Monday, December 9, 2013

Part 2: Gaudi in Barcelona - Park Guell

Park Guell is a park in Barcelona, commissioned by Eusebi Guell, an industrial tycoon, designed and built by Antoni Gaudi between 1900 and 1914.  It took 14 years from design to completion of this park, you might have great expectations of this.  Now, let me bring you there for tour.

To get to Park Guell, you can take the Metro L3 (Green Line) and alight at Valcarca station.  Remember to alight at Valcarca, not one station before it.  From both stations you can get to Park Guell, but one takes a much longer route.  Once you come out from Valcarca, there are clear signs to lead you the way.

Slopes Leading to Park Guell

The park is located at a hill top.  There are many up slopes to climb to get there.  The city has been very considerate, you built escalators to help the poor tourists in many sections.  Did I hear a sound of relief? :)

After almost 30 minutes of up slope, you will finally get to the ticket office and entrance.  Tickets are at 8 euros per person, and 400 people are allowed to enter every half an hour.  Your ticket has your eligible timing to enter.  If you miss your timing by 30 minutes, too bad, you can't enter.

Admission Ticket to Park Guell

Park Guell claims to occupy a total area of 17.18 ha, or 0.1718 km^2.  I had great expectations!


There are two houses of typical Gaudi style, decorated with broken ceramics standing on the two sides of the main entrance.   These two are the ONLY two major structures in the park!

Supposed Covered Market

The center piece of the park is an empty columned hall which was supposed to be a covered market.  The entire hall is empty.  Zen style of decoration and architecture give people a sense of peace & calm, rich feeling with minimal decorations, but Gaudi style?

In front of the empty hall, there is the most famous lizard in the world.  Whoever that had been conned to come to Park Guell would have to have a photo with this ugly lizard, so they will remember forever in their life how they had been conned by Gaudi.

Ugly Lizard by Gaudi

Atop of the empty hall, there is more emptiness.  A big open space where you can have a glimpse of the city of Barcelona.

And, that's about the end of the tour!

It took Gaudi 40 years to build one facade of Church of Sagrada Familia and 14 years to build Park Guell.  Some may argue that he was a perfectionist who wanted everything to be perfect, especially for a place for GOD.  I highly suspect it was just a beautiful excuse.  Remember that joke?  A young lawyer happily walked into his father's law office and told his father proudly that "Dad, I finally finished off that traffic accident case which had dragged you for 20 years!"  The father was visibly upset and said, "Son, I was hoping you can get your son through college with that case!"  

You can find all my blog posts about my Spain-Portugal-Gibraltar trip here.

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