Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barcelona 5/14 - Park Guell

After inhaling as much coffee as I possibly could in 15 minutes, we headed back downstairs to meet up with our group and set out for our city tour of Barcelona. 

Marta was our tour guide, and our day started out at Park Guell. The Park is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site "The Works of Antonio Gaudi". The park was originally part of a commercially unsuccessful housing site, the idea of Count Eusebi Güell, whom the park was named after. It was inspired by the English garden city movement

Only 1 plot was ever sold in Park Guell, and it was purchased by Gaudi's lawyer (no pressure, right??!). The failed development is now a municipal park. 

Here we are in front of the big marketplace: 

And a wider shot of the whole market

And yes, we climbed the stairs all the way to the very top. The view was totally worth the climb. 

The idea of the park was to blend nature with the construction, so that the park blended in with the hillside. This "tunnel" is one example of a shaded area:

And this is the other side of the above corridor

This is the top of the marketplace, looking up the hill to the only plot that sold in the development (the lawyer's house). 

These are the two buildings are at the front entrance of the park. One was the caretaker's home, and the other was Gaudi's studio. And a beautiful view of Barcelona in the background. 

The market

The mosaic tile work is found all over the park: 

Even the ceiling of the market

There's a bench that runs around the top of the market - all mosaic tile. It's shaped so that it protrudes right into the small of your back, making it VERY comfortable (for a stone bench). 

This window had an intriguing combination of tile and iron work, it's bowed out, making it even more intricate. 

They were doing a photo shoot with this ballerina in the market, and I snapped my own pic

I loved Park Guell, and would have loved to have had  more time (and energy!) to explore it. But it was time to move on to our next stop - La Sagrada Familia. Stay tuned! 

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