Park Güell

I had no idea that Park Güell started out as a housing estate that never got off the ground, so to speak. The house that Gaudi lived in for about 20 years was the display/show home. Gaudi did not design that house (now the museum) and much of the tile work and decoration on Gaudi buildings is not by him either. Gaudi overshadows his regular collaborator Josep Maria Jujol.

The Gaudi House Museum has a layout you could live in – except you wouldn’t want to fall down the beautiful but unforgiving stairs and I’m not sure about different floor tiles in every room.

The house is largely set up as a showcase for some of Gaudi’s furniture and decorative work. However, his bedroom is supposedly as it was.  It’s quite simple although I suspect that not many people, even then, would have been so devout as to have a prie-dieu at home. The bathroom strikes me as surprisingly modern. Perhaps it’s the ‘his and hers’ hand basins.

What I really loved though were all the beautiful ceilings.
But perhaps not the green one so much!

People are probably most familiar with Park Güell’s serpentine seating with all its crazy tiling. It came as a surprise to me just how big the terrace is that is edged by that seating. And I expect most would be like me, totally unaware that the terrace is a platform built out from the ground, not cut into it. Underneath, the space, columns,  and the medallions on the underside of the terrace are quite spectacular. You couldn’t call the covered walkway, the underside of overhanging roads and footpaths, spectacular but in a very earthy way this cloister-like walk is also amazing.

I stuck to that small area that most people think of as Park Güell. However, the ‘monument area’ is only a small part of a much bigger open public space. Not that there aren’t ‘things to see’ elsewhere. But my tired legs could only carry me so far – down the grand Dragon Staircase …

… to the porter’s lodge pavilions (one of which is now the souvenir/bookshop) on either side of the main gate…

… and then up to the well tended but not particularly exciting Austrian Gardens.

I do sometimes wonder what the locals – in the nearby school or in the street over the wall – make of the tourist attraction and tourists on their doorstep.

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