This isn’t the first day we’ve encountered rain on our trip. In fact, we’ve tried to visit Gaudí’s Park Güell twice, and both times it has rained. Those were the only days it rained! As we discovered, though, you just have to make the best of it.
Park Güell was a project begun by Eusebi Güell, Gaudí’s friend and patron. Güell was an entrepreneur and capitalist, investing in a number of projects that involved Gaudí. For the park, he hoped to create something like a housing subdivision. He asked Gaudí to design the park and a couple of house prototypes to inspire people to buy into the plan. But when little interest was generated, the project failed. Later on, it became a public space for Barcelonans. And Gaudí wound up living the last 20 years of his life in the park’s house prototype (except for the last months when he moved to the premises of La Sagrada Familia).
I visited the house today in the rain, but Taylor and I spent time on the grounds of the park last Sunday after visiting La Sagrada Familia. We walked all the way there (maybe 30-40 minutes) and got caught in a rainstorm. We had bought some bread and cheese to have as a picnic, but the rain caught us on the way, and we had to eat our bread and cheese while standing under the balcony of someone’s apartment, keeping ourselves dry. We were cold and wet, but eventually the weather cleared, and we had a nice afternoon there. The park is high on a hill overlooking the city, so our walk was mostly uphill the whole way. When the skies cleared, and it stopped raining, we could see the city and the ocean.
Among other things, there are a couple of notable Gaudian features in the park: the rough stone colonnades, or covered walking paths, and the winding park bench with trencadís, or broken-glass mosaics.