Park Guell's Monumental Zone: A Guide for Visitors
Park Güell is divided into just two zones: Monumental Zone and the Forest Zone. Park Guell no longer has a Free Zone.
The whole of Park Güell is open to visitors. Since 2013, however, the entrance to the monumental area has been regulated to prevent overcrowding.
What is Park Guell Monumental Zone?
Antoni Gaudi's contribution to Barcelona's architecture is evident throughout the city, but nowhere more so than at Park Guell. Now classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this park was designed by Gaudí between 1900-1914 for then-textile manufacturer Eusebi Guell (who was also responsible for naming it). The park owes much of its beauty to the architect’s originality.
12 of the 19 hectares of Park Guell is designated area, called the monumental zone, where the most important and iconic features are located. These include the entrance pavilion, staircase, dragon fountain and Gaudi's house. The focal point of the monumental zone is the breathtaking view over Barcelona, which can be enjoyed from various locations within the area. This guide will explain in detail what the Monumental Zone is and what to expect when visiting it.
Explore the Monumental Zone
Porter's Lodge Pavilion
The main entrance to Park Güell has an impressive facade and presents a stunning view of the work of art inside. The ceramic tiled stone wall and palm leaf shaped iron gates are just a trailer of the nature inspired architectural marvels, one would witness ahead. There are two pavilions with beautiful tile shards mosaic roofs on either side of the gate. The one on the left was used as a waiting room with a telephone booth and other as residence and hence the name - Porter’s Lodge.
The Dragon Stairway
An artistic twin flight of steps rises up from the entrance to the Hypostyle Room. Divided into three sections, the stairway has a fountain running along its edge and each landing on the way up is marked by a distinct element. The first one has goblin sculptures, further up is the emblem of Catalonia and a tile-shard mosaic-covered salamander on the third landing.
The Hypostyle Room
The Dragon Stairway culminates into an enormous space called the Hypostyle room. The entire space is supported by 86 striped columns, with the outermost ones sloping in an undulating form contrary to the rules of classical composition. This area was intended to be the marketplace for the estate. The ceiling of the Hypostyle room consists of small domes made up of traditional clay bricks that are covered with beautiful patterns of tile-shard mosaics.
At the centre of the Monumental Zone of Park Güell lies the huge open air space originally called the Greek Theatre and now called Plaça de la Natura (Nature Square). Sitting over Hypostyle columns, projecting out of the mountain behind and lined with tile shard mosaic patterned benches, this vast platform was planned to stage large open-air shows.
On the eastern side of the Greek Theater Square, you'll find an iron gate that leads to Casa Larrard's gardens. The walkway rises above the grounds and goes through a pine forest. A portico in the form of a massive wave is attached to a huge unmortared stone retaining wall. There is a spiral ramp at the end of the route that allows you to go down to the house.
When development for the residential plots stalled, the space demarcated for it was turned into a municipal plant nursery. With trees donated from Austria, this part of the park has a very distinguished look. The Austria gardens have a beautiful view and host two prominent houses, one of which was acquired by Gaudi’s family which has now been converted into Gaudí House museum.
Visiting the Monumental Zone of Park Guell
A visit to Park Güell shall be considered incomplete without visiting the Monumental Zone of the Park. Located at the foot of the hill and surrounding area, the Monumental Zone has the most extraordinary structures expressing the brilliance of Gaudí’s style of architecture - buildings with roofs covered in the traditional Catalan clay mosaics, the dragon stairway accompanied by fountains alongside, a huge salamander serving as a fountain, covered with traditional tile-shard mosaics, Hypostyle Room with domes of traditional clay bricks and tile mosaics, the open-air Greek theatre with famous tile shard decorations and the most natural-looking slanting columns resembling a collapsing wave, are some of the things that you simply cannot miss in Park Güell Monumental Zone. With spectacular panoramic views overlooking the landscapes of Barcelona, it presents to you a unique essence of Gaudi’s splendor and magnificence.
While you can explore most of the park for free, visiting the monumental zone of the park requires you to buy a ticket.
Regulation Policy of Monumental Zone
In October 2013, Barcelona City Council implemented a new regulation policy in order to protect, study and promote Gaudí's work, as established in UNESCO's requirements, offer a high-quality visiting experience, and allow the park to exist as a space for the community. The regulation of the Monumental Zone is meant to ensure a high level of visitor experience and safety.
So, while visitors can visit Park Güell in its entirety, the access regulation policy restricts the number of people entering the monumental area. The regulation limits the capacity to a maximum of 1400 visitors per hour, which would effectively reduce overcrowding. You have to buy tickets access this zone.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Park Guell Monumental Zone
A. This is an area in the park that contains the most important and iconic features, including the entrance pavilion, staircase, dragon fountain and Gaudi's house.
A. Yes, you can visit the Monumental Zone in Park Guell. In fact, it is considered to be the real attraction within Park Guell as it houses all the iconic creations of Gaudi. However, you need to purchase tickets to be able to enter the Park Guell monumental zone.
A. No, the entry to the Park Guell Monumental Zone is regulated. You need to have a paid ticket to be able to enter the Monumental Zone.
A. The park is divided into two zones: the unrestricted, wooded area and the restricted zone that is home to the monuments and sculptures that Park Guell is famous for. The restricted zone is also referred to as the Monumental Zone.
A. Given that the Monumental Zone of the park has entry reserved for ticket holders with only a limited number of visitors allowed in (1400 persons each half hour), we recommend advance reservation and purchase of tickets to guarantee entry to the restricted area.
A. When you buy a ticket, you have access to all the places in the Park Güell Monumental Zone, including the Casa del Guarda, the Concierge's pavilion, the Dragon staircase, Austria Gardens, the Hypostyle Room, the Portico of the Washerwoman and Plaça de la Natura. However, it does not include a visit to the Gaudi House Museum, located in the open-access area of the park.
A. The view over Barcelona is the focal point of the Monumental zone of Park Guell.
A. A maximum of 1400 visitors per hour are allowed into the Monumental Zone of Park Guell.