One of the most touristic corners of the county capital is Park Güell, an urban paradise that hides great secrets and curiosities about its construction. In 1899, Count Güell acquired the land on which the site was later built, called Can Muntaner de Dalt and Can Coll i Pujol. Gaudí came into play and took a turn in the construction of a project that housed hundreds of urban opportunities. The result was a park, although initially it was designed as a residence for the Catalan bourgeoisie, but it resulted in a tourist space that today receives almost three million people per year.
This space, in the beginning, was going to be called Parc and not Park. One of the points that determined its definitive Anglo-Saxon name was the strong influence that the English gardens had on the design of this work. Nicknaming Park Guell, attract the attention of English tourists and it would be more international than with the Catalan name. Other sources point out that Gaudí himself wanted to call it Parc, but that at the time of registration they did not allow it.
Park Güell is a Unesco World Heritage Site, thanks to the incredible work that Gaudí did in his day together with Josep María Jujol, Francesc Berenguer, Joan Rubió and Llorenç Matamala. It reflects perfectly the extravagant and ingenious personality of the versatile artist. Gaudí took as inspiration many styles and diverse cultural references to each other. An example of this is that some of the houses inside the park are inspired by the chocolate houses that appear in the story of Hansel and Gretel, since at that time the Liceo of Barcelona was representing this work.
In addition, the whole park is inspired by the shapes and colors of nature, although Gaudí did not want to copy it, but used it as inspiration and shaped it in his own way. Gaudí used the colors of plants, animals and minerals, so that the contrast of colors was accentuated. The forms of nature can also be seen in this space, where the sinuous and undulating architecture, inspired by the rivers, plants carved in porches and doors, stands out.
The central square of the park is made of earth for a premeditated reason with ecological background: take advantage of the rain water. This water would reach the filters that are inside the columns until they reach a cistern that leads it, already completely clean, to a storage point to supply the people who lived in the houses of the park.
The park is full of political and religious references, one of the main concerns of Gaudí and his circle of friends. In one of the fountains in the park you can see how he decorated the sculpture with the shield of Catalonia, in addition to the snake, which would represent the medicine or the staff of Moses. Another of the most popular focuses of the enclosure is the lizard of colors, which today is not known with certainty if it is a lizard or a dragon. Some experts say that it is the Python of the Temple of Delphi, because of the mythological influences of the Temple of Apollo in Delphi that flood this space.
If you want to discover these curiosities and many more with your own eyes, do not think twice and visit one of the most tourist cities around the world. What are you waiting to find out?