Saturday, 11 July 2015

Parc de la Ciutadella (Citadel Park), Barcelona

In all the years I have been visiting Barcelona, and more specifically the Zoo, which is housed in the park, I have never explored the park itself.

This year I did, and I have been missing so much.

The Citadel itself was built and then destroyed, restored and destroyed again on several occasions for various reasons, not least because it was seen as a much hated symbol of central Spanish government by the Catalan people. Only the Chapel (now the Military Parish Church of Barcelona), the Governor's palace (now a Secondary School), and the Arsenal (now home to the Catalan Parliament) remain with the rest of the site now forming the park.

On the day I visited, three of the Gigantes i Capgrossos (I have blogged about these before here) were being received into the Parliament buildings, along with their associated bands and groups.

After the puppets entered the building I wandered off down a different path.  

And got lost.  

As the park is 70 acres, this is not hard to do!

I continued wandering round knowing that, assuming I could find one of the exits, I could find my way back to the nearest metro or train station.

The park has a bandstand, I have always seen these as a peculiarly British thing, but evidently they are not.

It has a boating lake, something else I had seen as essentially British, it was a minimum of two people in a boat so I couldn't show off my (lack of) rowing skills.

There are plenty of play areas for children and plenty of little outside cafes where you can get a cold drink.

And then there is this....

It is the Cascada, it looks huge and it is fantastic.  It was first inaugurated in 1881 without sculpture or detail and was thoroughly criticised.  The addition of the modifications, including the fountain, continued until 1888, the building has remained the same since.

It was erected by Josep Fontsére and to a small extent by Antoni Gaudí, who at that time was still an unknown student of architecture. The aim was to loosely make it bear resemblance to the Trevi Fountain of Rome.

Quite randomly, down one of the paths leading from the Cascada, there is a model of a mammoth.

The park as a whole is well worth a visit, there are free wi-fi areas available too now.

I will definitely be spending more time there from now on.

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