Lisa Lansing

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Park Güell: tile mosaics for days.

Today I visited Park Güell, an expansive colourful mosaicked public park designed by Antoni Gaudí. And yes, mosaicked is a real word!

I wasn’t familiar with Gaudí the first time I visited Park Güell almost 2 years ago, but fortunately, my friend Christina who accompanied me to Barcelona at that time happened to be a fine arts major. She schooled me well.

Let’s learn some art history, shall we?

Antoni Gaudí was a Spanish Catalan architect from Reus and the best known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí’s works reflect an individualized and distinctive style. Most are located in Barcelona, including his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.

Gaudí’s work was influenced by his passions in life: architecture, nature, and religion. Gaudí considered every detail of his creations and integrated into his architecture such crafts as ceramics, stained glass, wrought ironwork forging and carpentry. He also introduced new techniques in the treatment of materials, such as trencadís which used waste ceramic pieces. (From Wikipedia’s article on Antoni Gaudí.)

Gaudí’s unique tile mosaics make Park Güell a spectacle for tourists and ceramic enthusiasts alike. Almost every surface in the park is covered in broken pieces of tile or ceramic dinnerware.

Here’s how Gaudí sourced waste ceramic pieces for the park:

He covered his three-dimensional architecture with glazed ceramics of different shapes and colours, which created brightly coloured patterns. For the task, he used discarded pieces of ceramic tiles collected from the factory “Pujol i Bausis” located in Esplugues de Llobregat, and pieces of white ceramic from broken cups and plates discarded by other Spanish manufacturers. (From Wikipedia’s article on trencadís.)

Check out the official Park Güell website to learn more about its history.

Visiting Park Güell.

Park Güell consists of two parts: the free, unrestricted access area and the Monumental Zone. The Monumental Zone contains all the pretty mosaics and buildings, so you’ll need to pay to see these. Tickets cost €7 and it’s best to purchase your ticket online in advance. Print out your ticket or simply take a screenshot of your ticket’s QR code. Park Güell is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Barcelona. You don’t want to arrive and find out tickets have been sold out!

Park Güell is located at the very top of a massive hill so be prepared for a wee workout on your way there. You can take the metro to the vicinity of the park (take the L3 line to Vallcarca) but you’ll need to hike 15 minutes to the park itself. Fortunately, escalators will help you part of the way but you need to power through to the top. I wouldn’t recommend bringing strollers or anything heavy or cumbersome with you.

The park contains plenty of bathrooms, a small café, gift shop, and the Gaudí house museum. You will need a separate ticket (€5.50) to enter the museum, however.

I’ve had such a colourful day today! I’m free from blogging for the next two days, so look for my weekend recap post this coming Monday. I hope you have a nice weekend and thanks for reading!

Have you visited Park Güell before?

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