This beautiful park was established in Ciutat Vella in Catalonia. The huge park, which spans over 70 acres, is a green oasis in the bustling cityscape of downtown Barcelona. The park is absolutely stunning with many places to walk, promenades, palm trees and flowerbeds. There are also architectural things to see like interesting buildings and beautiful fountains.
Things to Do In the Park
There are plenty of opportunities for tourists to enjoy the Parc de la Ciutadella in different ways. There are museums in the park if you are a bit of a history buff. If you just want to enjoy nature, and get some exercise, you can rent out rowing boats. The Parc also has a zoo which is one of the most popular attractions. Your viewing pleasure is not limited to animals, however, since all the vegetation around the footpaths is tagged with information.
In the early 1700’s Barcelona was under siege for more than a year. King Philips V, a Bourbon king, knew that he would have to keep firm control over the bustling city. Thus, he built a citadel. At the time, this star shaped ciutadella was the largest fortress in Europe. The Citadel was converted into a prison before it was made into a park. The park was designed by Antoni Gaudi.
When the ciutadella was handed to the city by General Prim, it was almost completely destroyed. It stood as a symbol of a central government that the people hated and only a few buildings remained. One of these buildings now serves as the home for the Catalan Parliament.
Becoming a Park
The project to turn this hated place into a beautiful park started in the late 1800’s. The developers pushed for it to be designated as the site of the Universal Exhibition in 1888. This gave them the push they needed to develop the park quickly. Many buildings were erected and still stand along with impressive monuments.
The Cascada is a triumphal arch located at the northern corner of the park. It stands by the lake and is guarded by dragons. This is a common theme in Gaudi’s work.
The Castle of the Three Dragons is the location that houses the zoo. It is also an architectural example of the early modernist movement, since it combines many different techniques and styles.
The Umbracle is a greenhouse for tropical plants that need to stay in the shade. The Hivernacle is a winter garden that turns into a swinging jazz cafe during the summer months. If that is not enough, the Geological Museum should give you something to do during the day.