Could it really have been three years ago that I went to Barcelona? Wow, it feels much more recent than that. After only a few hours in Barcelona, it became my favorite city (next to my beloved hometown NYC, of course), and it has yet be dethroned. The first place we went (following incredible paella lunch at Botafumeiro) was Park Guell, the whimsical park designed by Antonin Gaudi in the early 1900’s. The way the park works in harmony with its natural surroundings, its unexpected details and colorful mosaics are just amazing. We’d trade it for Central Park any day!
Under the patronage of Eusebi Güell, Gaudi designed the park as a setting for Barcelona’s aristocracy to live. But alas, it was a failure as a real estate venture — which I difficult to believe (unless the prices were outrageous) because I would have loved to live there. Only two houses were ever built there, a white house and pink house, where Gaudi lived and is now a museum. In 1923, the city saved the project from certain disaster and converted it to a public park.
Park Guell was perfect first stop for us, as we decided that we had to make sure to visit Gaudi’s other works too: Casa Batllo, La Sagrada Familia and La Pedrera.
It’s also a good way to orient yourself to the city because you have spectacular views.