Travel Log: Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain

 I hope you aren't getting tired of my Spain travel posts yet, because I have a couple more in the queue.  It's not my fault, Barcelona is such a beautiful city with amazing architecture that I had too many good photos for just one post.  Today I'd like to talk a bit about Park Güell, one of Barcelona's most famous landmarks located on a hill in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Park Güell was designed by Antoni Gaudí, the famous Catalan architect, and built over a four year span from 1900 to 1914.  I learned that Park Güell was originally intended to be a luxury housing development with sixty homes, but that plan never came to fruition because there wasn't enough interest at that time.  Only two homes were ever built (one that Gaudi purchased and lived in with his family that is now a museum), as well as walkways, stairways, a covered market area, and a central terrace.  I could definitely see the appeal to living on this hill with beautiful views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, within Gaudi's uniquely designed village.  Please scroll through for more photos and detail, and you will see what I mean.

Hat c/o Conversation Pieces, similar "Excursion Sun Hat," $16 at Conversation Pieces here
Tank: "Sleeveless Top" in light yellow (also available in 3 other colors), $12.95 at H&M here
Shorts: "Denim Shorts" in light denim blue, $9.95 at H&M here
Sandals: Charles by Charles David (no longer available online), similar Sam Edelman "Trina" sandal in whiskey, $50.67 (on sale!) at Amazon here
Bucket Bag: Banana Republic (no longer available), I'm loving this Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn "Wythe Bucket Bag" in brown, $188 at Urban Outfitters here
Sunglasses: old, check out these Kate Spade New York "Halsey 57mm Polarized Sunglasses" in tortoise/brown polar, $165 at Nordstrom here

These first two photos were taken in the Sala Hipóstila (aka the Doric Temple), a market area made up of 88 stone columns that are situated underneath and support the central terrace within the park (you'll see the central terrace a bit later on).  I just loved the way the light came through the rows of columns and made it such a photogenic spot.

We neglected to purchase our park tickets prior to showing up at the park (if you go I recommend purchasing in advance online!), so we had about 2.5 hours to kill prior to entry.  We did find a little cafe on site where we enjoyed pitchers of sangria, but then we wandered around the grounds taking goofy photos like this one because...why not?  These are stone columns that are designed to look like palm tree trunks along a covered path.

Once officially inside Park Güell, we first headed to "El Drac" (the dragon) by the main entrance.  This mosaic salamander is a famous staple piece of the park that was unfortunately vandalized in 2007, but has been fully restored to its colorful self.  He guards the fountain and you can find mini "El Drac" souvenirs pretty much everywhere in the city if you want to take your own version home.  It's hard to walk by without giving this friendly looking lizard a little pat.

As you can tell, these girls are so much fun to travel with and always down for a goofy photo.  These are the stone columns within the Sala Hipóstila again, just up the stairs from El Drac.  In this photo you can get an idea of how big the market was intended to be, as well as see a bit of the mosaic ceiling.

I had to post a closeup photo of the mosaic ceiling of Sala Hipóstila, so that you can see the amazing level of detail in this park.  The bright colors are just so gorgeous together, and I can only imagine how vibrant this spot would be if it were a live market.

Next we walked up the stairs to the central terrace (Gran Placa Circular), and this photo was taken from the stairs looking up at the low wall surrounding the central terrace and forming the back of a large bench (Banc de Trencadís).  The outside and inside both have their own intricate patterns, both containing elements of nature in their designs.

This is the same spot on the terrace as the last photo, but from the inside.  It shows the different mosaic patterns on the inside of the wall that makes up the back of the Banc de Trencadís.  This bench stretches around the entire terrace and is surprisingly comfortable to sit on!  I read that Gaudi actually had a laborer sit in a plaster mold in order to get the right ergonomic angle for a comfortable seat.  How neat is that if it's true?

This is my dear friend Allie, she practices jumping shots regularly...can you tell?  Look at that pose!  There was quite a bit of room on the Gran Placa Circular, as most people were centralized in one section of the Banc de Trencadís with a great view, so we took a bunch of jumping shots.  Allie's, of course, was the best one.

These two buildings are situated at the main entrance of the park, so looking down from the central terrace and imagine the stairs with El Drac sitting below the frame of this photo leading down to the main entrance.  The buildings are used as an administration building and a gatehouse, and look like they could be straight out of a Grimm fairy tale.

Back at the entrance of the park, here we are standing in between the buildings you just saw above.  El Drac, the Sala Hipóstila, and the Gran Placa Circular are behind and above us.  Every part of this park is so photogenic!

Finally, I want you to see the view from the top of the park looking over the Gran Placa Circular toward the Mediterranean Sea.  You can see Sagrada Familia with its construction cranes in the middle as well.  This photo gives you a sense of how far up Park Güell is situated, and shows why it has such amazing views.

I hope you enjoyed this photo tour of Park Güell in Barcelona, and that it inspires you to explore a new place this Labor Day holiday weekend.  Enjoy your long weekend, and thank you for visiting my blog!

Linking up with Tara at Mix & Match Fashion.


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