Park Güell in Barcelona
Park Güell in Barcelona was designed by Antoni Gaudí between 1900 – 1914 at the request of Eusebi Güell. At the time, the patron-architect relationship was well established following several previous commissions, such as El Capricho, the Güell Estate and Palau Güell.
The original request was to create a housing development for families within an estate with over 17 hectares, popularly known as the Bare Mountain. This development had a series of extremely restrictive requirements such as, for example, the fact that building could only be carried out on a sixth of the estate. Furthermore, its location and height could not obstruct sunlight or prevent residents from seeing the sea views and the Barcelona esplanade.
It was given the name of Park Güell due to the influence of the British residential parks that Eusebi Güell so loved, and his request to recreate them.
Construction of the park was carried out during Gaudí’s naturalist stage, when he perfected his personal style, inspired by the organic forms of nature. One of his greatest works, Casa Batlló, is also an example of this stage.
Is Park Güell a must-visit in Barcelona?
This park is one of the icons of Barcelona, a city that has over 400 dragons in allusion to the legend of Saint George (the patron saint of Catalonia). Of all these dragons, Park Güell is the most photographed and world-renowned.
Until recently it was free to visit Park Güell. Now, due to the high influx of visitors, the City Council has decided to regulate access, establishing a limited capacity of visitors and an entrance fee. That is why we recommend that you buy your ticket in advance.
Despite this, Park Güell does have areas that are free to visit, especially in the surrounding areas where you can enjoy Gaudí’s architecture.
Visits to the city are unique and it is one of the most common photos that truly represents Gaudí’s Barcelona.
How to get to Park Güell
You can get there by metro on Line 3 (green line), getting off at the Lesseps or Vallcarca stops, where there is a 20-minute walk to the main entrance, which is on Carrer de Larrard.
You can also get there by bus on lines H6, D40, D24 and V19. The green route of the city’s Bus Turístic also stops at Park Güell.
Opening hours. When does Park Güell open? When does Park Güell close?
Although it is open all year round, it is important to check the opening hours of Park Güell, which change depending on the time of year.
Winter opening hours: From November to February the park is open from 10:00 to 18:00
Summer opening hours: From May to August, the park is open from 10:00 to 21:00
In March and October it opens from 10:00 to 19:00
In April and September it opens from 10:00 to 20:00
Remember: Take into account that last entry is always one hour before closing.
History of Park Güell
Do you want to know more about its history? We have already spoken of its origin, but there are some curious facts that you may not know about Park Güell. Here are a few:
Work started in October 1900. The first thing that was done was to level out the land for the subsequent construction of different properties. This first stage was concluded in 1903. The same year, the fence that encloses the site and the area reserved for horse-drawn carriages were also finished.
Antoni Gaudí designed several water collection and storage systems to irrigate the vegetation and avoid the erosion of the land, which could result from periods of heavy rainfall.
Antoni Gaudí moved to Park Güell in 1906, alongside his father and niece.
The famous Hypostyle Hall or Hall of a Hundred Columns was finished in 1907, inspired by the Greek town of Delphi, and it actually only has 86 columns.
With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, and after facing difficulties in the sale of the different properties, work was paralysed and abandoned entirely. At the time only 2 houses had been built, including that of Eusebi Güell, who moved to his dream park in 1907. The main difficulties surrounding the housing development were transport to the area and its exclusivity.
Although there were no residents, during these years Eusebi Güell did enable the celebration of festivals and civil events on the large square, which were generally welcomed by Eusebi and the rest of residents.
Eusebi died in 1918 and his heirs offered the park to Barcelona City Council, which agreed to the purchase in 1922. It was not opened as a municipal park until 1926 and it has since been the city’s most important and prominent park.
This much-loved park, which is greatly appreciated by the people of Barcelona, also gained appreciation the whole world over in 1984, when it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.