A Date with Gaudi

— 03 Jun 2010 —

One of the reasons I wanted to visit Barcelona was to check out the works of Antonio Gaudi. I had studied some of his work in design class and was inspired by the stories my lecturer told of his visits to Barcelona. It was in that class that I decided I wanted to go to Barcelona.

One of Gaudi’s projects is Parc Güell situated at the top of Parc de Carmel in the Gracia district. The park came to fruition because of an unsuccessful housing development plan proposed by Count Eusebi Güell. He intended to develop an upper class neighbourhood aimed at home owners who wanted to move away from the city pollution and take advantage of the great views of Barcelona and its surroundings. Failing that, Gaudi turned it into a municipal garden featuring many of his works for all to enjoy. Today, thousands of tourists and locals alike swarm like bees to this stunning place which shows off Gaudi’s remarkable ideas and talent.

The park is quite a trek away from the city centre but well worth it. It is reachable by a few metro stops from Catalunya, then a loooong walk up the hill-side neighbourhood AND then some stairs for good measure (escalators provided next to the stairs). You may want to allow yourself a day just to stroll around and take it all in.

In Po’s famous words, “Ah. My old enemy… stairs!”
This is the lovely neighbourhood walk I’m talking about. I took this picture around the half way mark.

Stunning views from the top of the hill. You can see the whole of Barcelona from this spot. La Sagrada Familia looks so small in the distance.

An original house part of the park. If you climb up to the house you will be able to see the city of Barcelona. A prime piece of real estate in today’s world.

The Güell Museum. It houses some of Gaudi’s original works and some from his collaborators.

Bird nest inspired terrace walls line the footpaths. Check out the vaulted ceilings above in the colonnaded pathways. The rocks seem to be supported by gravity. Amazing.

The two buildings at the entrance of the park. Trust me to take the long way and subject myself to the looooong walk.

A selection of Art-Nouveau inspired artwork. Gaudi’s work feature mythical and religious motifs and are prominently done in mosaics. Don’t forget to look up, you’ll see many amazing designs too!

Many thanks go to my lecturer for sharing his stories about design-inspired trips. I would have never experienced Gaudi’s awesomeness if not for him. And now I urge you to go and see it for yourself!