If you’ve been following along with my posts of La Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera (and are paying any attention at all), you’ve no doubt realized that Antoni Gaudí, the (now-famous) Catalan architect, built some things that people thought were ugly or useless at the time, but have now reached critical acclaim.
Parc Güell is another one of those. This area was originally designed as a neighborhood for the super rich. Unfortunately, none of the super rich wanted to live here, and only one house was ever sold (to Count Eusebi Güell, who paid for the project). However, some years later, the government opened up this land to the public, and now it’s a cool park with some great views. And even though they’ve recently added an entry fee, you don’t even have to be super rich to go here.
At the main entrance, is Gaudí’s famous mosaic salamander, called “el drac” (the dragon). He is pretty cute, so sometimes weird tourists pretend to give him a kiss.
There are also gorgeous mosaic walls near the entrance, where those same weird tourists pretend to be normal for a second and just take a regular picture.
Here’s a view of the park where you can see the curvy bench area up top and what was supposed to be the covered marketplace for the residents down below.
When you’ve climbed the rest of the stairs to the top, you can see the curvy bench a little bit better. It runs around the perimeter of the main terrace, and it’s supposed to be a massive sea serpent (cool). Gaudí used trencadís both here and throughout the park, which is a style of mosaic that uses shards of broken tiles and dinnerware (that were probably going to be thrown away anyway) to cover a surface. In this way, he was able to make his projects look pretty and colorful without spending a ton of money.
On one side of the terrace (facing the front of the park), you get an amazing view of the city. This is one of my favorite views of Barcelona.
And about right here is where I heard a group of American girls talking, so I walked up to one and said, “Hey! Would you mind taking our picture?”
She responded (in the worst Spanish accent ever) “No hah-blow een-glays.” So I tried again, “Vale… Puede sacar una foto de nosotros, por favor?” And she’s like “AHHH okay fine I’ll take your picture.”
Mmhm, nice try, chica! 💁
But I’m not even mad about it, because that’s how we ended up with this adorbs pic of both of us at Parc Güell, in one of my favorite spots in the city.