Parc Güell is another one of Antoni Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces. The park was built from 1900 to 1914 and was originally designed to be a housing site and was the idea of Count Eusebi Güell. The idea was based on the English garden city movement, but was later purchased by Gaudi and turned into a park.
Count Güell moved into the Larrard House to add prestige to the movement. There were two houses built on the site, but neither were built by Gaudi. Gaudi later moved into the Larrard House and with his family and father in 1906. The house was built by Francesco Berenguer. It is now the Gaudi Museum and was later declared a national historic artistic monument of national interest in 1969.
Entrance to the park is free, although the Gaudi museum is 12 euros. The park is skillfully designed with various aspects taken from nature. The two houses at the entrance house a gift shop and are fashioned in a gingerbread style. One of the most photographed areas of the park is the dragon fountain at the base of the Hall of Columns. It’s quite difficult to get an uninterrupted photo with the dragon because everybody is vying for a good spot.
One of the most popular areas of the park is the long bench on the main terrace. The bench is curved like a long sea serpent with intricate tile work. The park also features elements of Catalan nationalism, religious mysticism and ancient poetry.
Parc Güell is a definite must see in Barcelona, just like all of Gaudi’s other works of art. The park is a great place to wonder, socialize and let the children run wild. There are also a number of vendors peddling everything from jewelry to scarves, as well as performers playing their music or performing with puppets. Everywhere you look are unique works of art/architecture from the Doric columns and gingerbread like houses to the tile mosaics.