Things are about back to normal here! That virus seems to be on the way out--finally! Today, I've been busy cleaning, getting groceries and running errands--trying to get everything caught up again! Now, those things are done, and I am ready to sit down and work on the blog and tell you some more about Barcelona!
Barcelona is full of beautiful parks. We had time to visit one while we were there--Parc Guell. Parc Guell is another very famous creation of Antoni Gaudi (he also created La Sagrada Familia), and it is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This park is situated on a hill, El Carmel, in the northern part of the city, in the Gracia neighborhood. Parc Guell was purposed by Count Eusebi Guell (for whom the park is named). His intention for the park was that it should be a housing development for the very rich. A place to "get away from it all"--away from the crowds and pollution in Barcelona--a place to relax and revitalize, while not being too distant from the city. The park was intended to be a neighborhood with shops, mansions, and gardens. Gaudi worked on the housing project from 1900 until 1914. Unfortunately, the housing development did not materialize, and the park was bought by the city in 1922, turned into a municipal garden and opened to the public.
Parc Guell is an excellent example of Art Nouveau architecture. Gaudi filled the park with symbols from ancient history and poems, Cataluna nationalism, and religion. You would think this would give the park a heavy atmosphere, and yet, it is completely the opposite! The park is a very fanciful place--the buildings and pavilions seem like they are filled with excitement and energy. Gaudi created a very positive atmosphere in this garden park! You almost feel as if you are in some fairy tale! Even so, Parc Guell is a place where you can sit and relax and feel very at peace. It is incredible to see how Gaudi was able to accomplish such an atmosphere in the park. Originally, the hill was known as Montana Pelada (or Bald Mountain) due to the fact that the mountain was only covered in scrub brush and was almost bald! Gaudi transformed the place with his creative and far-seeing spirit.
Park Guell is also an excellent example of working with the environment, rather than against it. Gaudi held a very deep respect and love for Nature as God's creation. He was ahead of his time by working with the elements presented on the hill. Gaudi worked with the land, and used recyled materials to create this beautiful park. All of the mosaics in the park were made with broken ceramic tiles, cups and plates--all factory waste! He also used the natural rock of the hill to create the buildings and sculptures. This, back in the time when factories were ruling everything, and polluting the environment in a very big way!
The park entry is free, and there is also the Gaudi Museum you can visit for a fee. It is a wonderful place to go and relax, even when the park is so crowded (as it was the day we were there!). There are two pavilions (upper and lower), some winding garden paths, flowers and trees everywhere. I would highly recommend everyone to see this on a visit to Barcelona. Be sure to wear some good shoes, as there is a bit of a hill to climb to get up to the park. But, the walk is well-worth the effort...you will rewarded with enchanting sights!
That's all for today...you all have a great day!
(c) 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath
All photos property of S. A. Vacik