The history of Park Guell
Barcelona is a great cultural city with numerous buildings and monuments, among which Park Guell stands out, one of the most recognized symbols of Barcelona and of its artist, Gaudí.
It is one of the many works that we can find in Barcelona that belong to the Catalan modernism artistic movement. This one had an ambition that was not only limited to artistic renewal, but what he sought was the expression of a desire for modernization and a cultural resurgence of Catalonia.
The Park Güell is a great representation of the Catalan modernism movement located in the district of Gracia.
Park Guell history: the initial project
Initially, Park Guell was to be a project of exclusive and luxurious residential areas with great views of the entire city of Barcelona. In this way, in 1900, count Eusebi Guell, commissioned Gaudí to create an urbanization for well-to-do families on a large estate to recreate British residential parks. Even so, the high price and location outside the city center meant that only two plots were sold.
After only selling two houses out of the 60 planned, the park became a large private garden that Güell gave away for public events. This made it begin to become an increasingly famous place, even appearing in tourist guides as one of the attractions of the city.
Eusebi Güell, died in 1918 and his heirs offered the park to the City Council and it was not until 1926 when it was finally opened as a municipal park. In this way, Park Guell became a large public park much appreciated by the people of Barcelona, being recognized in 1969 as an artistic monument and in 1984 it was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Gaudi Park Guell Mosaic
As we have commented previously, Parc Güell is a symbol of Catalan modernism and stands out for its great design, among which the mosaics included in Gaudi stand out. Specifically, they are located in the seats of the famous terrace with all the views of Barcelona. These seats are made of ceramic with very vibrant colors and large shapes typical of Catalan modernism.
The Gaudi Dragon
Guadi was very interested and deeply inspired by the Catalan tradition. Through his works, he expressed his passions and among them, was the Catalan culture, specifically, he was fascinated by the legend of Sant Jordi and the dragon which tells that a dragon frightened the population of the kingdom and to calm it, they would hold a raffle to go feeding the beast.
One day, it was the turn of the princess who was saved by a great knight, Sant Jordi, who ended the life of the dragon. From his blood, a rosebush of red flowers sprouted. From this legend, Gaudi’s fascination for the figure of the dragon arises and that is why this animal is found in many of his works.
In Park Guell, we can find numerous stone and ceramic structures and large buildings. Among them, we find Gaudi’s Dragon Fountain located at the entrance of the park, this one is adorned with ceramic of different colors creating a hypnotic effect.
The Hypostyle Room has an irregular shape supported by multiple pillars and is also known as the Room of the Hundred Columns since it is a large porch formed by 86 columns that support the square.
Gaudí, together with Francesc Berenguer, architect and Gaudí’s assistant, built the room to be the central point of all the Park Guell since all the paths that cross the garden end in this square and therefore in the Hypostyle Room.
The interior of the room is shaded and the vault is supported by multiple pillars. As for the columns, they are inspired by the Doric order and are crowned by an architrave in which the undulating bench is located. It is also important to note that inside the hall, there are some sections without columns to create spaces simulating different naves, specifically 3 as in church structures.