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Pictures Park Guell Barcelona
> Buy tickets online for Park Guell Barcelona
One of Barcelona's most famous attractions is Parc Guell by Catalan and Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi.
Antoni Gaudi's Park Guell on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona started as a failed project to create a residential garden city and finally became a public park in 1922. Park Guell today is part of the UNESCO World Heritage "Works of Antoni Gaudí."
Parc Guell is an public park designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. It is on the Carmel hill in the upper part of the Gracia district of Barcelona. More than 25.000 people visit Park Guell daily and more than 9 million people visit the park per year. From October 2013 admission the ticket price is €7 if you buy a ticket in advance, or €8 at the park entrance. Buy advance tickets to Park Guell here. It's a good idea to book in advance because only 800 visitors an hour are allowed in the park. Park Guell Tickets can be bought up to three months before the visit. Maximum number of 9 tickets per person. Local residents have access to the park free.
How to get to Park Guell
Gaudi guided bus tours
Today Parc Guell is one of Barcelona most popular tourist attractions. The original idea of Park Guell was not to make a park or a tourist attraction. It was to create a private residential garden city for wealthy Barcelona residents, who could live in Park Guell on the hill El Carmel far from the smoke and noise of Barcelona's city centre and with lovely city views. The idea did not work.
At that time, around 1900, there were many factories in the Barcelona - and the Barcelona air was not very clean. Guell bought the land where Parc Guell is to build a housing project to escape life in the city. The land already had a manor house on the site of Park Guell - called Larrard House or Muntaner de Dalt House - and it was close to a residential neighbourhood of houses called "La Salut" which means "health." So the idea of a garden city with views seemed good. Park Guell was built in the years from 1900 to 1914 on a plot of land that measures 17.18 ha (0.1718 km²) in total
This idea for a private housing development site came from the wealthy Catalan industrialist Count Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, who was inspired to create Park Guell after he had seen similar housing estates in England. He asked modernist architect Gaudi to design the infrastructure for a housing estate with 60 plots of land for houses on a piece of land he bought in 1899 called Can Muntaner de Dalt. The location was a rocky hill side on mount Carmel called Muntanya Pelada - Bare Mountain. The idea was that people would buy plots of land and build their own houses.
So Park Guell started as a property business venture and not as a park at all. But the plan was not a success. There was no interest from buyers at all. Only one plot of land was ever sold and only two new houses were built in Park Guell, so only three people owned houses in Park Guell. None of the two houses were designed by Gaudi.
Guell himself moved into the Larrard manor house and the Guell family lived there for many years. Count Eusebi Guell died in 1918 and in 1923 the Güell family donated the land to the city and Park Güell was became the public park that we can enjoy today. It is fun to walk around and see how the park started as a housing site with roads, viaducts and terraces.
The vast central plaza was originally intended to be a theatre area for all the residents of the garden city to gather and watch theatre performances. It was called the Greek theatre and Gaudi even designed seating that could be erected for shows, that spectators could enjoy performances with views of the city and the sea in the background. The main plaza is 79 metres long and 36 metres wide.
The most famous feature of Parc Guell is the the famous mythical curving serpentine bench, which snakes its way around the perimeter of the plaza. This is considered one of Gaudi's most original works
The unique curved shape of the serpentine bench lets the people sitting on it talk privately and easily. The serpentine bench in Park Guell is decorated in a technique using broken shards of tiles and pottery to make a colourful mosaic. This is called "trencadis" in Catalan, or also called "pique assiette."
Gaudi and his assistent architect Josep Maria Jujol were pioneers in the trencadis technique. In Park Guell, Jujol created abstract waves and circles of ceramic mosaics interspersed with traditional nature objects like flowers, shells and stars for this magnificent decoration.
Half of the Park Guell plaza is built on the solid ground of the mountain. The outer part is built on top of the Greek doric columns of the Sala Hipóstila below. The Sala Hipóstila was intended to be the market place.
The Sala Hipóstila was originally intended to be the market place. It is designed to be a Greek forest of columns and is called the Doric colonnade.
There are 86 classical columns which are 6 meters high and 1.3 meters wide.
The amazing trencadis on the serpentine bench at Park Guell
It is said, that when they were decorating the curved bench, the workers would use bits of broken tile and glass, that they had found on their way to work at Park Guell. The architecht Jupol even smashed up some of this own dinner service to find the right pieces. And he raided the kitchen for crockery from the other resident of Parc Guell at the time, who was a lawyer called Martín Trías Domènech.
Gaudi designed the gate house and administration building in a fairytale gingerbread house style.
Gaudí's famous mosaic salamander, called "el drac" the dragon, guards the fountain at the main entrance to Park Guell on Carrer Olot
The eternal quest for a funny holiday photo. Incidents like this now means more regulation of Park Guell visitors. Now park attendants guard El Drac. Tips on how to be a good tourist!
The original plan to sell houses on the garden city development of Parc Guell failed due to lack of interest. Only two houses, apart from the original manor house already on the grounds, which Guell himself moved into - and which is now a public school - were ever built in Park Guell, so the total number of houses was three. None of these houses were designed by Gaudi, although he did make some minor changes to the original manor house. The modernist house below was built on two of the original plots on higher ground by an architect called J. Batllevell. This house was for Guell's lawyer Martín Trías Domènech who became the third resident of Parc Guell.
The house below, called la Torre Rosa, was built as a model home in 1904 by Francesc Berenguer for the original property development. When no-one was interested in buying it, Guell suggested that Anton Gaudi buy it and move in with his father. Gaudi moved in with his father and niece in 1906. His father died the year they moved in and his niece died in 1912. Gaudi lived in the house from 1906 until 1925. At the very end of his life he moved into his studio at the Sagrada Famila church which he designed and was building on until his death in 1926. Today the Torre Rosa house is the Gaudi house-museum in Barcelona where you can see Guadi's bedroom and a unique collection of furniture designed by Gaudi.
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