Barcelona: Park Güell

g1-1The easiest way to go to Park Güell is to get off at the Joanic metro station, but our host M suggested Lesseps. It’s quite easy to find your way, mostly because everyone starts walking to the same direction. It’s basically the opposite side of Park Güell, so instead of walking up to the gate, you get to walk down from the main square or terrace.

바르셀로나의 또 다른 꽃이라면 구엘공원과 사그라다 파밀리아 성당. 둘다 건축가 안토니 가우디의 피와 살이 담겨져 있는 곳들이다. 구엘공원은 일반적으로 전철을 타고 갈 경우 Joanic이나 Vallcarca 역에서 내리는데 바르셀로나에서 나고 자란 G의 사촌은 Lesseps에서 내려서 거꾸로 공원 위에서 내려가라고 추천.

g2I mentioned this before shortly but the good thing about getting off at Lesseps was the view. It’s not a very steep hill you have to walk up but you do get high enough to look around the skyline. The weather was cloudy and rainy when we were there (dang!), so we couldn’t really see the sea, but on sunny days, you can see the entire view of the sea, buildings all the way up to Montjuïc.

바르셀로나에 전날 저녁에 도착해서 아직 길이나 도시 전체적인 느낌을 알지 못했던때에 처음 간곳이 이곳이었는데 굿초이스. 일단 도시 전체를 한눈에 볼 수 있어서 전략을 쉽게 세울 수 있었고 (“자, 우리가 갈곳이 일단 저기랑 저기야, 저기는 바다가 있어서 저쪽에 가면 먹을게 많아!”) 눈이 시원해지는 효과도.

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g6The Sagrada Familia, the twin towers and the sea. Somewhere out there.

구엘공원은 가우디가 친구이자 경제적인 후원자였던 구엘 백작의 부탁으로 함께 의논하고 디자인해서 만든 곳이다. 1900년에 공사를 시작해 1914년에 거의 완성했는데 원래는 스페인의 부유층들에게 분양할 콘도같은 개념으로 만든 곳. 하지만 부지문제와 자금난, 당시의 형편없었던 교통 등으로 미완성으로 끝이 났고 구엘 백작이 세상을 떠나자 후손들은 바르셀로나시에 부지를 매입해 결국 공원으로 재탄생되었다. 실제로 가우디는 여기서 지은 집에서 죽을때까지 살았다고. (지금은 박물관으로 들어가서 구경할 수 있도록 함)

g7So Park Güell was designed by none other than the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí from 1900 through 1914. It’s one of the largest architectural works in southern Europe. One thing I learned about Gaudí was that almost everything he made and designed was based on some form of nature. The terraces seen here resemble the tree trunks around the park and also works as a cozy home for the birds. 

가우디의 모든 작품과 건축이 그렇듯, 구엘공원의 모든 건물들과 기둥 등은 자연을 빼닮았다. 위에 보이는 기둥들은 그 주위를 감싸고 있는 나무들과 나무 뿌리를 본떠 만들었고 결과적으로 주변과 어울리고 비둘기들의 터전으로 자리잡힘. 구엘공원은 실제로 다른 곳들보다도 지그재그로 된 길이나 특이한 모양의 기둥들이 있는데 이건 미학적인 의도도 있었지만 워낙 산에다가 건물을 지어야해서 기울어진 비탈길들을 보완하기 위한 것이기도 했다.

g8지금은 공원에 들어가기 위해서는 표를 내야하는데 (8유로, 온라인으로 신청하면 7유로) 전에는 무료입장이었다. G의 사촌 M은 이와 관련해 많은 논란이 있었다고 하는데 결정적으로는 공원을 위하는 길이라고 생각하면 받아들일 수 밖에 없어 시민들 모두 긍정적으로 보고 있다고 했다. 나도 개인적으로 표를 내고 들어가는거에 대해서는 크게 반감이 들지 않는데 실제로 구엘공원은 크기가 생각보다 너무 작아서 8유로는 상대적으로 좀 많다는 생각은 들었던게 사실. 그만큼 생각했던것보다 굉장히 작았다.

g9When the construction of the park began in 1900, Barcalona was already a very modern and cosmopolitan metropolis. Count and Catalan entrepeneur Eusebi Güell (hence the name Park Güell) asked Gaudí to create an estate for the better off families on the large property Güell had acquired. Being the whimsical and artistic architect he was, Gaudí created an area with complex networks of paths and steps, not only to make it look nice but also to cope with the steep topography of the area.

g10The two men were more than partners, but friends. They were both men of art, architecture and religion and Gaudí himself actually lived in one of the houses. You can still find it inside the park but you have to pay additionally to enter. There’s actually have to pay an admission fee to go inside the park. The park has been open to the public for the past 100 years and it’s just been a few months the city decided to add an admission fee. G, who was here a few years ago, thought it was a shame people had to pay to look around the park, and it seemed there has been quite of a controversy regarding admission fees. But with 8 euros, I personally think it’s not a bad idea, both for the city and the park. I changed my mind a bit later down in this post though. Visitors also have to wait their turns to get inside the park, supposedly to prevent too many people bumping into each other and also to protect the park and its quirky sculptures.

