From panoramic views, to colorful tiled terraces, when it comes to sights in Barcelona, Spain, Park Güell is undoubtedly one of the city’s most iconic destinations.
Built between 1900 and 1914, Park Güell was originally meant to be the site of a housing development. Unsuccessful, it instead became the park you see today, designed by the famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí.
Planning a trip? Take Gaudi’s Park Guell Guided Walking Tour.
To the right of the Gaudí-designed Gingerbread house-like entrance, you will in fact find Gaudí’s home, a remnant of the original park plan. Designed by Francesc Berenguer i Mestres, the house was initially built as a pilot to promote the purchase of plots in the would-be neighborhood. Instead, Gaudí designed the park, and ended up living in one of the homes, which is now a museum.
Also near the entrance is one of Barcelona’s most famous images: the dragon fountain. The colorful salamander sits mouth agape, as it appears to crawl down the middle of the staircase.
Beyond the dragon, park visitors will reach a hypostyle room of columns with a ceiling bedecked by circular mosaics. Not only does the space serve to support the above terrace, but it also drains water from above via its columns into an underground reservoir. With its mosaic serpentine-like benches and panoramic views of the city, the terrace that sits on top is undoubtedly the park’s most famous destination.
Around the park, you’ll also come across various pathways: Carob’s viaduct with its colonnaded wave-like footpath, Planter’s Viaduct with its Romanesque columns, and finally the gothic-style Museum’s Viaduct.
For still more views of the city, visit the park’s highest point: The Turó de les tres creus. While Gaudí originally intended to erect a chapel here, due to the discovery of prehistoric remains, it became the now-existing monument with three crosses.
To visit Park Güell, visitors can arrive by bus or Metro (Lesseps Metro stop), following the signs to find the entrance. Note, however, that upon arriving via public transportation, you must then take a 15-minute uphill walk.
Check out Park Güell with Viator
- Contributed by Erin Ridley