Just prior to the start of the twentieth century, industrialist Euseli Guell purchased some land on Carmel Hill outside of Barcelona, with the intent of developing a private residential village for the wealthy within a natural park. Guell commissioned his friend Antoni Gaudi to design this "village" along the lines of the Temple of Appollo at Delphi and the English Garden City movement. The idea was to create 60 triangular lots for luxury homes in an effort to exploit the fresh air and the view. Unfortunately, because of poor transportation issues to the area, the concept was a bust. Only two houses were built; one that Gaudi himself lived in for twenty years, and the other one, called the Porter's Lodge, was to receive guests to the estate. While the natural park is free, the area that was to be the "village" is not. Entrance is on a timed basis, so it is conceivable that you could easily wait a couple of hours after buying your ticket before gaining entrance. The architecture here is typical Gaudi; i.e. lots of multi-colored glazed tile pieces (taken from demolition projects) and lots of undulating lines. Because this is an unfinished project, there is not a lot to see. But, what is here, is gorgeous!
The first house built in Park Guell was the one in which Gaudi himself lived for twenty years.
Designed to receive guests to the "village", the Porter's Lodge was the only other house built.
Part of Gaudi's design for this project included intricate pathways and columned areas (which also served to collect rain water and send it to an underground cistern).
The design and workmanship is astounding!
The centerpiece to Park Guell is this beautiful raised area that covered to cistern...
The 86 columns on this platform created an area for shop venders to sell their products to the wealthy families that would have lived here.
In typical Gaudi fashion, this salamander half-way up the staircase to the platform is decorated with multi-colored glazed tiles.
Notice that Gaudi never seemed to build anything with straight lines.
The top patio portion of the platform provided an wonderful overview of part of the park and into Barcelona proper. It also served as a catch basin for rainwater and funnels it down into the cistern below ground.
Various festivals and dance performances are often held on this patio area.
Everything about Park Guell was amazing. We can only imagine what it might have looked like if 60 luxury homes were built here.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.