The estate later failed due to the lack of proper transportation at the time and also being too exclusive. After Mr. Güell passed away, his heirs offered the estate to the Barcelona City Council and it eventually became and reopened as a park in 1926. The park was also declared as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO in 1984.

g11I was taking some photos around the park like everyone else and found these four gentlemen looking around for a reliable stranger to ask for a photo. It seemed they were traveling by themselves.

남자들끼리의 여행이었던 모양. 계속 카메라를 훔쳐가지 않을것 같은 사람을 찾는것 같았음.

g12Mission accomplished.

g122The famous lizard/salamander/dragon that guards the staircase heading toward the top main terrace.

구엘공원의 상징, 도마뱀/용. 줄을 서서 사진을 찍어야했다.

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g14헨젤과 그레텔의 과자집을 본떠 만든 곳. 뜯어서 먹어보고 싶게 만들었다.

g15The pavilion with the white and blue tower is now a information center and gift shop. Walk up to the second floor and you find the best place for a photo of the entire park.

구엘공원의 입구 양쪽에 건물이 두개 있는데 지금은 한쪽은 박물관, 파란 기둥이 우뚝 솟아있는 이 곳은 기념품샵으로 운영. 이 기념품 샵 2층의 전망이 전체 공원에서 최고. 여기서 사진 한장 찍으면 끝.

g16The ceiling that holds the main terrace. It was designed to resemble clouds. Very cool.

구름을 본떠 만든 천장과 기둥들. 신기하게도 그리스의 올림푸스 산에서 거닐었을 신들의 궁전 같은 느낌. (구엘은 실제로 이곳을 가우디에게 그리스 신화의 파르나소스산처럼 만들어달라고 부탁했다고). 이탈리아의 비싼 타일들을 사서 직접 깨서 다시 모자이크로 만들어낸 천장이다.

g17(No) thanks to the weather, it was a bit difficult for us to walk romantically along the retaining wall that was made to resemble waves. WAVES! Every five seconds, one of us would stop and start yelling “my eyes! my eyes!” Sand and wind. Not the greatest combo. Nevertheless, AMAZING design.

바람이 너무 불어서 5초마다 “악! 내눈! 내눈!” 거렸던 파도 동굴.

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g19The iron door you can see there was the original gate toward the wall and also the way to the former mansion where Güell was planning to live. It’s now used as a school. According to architects and experts, this wall is one of the finest examples of Gaudí’s organic architecture style. And yes, it’s impressive. Not just the overall shape, but the details. The wall and the columns were all made with both small and big stones found around the area.

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g21The terrace and the famous bench are all covered and decorated in amazingly colorful mosaics.

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g24An overview of the stairway and the terrace from the gift shop window.

기념품 가게 2층에서 찍은 구엘공원 전경. 위에 보이는 광장은 모래바람이 너무 심해서 올라가서 앉아있다가 바로 내려왔다. 흑.

g25If you walk down from the main entrance toward the subway station, you can also walk through the Gràcia district, which is full of small and colorful gift shops, museums, bars, cafes and restuarants.

전체적은 느낌은 생각보다 작았다는 것. 하지만 생각해보면 원래 공원으로 만들어진 곳이 아니었기에 어쩌면 당연한걸수도. 작아서 좋았던 점은 너무 크지 않아서 다른 곳 관광 스케줄에 전혀 영향을 끼치지 않았던 것, 단점은 8유로라는 가격은 조금 세게 느껴졌다는 것. 결과적으로 아무말없이 8유로를 고스란히 내긴 했지만서도.

The park is lovely, but I have to admit it didn’t take long to walk around it. In other words, it was not as big as I THOUGHT it would be. Which was quite obvious, if you think about it. It was not originally made to be a park. This was both good and bad: The good is that it’s small enough to look around for only a couple of hours, so no need to plan your visit around the park. The bad would be that the 8 euros may seem a bit high considering the size and the time spent in the park. So I’m a bit torn with the admission fee, but all in all, I was eager to pay and pay homage to one of the world’s greatest architects. Like all the other thousand fellow travelers.

Places mentioned:

  • Park Güell: +34 902 20 03 02. Carrer d’Olot s/n, 08024 Barcelona, Spain. Metro stations Lesseps, Joanic or even Vallcarca can work, depending on your location, schedule and preference. 8 euro admission fee but if you buy tickets online it’s 7 euros.

All photos by rachelsanghee

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