Dragons, butterflies, snakes and enchanting grottoes - Gaudí's fairytale park - a bizarre balcony over the city.
Fairytale houses, figures of dragons, gigantic grottos, and arcades pressed crookedly against the mountain: the picturesque park above the city designed by Antoni Gaudí, which was already praised by Dalí, was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984. Gaudí's innovative work, commissioned by his patron Euebi Güell, was actually intended as a large-scale residential development. Like no other work, the park demonstrates Gaudí's universal genius as an architect, artist, artesan and landscape architect. At the centre, there is a gigantic terrace held up by Doric columns (originallly intended as a market), beneath which you can see a bizarre hall. On the terrace with its breathtaking panoramic views, there is a long, curving, snake-shaped wall bench designed, like many of Gaudí's pieces using the Trencadiz technique: a kind of collage technique which produces colourful mosaics made of slivers of glass and shards of ceramics. You can see symbolic motifs and sculptures everywhere: at the staircase there is the brightly coloured "dragon python" who is said to have guarded subterranean waters in Greek mythology. The park is a uniquely successful fusion of architecture and nature. The grounds also contain the Gaudí Museum in the architect's house, containing biographic documentation and objects. This site was awarded by the UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site. It offers an excellent view. Entry to the site is free.