6 Interesting Facts About Park Guell in Barcelona
Park Guell is a public park that was built in the early 20th century by Antoni Gaudi. The park is known for its unique architecture and stunning views of Barcelona it offers. Read on to find out some interesting facts about the municipal park.
6 Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About Park Guell
1. Park Guell Was Originally Designed as a Residential Estate.
Eusebi Güell commissioned Antoni Gaudi to build a housing project on a large estate. The construction of Park Guell, as per the plan, began in October 1900. However, the project failed and only two houses were built within the estate by 1914 when the project was abandoned. However, many of the other creations such as the Hypostyle Room had been completed and Park Guell became a private garden where events would be held. Park Guell opened to the public as a municipal park in 1926.
2. The Design Was Inspired By Nature
Antoni Gaudí’s fascination with the natural world is evident in all his works, and particularly so in the case of Park Guell. The park’s design was created so that it blends with the natural environment in which it was situated, working with the mountain’s topography.
His commitment to the principles of natural creation is the reason why there are no straight lines in his designs. Gaudi believed straight lines didn’t occur naturally. Throughout Park Guell, you will find undulating lines or curves that mimic natural formations such as trees, shells, plants, and rocks.
3. Park Guell Gets Its Name From Gaudí’s Patron
Ever wondered where the park gets its name from? Well, the answer is quite simple. The original housing project for which Gaudi was approached was the pet project of a Catalan aristocrat, and Gaudí’s longtime patron and friend, Eusebi Guell. The project drew its inspiration from the British residential parks. The park was hence named after Gaudi's patron and his source of inspiration.
4. Antoni Gaudi Lived In One of The Houses
In 1906, Gaudí, at Güell's suggestion, moved into the park and lived in one of the two showhouses that had been completed. Interestingly enough, the house had not been designed by him. It was the creation of Francesc Berenguer.
Gaudi moved into the house in Park Güell with his family and elderly father. He lived here until his death in 1926. The house where Gaudi resided is now open to the public as the Gaudí House Museum. It contains furniture and other items he designed and used during his lifetime.
5. The Hypostyle Room Was Intended To Have a Different Purpose
The Hypostyle Room, one of the emblematic features of Park Guell, was originally designed as a marketplace for the residents of the estate. The room was created by drawing inspiration from Roman temples and has 86 winding columns. Inside, a conduit collects rainwater that filters from the square and sends it to the underground tank. The mouth of the dragon on the stairway serves as its overflow. The ceiling designed using tile-shard mosaics was the handiwork of Josep M. Jujol, one of Gaudí’s assistants.
6. Austria Gardens Was Meant to be Housing Plots
The zone that is now known as Austria Garden was initially allotted to be used as plots for houses. However, after Park Guell opened to the public, the zone came to be used as a municipal plant nursery. In 1977, the Austrian government donated trees to the park, which is why the zone has been named so. You can enjoy great views of the park from here and from its center, you can view the two houses that were built on this property.