Gaudi created Güell Park with the intension of establishing an elite neighbourhood for 60 houses in a setting high on the hillside, away from the smoke and pollution of the city of Barcelona below. The park and its roads were designed with natural forms and lines in mind.
To enter the park it is free but the Gaudi House Museum filled with paintings and his things, where he lived for 20 years on site, has a fee.
After the long ride to Barcelona from Capestang, then going through the Picasso Museum and lastly the Sagrada Basilica, it was high time for some exercise and play. Our children particularly enjoyed the freedom to run through the paths and in between the trees. Musicians and souvenir sellers were set along each bend and you could hear music and chatter while you meander the winding roads.
We went to Güell Park by public transit, costing 2€/adult on each bus and the kids ride for free. A total of 2 buses for three people came to 12€. The cab ride back for the five of us was only 15€ and a fraction of the time. Cabs in Barcelona are owned by the city and they charge reasonable rates. For next time, we will travel by taxi.
Gaudi style and design is at every turn in the park. Mosaic ceilings, fountains and the famous serpentine seating area on the terrace, offers a splash of coloured trim while you observe the view. He incorporates the innate shapes of nature and makes tree trunk shaped columns to hold up paths and roads, with curved cave passageways under. It seemed like a scene out of the Hobbit. It does not intrude on the natural look of the park. It is unique to see.
The 17.2 hectares of parkland makes this the largest architectural work in south Europe and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It blows my mind to think people take pleasure in the park for free and it has not been destroyed. It is beautiful, well maintained and enjoyed by tourists and citizens alike. I did not see: graffiti, garbage or rowdy teens. Pretty impressive Barcelona!
There is another tick? off my 40 before 40 list.