Gaudi Wonderland – Park Güell, Barcelona

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona

‘A fool or a genius, time will tell,’ said Antoni Gaudi’s tutors as they handed him his degree. Spain’s greatest architect is famous for his gothic psychedelic style which predates the colourful extravagance of the sixties by decades. Park Güell, so named because it was based on the English Garden City Movement, was definitely a work of genius: an undulating pleasure garden of vibrant colour and form.

Gaudi Fountain Park Guell

Gaudi Mosaic Roof Park Guell Spain
Park Guell Barcelona Spain

Gaudi's Sala Hipóstila Park GuellGaudi Turret Park GuellWe stayed in Sitges on the coast, just outside Barcelona, and ventured into the city for a Gaudi expedition and shopping at Desigual. You have to take two escalators up a mountainside until you reach the summit which boasts sweeping views of the city, with the Sagrada Familia just a toy on the horizon.

Speaking of toys, Park Güell is like falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. A panorama of spiritual symbolism and gingerbread houses create the ideal environment to relax and enjoy the view. I listened to a busking violin as craftsmen repaired broken tiles, which betrayed the real age of the place.

After the tourists have gone and the sun starts to set, the park starts to feel magical, and you can almost see through Gaudi’s eyes. Influenced by Moorish architecture, Gaudi was a visionary, a Modernista with perhaps a penchant for mushroom tea…

Palm Trees Park GuelI was fascinated to see how Gaudi recycled unwanted ceramics, or trencadis amongst his mosaics and made something beautiful out of damaged and discarded materials. It’s incredible to think this place is a century old.

gaudi mosaic collage

Gaudi actually lived here in the park in this house which was intended to be a show home: Park Güell was originally supposed to be a housing development for rich aristocrats! I wonder if their names were Dougal, Florence and Zebedee?
Gaudi's House Park Guell Spain

Gaudi Tunnel Park Guell
Sala Hipóstila Roof Mosaic Park Guell Spain Gaudi

To see Gaudi’s work first hand is to be immersed in the colour of Spanish culture, joyful, flamboyant and bursting with energy.

Up next: Barcelona – The Sagrada Familia.

Categories: Design, Photography, Random, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

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21 thoughts on “Gaudi Wonderland – Park Güell, Barcelona

  1. Wow, what an incredible place, and great photos!

  2. i had the honor of wandering around park guell a couple of years ago. i couch surfed and stayed on a sailboat and bicycled around the city. the mosaics, designs and playfulness of gaudi’s work offered me a place to imagine, dream and feel magic.

    • You’re right, it’s quite an immersive, magical experience. Glad you had the chance to see Gaudi up close, there’s nothing like it.

  3. fascinating–there’s no other word for it.

    • I think it’s quite humbling to see the work of another artist, especially someone as audacious as Gaudi. I don’t think he knew many boundaries and I admire him for that.

  4. Neil

    Utterly fantastic a dream in reality !!!

  5. All I can say is…wow.

    • Yes, I think a lot of people say ‘wow’ when they walk through the gates! It’s wonderful to see someone let their talents run riot. Inspirational.

  6. Muy bueno, senor.

  7. I love the colorful tile work!

  8. Gaudi’s work is truly beautiful, thanks for the great photos and memories of my trip to Barcelona many years ago..

  9. I visited Barcelona in 2002 and I discovered Gaudi. I simply love his style and only keep great memories of that trip because of his work.

  10. love the place, love the artist, love the post! congrats!

    • Thanks, looks like you have a pretty amazing travel blog there. I’ll be exploring…

  11. We are all Gaudi fans here and spent a very happy three days ‘doing’ all things Gaudi in Barcelona, in the pouring rain! Lovely post.

    • Thanks, Rachael. It’s the brightest, happiest and weirdest cultural adventure I’ve ever been on. Glad you got to see everything, I still haven’t done the Gaudi House and I’ve been to Barcelona twice!

  12. Reblogged this on GARBODADARNEWS.

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