Barcelona native Eusebi Güell at the turn of the 20th century, Park Guëll is one of Barcelona’s major tourist attractions.
Situated on a small hill just north of the city, the park, which opened to the public in 1926, is home to the Gaudí Monumental Zone, an interesting place to visit to experience the whimsical imagination of the park’s designer, Catalan architect Antonin Gaudí.
This small section of the park features several buildings and lots of colorful trencadís mosaics
(some of which are visible on the exterior stone wall surrounding the Monumental Zone.) Structures and decorative features within the zone include:
The Porter’s Lodge Pavilions – flanking the Gaudí designed iron palm frond entrance gate, these stone buildings resembling frosted gingerbread houses decorated with curving rooftops of Catalan tiles and mosaics, served as a reception area for the estate and the gatekeeper’s residence.
El Drac – this colorful and quirky mosaic salamander, really popular with tourists, greets visitors at the entrance to Park Güell. He sits atop a fountain at the center of the Dragon Stairway, which is decorated with additional tile-shard mosaics in various shapes and designs, such as the emblem of Catalonia.
The Hypostyle Room – intended as a market, this columned space (86 columns in all) designed to resemble a triple-naved church, feels more like a forest with tree tops of colorful trencadís medallions.
These medallions, representing the four seasons, were created by Gaudí’s assistant, Josep Jujol.
Nature Square – formerly known as the Greek Theatre, this elevated terrace above the Hypostyle Room was designed as an open-air theatre. Still used for special events, the square – with its Josep Jujol designed serpentine mosaic benches – offers visitors a place to rest while enjoying the aerial view of the park.
Portico of the Washerwoman – accessed through an iron gate, this arcaded walkway of rough stone and slanted columns winding along the rock face takes its name from the sculpture of the ‘Washerwoman’ standing amidst the columns.
The Ramp and Casa Larrard – this double-galleried hairpin ramp at the end of the Portico of the Washerwoman leads to Casa Larrard, formerly the Guëll family residence; now a municipal school.
The Austria Gardens – intended to be a residential plot within the estate, this area was later used as a plant nursery. Visible from here are two of the homes built for the estate, one of which – designed as the show-home – was for a time Gaudí’s residence and is now the Gaudí House Museum (separate entry ticket required).
Since 1984, Park Guëll has been listed – along with six additional ‘Works of Antoni Gaudí’ – as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Park Guëll main entrance is located at Carrer d’Olot.
Get there by Metro or Bus. Check the Park Guell website to see which alternate entrance is closest to your stop.
Adult Admission = 8.00€
Child Admission (Ages 7 – 12) = 5.60€
Child Admission (Ages 6 & under) = Free
A 1.00€ discount applies for tickets purchased online.