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Guell Park, Barcelona. Photo Blog.

Mosaic lizard in Guell Park

Probably the most famous landmark in Park Guell is Gaudi's mosaic lizard.

For me Park Guell was one of the highlights of Barcelona, though once again I was struck by the absence of park-like spaces the way we know them in Australia. You could sit on benches, including the beautiful mosaic benches shown below, but there were no big open grasses spaces to sit. There was plenty of garden space, but it was for looking at from the outside, not for sitting within. However, the structures were amazing, and we took a gazillion photos just here.

Of course, it wasn’t originally designed as a park. Gaudi was commissioned to design a fabulous garden city, in which individual plots were to be sold for houses to be built on. However, the plots never sold, and eventually Josep Guell, who owned the land, donated it to the city of Barcelona to be a public park.

Once again, before we were travelling with the kids, we didn’t spend as much time exploring the park as we might have on our own. They enjoyed it for a while, but eventually the need for ice creams outweighed the need to see more mosaics!

Guell Park View from up high

View from high in Park Guell

A wide path seen from above through greenery

Walking through Park Guell is mostly all about the paths - it's not like an Australian park where you might spend more time running about on lawns or picnicing in the shade of the trees.

a statue of a woman made up of many small rocks

Not everything in Park Guell is made up of tile mosaics - this is one of a line of similar, but unique, statues.

 

people sell their wares in a square

There were lots of people selling cheap souvenirs like this in Park Guell, most of whom had to quickly pack up and run off each time the Policia came by.

 

middle aged white man smiling, holding up a series of hand painted bookmarks

This fellow, however, didn't run off, though he did begin packing up. Not because he had a license to be there, but because he was painting and selling his paintings (as well as prints of his painting of the Sagrada Familia, which he said he was asked to paint so often he simply couldn't do it anymore), which he couldn't quickly wrap up in a piece of cloth and run off with, like fake rolex watches or genuine Spanish fans (made in Chrina). When the Policia did come past, while we happened to be standing talking to him, he said (translating for us afterwards), they said, "Why didn't you run off with everybody else?" They also told him he should find a quiet, out-of the way corner to paint in - save everyone some trouble!

 

mosaic benches wind like a snake

These fabulous mosaic serpentine benches surround the central plaza, shown in the photo above where the people hawk their wares.

 

close up of mosiac tiled bench seat

Detail of the moasic benches

 

Round blue and green mosaic tiling surrounds a yellow-orange sun shape on a textured ceiling

The ceiling in this cave-like part of Park Guell has numerous of these round, textured mosaic sculptures. This area is under the central plaza, and was orginially intended to be the marketplace of the 'garden city' Park Guell was initally designed to be.

 

Top half of blue and white tiled tower with white cross at top

This is one of my favourite pics, and is the tower of the main gatehouse, shown below (but when I took this one, I couldn't see the rest of the building). You can just see all the individual tiles that make up the squares and the cross.

 

Gaudi building with tiled roof and tiled tower in Park Guell

This building, the main gatehouse, reminds me somehow of the witch's house in Hansel and Gretal, but with tiles instead of sugar for the roof.

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This entry was posted on December 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm and is filed under 2011 Round the World, Destinations, Personal Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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