Gaudi’s Park Guell

I was thinking about Barcelona yesterday. I spent four amazing days there in the summer of 2007. Long enough to get a tantalizing taste, and short enough not to become disillusioned. Yes, I had a love affair with Barcelona. I think about her often. I would live with her if I could, but alas, it is not to be. This is strictly a long-distance relationship, fed by memories and photographs, some of which I’m going to share with you today.

One of my favorite things about Barcelona is the art and architecture, which through the work of Antonio Gaudi, become inextricably connected. I’m just going to share a few photographs from one of my favorite Gaudi designs – Park Guell.

Porter’s House – Park Guell

My dad and I took a subway ride and made a steep climb to the top of Carmel Hill to get there. As you can see in the picture above, the view is amazing from the top, even on this hazy day.

Park Guell was built between 1900 and 1914. It was originally supposed to be a community of luxury homes, but the development failed, and the land was purchased by the local government and turned into a park. Lucky us!

There are winding paths, terraces, gardens, vaulted ceilings, and colonnades. Many of the surfaces are covered with colorful ceramic tiles. Apparently, they were made from plates and pottery that Gaudi and his workers smashed into small pieces and then used to create intricate mosaics atop many of the park’s structures.

One of my favorite parts of Park Gruell is the undulating bench on the upper terrace. You can really get a close up look at the beautiful ceramic tile work, as shown in the images below. One can only imagine the amount of time and patience it took to create the bench alone. Unfortunately, I was so focused on the details, I didn’t take a single long-shot view of the bench, so I’ve included a couple here from Wikipedia Commons so you can get an idea of what it’s like.

Photo by Deror Avi from Wikipedia

Photo by Baikonur from Wikipedia

Here are some close-up images I took of the tile work at Park Guell.

Here’s a nice little homemade video of the park by Dennis Callan.