Like good tourists in Barcelona we got back on the open top tourist bus after our visit to the incredible Art Nouveau Hospital (see the previous post) and went to see Park Guell. The park is actually quite a distance from the bus stop…all uphill.
When we arrived we stood in the queue for a while until a very nice attendant informed us that we would have to wait at least 2 hours to get into the park. It was hot standing in the blazing sun by this time, so we thought we might move on.
When pressed for more information the attendant told us that the park is open in the morning at 6.00am and there is free entry until 8.00am. The lack of a fee wasn’t as tempting as the thought there would be few people at that hour.
We arrived the next morning at 7.00am to a completely empty park. This is the people free entrance.
The lovely staircase with the dragon is usually swarming with people, but we had it entirely to ourselves.
Park Guell was originally meant to be a luxury housing estate. Eusebi Guell employed Antoni Gaudi to design an organised estate with 60 triangular lots where houses would be built. Only 2 were built and when they failed to sell Gaudi bought one and moved his family there in 1906. He lived there until 1926 and the house is now a museum.
The staircase leads to the Hypostyle Room, which was to be the market place in the estate.
Look up to see the beautiful Gaudi designed tiled ceiling.
The beautiful terrace in the middle of the site was planned for staging open air shows. It is surrounded by a long bench in the form of a sea serpent.
There is an amazing colonnaded footpath under the roadway viaduct.
The gardens are beautifully maintained. We started to see a few Barcelona residents on their early morning runs as we walked along the paths.
We walked to the top of the park to the Turo de Tres Creus, Gaudi’s monument to the Cavalry for some great views of the city.
Thank you to the attendant who told us about the early opening. I recommend that you get up early and visit the park without other people…it will be worth it.
Park Guell is one of Barcelona’s most popular attractions and it is always busy in the middle of the day. Early in the morning you will have it to yourself and be able to enjoy it at a leisurely pace. I’m sure Gaudi would approve.