The Parque Güell, the Parc Güell or the Park Güell, whatever you name it, it is one of the most symbolic places here in Barcelona, proved by the over-2-million visits it receives every year. There are three elements that give fame to the spot: the great architect Antoni Gaudí, his magnificent architectural elements inspired by the nature, and the stunning views to all the Barcelona and the Mediterranean coast. Can’t wait to know more about the Park? This is your ultimate guide!
A bit of history: an unfinished project
Although Park Güell is Gaudí’s work, the original idea of developing a luxury housing estate of over 17 hectares at the hillside of the Monte Carmelo was from Eusebi Güell, the entrepreneur who initiated and funded the project. The project, of which the working progress took place between 1900 and 1914, didn’t come to an end. Only Gaudí’s residence (where he lived between 1906 and 1925) and la Casa Trías were built before the project was abandoned. Nowadays, thanks to its touristic interest, it was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.
So why is it so special?
The Park Güell is full of wavy and geometrical forms, columns that look like palm trees, colorful ceramic mosaics and many other politic and religious symbols. Nobody would doubt that this is Gaudí’s most representative work from his naturalist period, given that all the construction work was so consistent that they all remind us of the Mother Nature.
Here we have compiled a list of not-to-be-missed for you to enjoy every detail of this masterpiece of the great architect.
The main entrance and its pavilions
The entrance at the Olot Street (“Carrer d’Olot” in Catalan) welcomes us with its impressive symbolic structure that reminds us of both the earthly world (depicting the industrial progress and the growth of the middle-class) and the spiritual world (representing the entrance to the paradise).
Make sure to pay attention to the iron gates at the entrance, all in the shape of palm trees, and the two main pavilions, which were used as the porter´s lodge and the porter´s residence. The Park´s walls, of peculiar shapes, are topped with ceramic tiling and bear the name of this masterpiece: “Parc Güell”. All the design clearly reminds us of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel.
The symbolism of the Dragon Stairway
From the entrance we will see the Dragon Stairway, which leads us to The Hypostyle Room. The stairway is divided into three sections, and at the middle we will find the famous sculpture of the dragon, or the salamander, the icon of the Park as well as of Barcelona. Along the staircase, there are other symbols like the emblem of Catalonia, a snake, and, on the last few steps, a Greek-theatre shaped bench which was designed to enjoy the winter sun and the summer shade.
The columns of the Hypostyle Room
Also known as the Hundred-Columns Room, the Hypostyle Room is located underneath the Nature Square. The Room was designed as a market of the housing estate. However, as time goes by, its superb design has given it other important functions: as a tourist attraction and as a concert hall for renowned artists.
The most outstanding design of the Room is the 86 striated columns, inspired in the Doric order. The columns are arranged like the stalagmites of a cave and the ceiling is decorated with symbols of the four seasons and the lunar cycle.
The Nature Square
Located at the centre of the park, the Nature Sqaure is at the top of the Hypostyle Room. It was originally designed as a meeting place as well as an event venue, and now it has become a great viewpoint for us to admire the breathtaking view of the city and the sea.
This 3000m2 square is surrounded by the famous wavy benches. Decorated with tiny pieces of ceramic and glass, these benches are mainly in blue, green and yellow, with the symbolic meaning of faith, hope and charity, respectively.
The Magic Viaducts
The Magic Viaducts are another important part of the Park, often described as the best symbols of the nature throughout the whole park. These paths are around 3km long, and are the best solution to overcome the topography and connect the various parts of the park. The Viaducts were designed in different styles. The Museum Viaduct (also referred as the Lower Bridge) is in Gothic style, the Carob Viaduct (the Middle Bridge) in Baroque, and the Jardiniere Viaduct (the High Bridge) in Romantic style. All three viaducts are linked by a main path called “El camino del Rosario” in Spanish.
The Three-Crosses Hill
Climbing up to the higher part of the Park, we will arrive at the Three-Crosses Hill. At this height of 182m, the 3 crosses, which represent the Passion of Jesus, mark the original spot for the estate´s chapel. This spot has also a phenomenal panorama view of the city.
Just a few more reminders…
- To visit the monumental precinct, formed by the Dragon Stairway, the Hypostyle Room and the Nature Square, you will need to buy a ticket (7€). Special price for children and visitors over 65 years old.
- The rest of the Park is free-entrance.
- The main entrance is at Number 3, Olot Street (“Calle Olot, número 3” in Spanish).
- The closest metro station to the Park is Lesseps, on the line 3 (the green line).
- To arrive by bus, you can take the H6, 32, 24 or 92.
- Opening hour: from 08:00 to 18:30 in winter; from 08:00 to 21:30 in summer.
And if you are looking for a place to stay, don´t forget to book an apartment with us! In Mercedes Heritage you will find the maximum comfort to best enjoy the Ciudad Condal!