I fell in love with Barcelona within minutes of arriving in the city. Walking around the city, I knew the architecture and design nerd in me was home. These were the grounds that Gaudi walked and several building and structures designed by him. Including, the most notable Segrada de familia. Segrada is so famous, we sometimes forget his other masterpieces. That oversight does not last long once you set foot in Park Guell - Life-changing.
Maybe life-changing is taking it a bit too far, but Park Guell does stay with you long after you have visited and it confirms that Gaudi (almost 100 years since his death) is still one of the greatest that ever lived.
Planning a trip. I went with a tour group because I got a great deal on a tour package and wanted to make the most of y limited time in Barcelona. If you have no time constrains , I recommend navigating on your own. You can explore to your heart's content. You can find tickets on the park website here. Depending on the time of year you visit, it is best to purchase in advance. Several of the bus tour companies have a stop here or you can also get here via bus, train or cabs,
Most of you are here to feast your eyes on the snapshots of a place you may have heard of, or maybe never heard of but your curiousity was sparked. If so, feel free to skip the next two paragraphs to the snapshots. If not, indulge my nerdy architecture and history buff side as I have a Gaudi fan girl moment.
A little bit about Park Guell. As the Story was told to me by my tour guide who is a wealth of knowledge on Catalonian history. A wealthy Catalonian - Eusebi Guell had this dream of building a space where he and other wealthy families could escape the concrete jungle of Catolona (now Barcelona). A place where they could surrounded by nature. A break from concerete jungle living. It was to be a city within a city equipped with its own chapel, market, water system etc. He commissioned the great Gaudi to design the masterpiece. It took Gaudi several years to design and build the park. Once it was ready, another architect designed two model homes (still standing today) on the park grounds as a way to entice those wealthy families to build. The idea did not take off and there were no takers to build on the land. Ultimately, Gaudi purchased one of the home and lived there until his death. The Park Guell project supposedly preceeded the other known Gaudi work - like Sagrada la familia.
Gaudi was said to have loved nature and spent a lot of time in nature and being inspired by nature - that communion with nature is very evident when you visit Park Guell. Since Mr. Guell was unable to convince other wealthy families to move into the space - it eventually became the property of the Catolonia government and eventually was named a world heritage site. Although parts of the park was closed off due to the filming of Emerald city, I had an incredible time exploring the grounds. I just wish I had more time to explore and take a tour of the model homes (one of which was supposedly Gaudi's home). THis is a stop I will add to the itinerary if I have the opportunity to return to Barcelona in future.
For more travel stories and inspiration - visit the wanderful wednesdays linkup on Lauren on Location