Monday, November 07, 2011

Viva La Espana ~ Barcelona ~ Palau Güell & Parc Güell

Viva La Espana ~ Barcelona
~ Palau Güell & Parc Güell

Palau Güell or Güell Palace is a mansion in Barcelona, designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí for the Catalan industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell. Palau Guell is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Palau Guell is located on a small street perpendicular to the La Ramblas, a street that is bustling with life.
Eusebi Güell had wanted to live in a palace worthy of his status and a home where he could entertain high society guests, hence commissioned Gaudi to build a palace within the space available.
Getting to Palau Güell can be easily done on foot as it is just perpendicular to La Ramblas, along Carrer Nou de La Rambla. The nearest Metro Station is Liceu, 5 mins on foot away.

Official Palau Guell site here

Guests entered the home in horse drawn carriages through the front iron gates, which featured a parabolic arch and intricate patterns of forged iron-work resembling seaweed and in some parts a horsewhip. Animals could be taken down a ramp and kept in the livery stable in the basement where the servants resided, while the guests went up the stairs to the receiving room. 
 The basement of the building is a huge stable for horse carriages.

The central ramp to leads to the ground floor from the stables.

 The ornate walls and ceilings of the receiving room disguised small viewing windows high on the walls where the owners of the home could view their guests from the upper floor and get a 'sneak peek' before greeting them, in case they needed to adjust their attire accordingly.

 Steps designed to allow visitors to dismount from the horse carriages.

 The grand dining hall.

 Gaudi paid attention to every single details even to the design and layout of the seats by the window.

 A billiard room to entertain guests.

 Music is played in a small room beside the grand dining hall.

 Elaborate design of the ceiling.

 Some windows are decorated with stained glass with images of characters from Shakespares' King Lear.

 The chapel in the main party room which can be hidden away behind two huge doors.
 The main party room has a high ceiling with small holes near the top where lanterns were hung at night from the outside to give the appearance of a starlit sky.

 The most grand and bautiful part of the palace has to be the main party hall.

 Gaudi's iconic style has been applied to the roof of Palau Guell as well.
Instead of taking the form of the 'soldier helmets', the chimneys take the form of conical spires, each decorated differently.

 Gaudi's love for reptiles can be seen here as he playfully added a lizard to the chimney.

To view all the pictures of Palau Güell, visit Complete Palau Güell Album here:

Parc Güell was originally not intended to be a park but a city! Eusebi Guell had envisioned a utopia, a garden city which includes a marketplace. He provided Gaudi with an enormous plot of land and commissioned him to design and build the park. The lack of interest by the upper-class in this project eventually led to the suspension of the work. The project became a public park and one of Guell's home.
 If you going to visit Parc Guell, be prepared to spend a good half a day walking the park while you appreciate the flea markets and basking musicians.
Getting to Parc Guell by Metro is the best for those who are not adventurous with bus.You can choose to stop at Lesseps Station, follow the street signs or tourists crowd, and enter Parc Guell via the main entrance. Alternatively, take a stop further to Vallcarca Station, follow the street signs and travelators, and enter Parc Guel via the rear entrance. Parc Guell is sitting on a slope, hence if you choose the latter, it is easier to explore the park top to down with less up-slope.

Visit Parc Guell guide here

If you enter Parc Guell through the rear entrance, you will come to the highest point of the park first, The Calvary.

The Calvary cross.

The Planters' Viaduct lined with outdoor bars and washrooms.

The house where Gaudi bought and stayed with his parents in his later years before he moved to his workshop in Sagrada Familia. This house is now converted to a museum which exhibits a lot of furnitures designed by Gaudi.

Museum viaducts, all wide enough for carriages to pass.

The Dragon and Stairs at the main entrance, where 3 fountains line the middle of the steps.

The second fountain is a serpent out of a medallion with a Catalan flag.

The third fountain has unofficially became the icon/mascot of Barcelona and Gaudi, The Lizard in trencadis.

Underneath the Nature's Square.

The Nature's Square was originally intended to be a marketplace of the utopia, I believe it has now indeed become one with all the flea market and basking acts.

These columns in the marketplace carries rainwater from the large square above to the cistern below.

Rosettes on the ceiling of the marketplace represents the four seasons.

Carob's viaducts.

Caretaker's lodge, believed to be inspired by the bread and sugar house from Hansel and Gretel.

To view all the pictures of Parc Güell, visit Complete Parc Güell Album here:

Photography by WiFi
©2011 a day in the life of a bearbrick

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